Well our daughter Ava (4 years old) had her first meltdown of the holiday season.
It was silly how it all started, but I could sense that it was brewing. It was the end of our busy Thanksgiving break.
We had so much fun. Probably one of the best breaks we’ve had, but the going and coming and the change of routine is a lot for kids to take in.
Anyhow, this is how it happened…
She was playing in her room, and when I walked in I saw her stuffed unicorn hanging from her mouth. It’s nothing she could choke on.
I told her not to put it in her mouth and that the stuffed unicorn doesn’t go in our mouths. Looking back now, her putting the unicorn in her mouth really wasn’t a big deal. It was harmless. She was pretending to be a dog. I
think know I was super grumpy and just snapped at her.
I walked out of her room and seconds later I saw her with the unicorn back in her mouth after I told her not to. She did it for attention and defiance.
I should have totally ignored it and walked away, but I didn’t.
I very sternly reprimanded her. Which was probably my way of having a meltdown of my own, and being exhausted.
After I reprimanded her she ran into the playroom, closed the door and started crying. She boohooed.
I let her cry it out for a few minutes, and then I walked in there and did these three things in this order…
1.) I knelt down to her level so that we were eye level.
2.) Then I put my arms around her and hugged her tight.
3.) Lastly, I repeatedly said, “I know. I know. I know.”
This helped settle her and she stopped crying. We didn’t have a discussion of what happened. We just moved on.
Although this is the first meltdown of the season, I’m sure it won’t be the last and that’s OK!
It’s important to remember that sometimes the holidays can be a lot for kids.
It’s a lot for kids (adults too) with school, holiday parties, activities, traveling, and everything the holiday season brings. Meltdowns are NORMAL. I repeat MELTDOWNS are NORMAL. Give them some grace! Heck…give YOURSELF grace!
I learned this strategy from a Facebook group I’m a part of called, “Positive Parenting for Cool Moms”, and it’s been very helpful for us.
I’m not an expert in how to handle the behaviors of children, and what works for one doesn’t work for another, but I do know that this three step technique has helped our daughter, and maybe it might help your child.
Have your children had holiday meltdowns? What are some things you do to work through the meltdowns?