Children And Meltdowns

I read a lot, and call myself obsessed about parenting. Now days I do a lot of research on topics that I can’t find a solution for as far as my daughter is concerned.

 

I also do a lot of research on different parenting issues, as being a mom blogger myself I think I need to be aware. From the time Zoe turned 1.5, people have been telling me about the Terrible Twos. For me twos are both terrible and TERRIFIC… Zoe is such a bright little star that makes my day most of the times… but then, she does have her tantrums. This involves crying and sulking. People tell me, these aren’t the worst meltdowns and I don’t know what to say. Because for me handling her when she is throwing a tantrum becomes IMPOSSIBLE.

What is a Temper Tantrum all about?

‘It is an emotional outburst that is typically characterised by stubbornness, crying, screaming, yelling, shrieking, defiance, angry ranting, a resistance to attempts at pacification and, in some cases, violence.’ When children have a meltdown they will cry, shout, stomp their feet and in many cases also hit themselves/someone else. These meltdowns usually occur amongh kids between 1-3 years and it is said they reach their peak when the kid turns 2.

Why do kids have Meltdowns?

I feel mostly these are to express negative emotions when a child is not very good at expressing themselves verbally. So we can say a temper tantrum is our toddler’s way of saying “I’m angry and irritated”.

Can we prevent temper tantrums? If yes… then how?

A child wouldn’t warn you before a meltdown… I wish I was told “OK Momma… at the count of 3 I will have a meltdown 3…2…1 Bwaaaahhh”. 🙂

We shouldn’t forget we are adults and we will find a way out to prevent these meltdowns. Try to analyse and understand your child. What are the most common reasons your child has a meltdown and plan accordingly. A routine and set schedule is very good for your child. Adhere to meal and nap times. Try to keep your outings short, if you have to take a long outing make sure to have a break in the middle for play time.

Be consistent about the rules and regulations you’ve set for your child. For instance, if Zoe has watched 30 minutes of TV, I switch it off, initially she used to cry when I did that… I didn’t give in, now she knows a meltdown won’t help her. Also, do not test their limits… do not take your child to a candy store if you don’t intend to buy one.

Can we help our little ones when they have a meltdown?

When your child is having a meltdown the best you can do is keep your cool. Trust me, it isn’t easy but it’s not impossible as well. Try to talk to them in a calm voice and tell them you do know what they want and you can talk about it. Don’t give them a lot of attention, at times these tantrums can be attention seeking tactics.

As mentioned, please do not give into their unreasonable demands as this might send a message – “OK, next time I want something I just need to have a meltdown”. If your child has a tendency to harm himself while having a meltdown, take them to a quiet place. For older children who have severe tantrums a timeout might work.

Children get over this phase by 3.5 – 4 years of age. So just hang in there and be sure its a phase. You must talk to your doctor if this continues beyond 4 years of age.

A story-teller, a Communication Trainer, a Parenting Blogger, a wife to her best friend and mum to the most adorable 2-year-old – Zoe. Falak Randerian, plays many roles, her favorite Being Zoe’s Mom. She runs story telling & communication workshop for kids My Little Chatterbox. You can read her personal blog Being Zoe’s Mom and her parenting website which she runs along with her elder sister www.momsters.in . 

  • Very true. That’s what we realised too. You can’t expect a little kid to ‘behave’ in a store full of goodies. Most of the times, my hubby does groceries on one of the week days. If once in a while, we go together, we put our son on the trolley (one of us would be holding on to him all the time because I have seen parents putting their kids in the trolleys and go a few steps to pick up stuff), and hand him over whatever we want to buy. He loves putting them in the trolley. If he does pick up a few stuff, we remove it later. He is too young to realize 😉
    Moreover, there is nothing much you can do at this stage when he is stuck between dependence and independence, and frustrations of not having his way all the time and not being able to articulate his thoughts.
    Like everything else, we just need to hang on. This too shall pass 🙂

    • I hope this pass on real soon 😉

  • Oh! how I wish kids gave a warning…… 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 WHOOOOOOH !!!!

    • 😀 Even we can be prepared if that happens

  • Very nicely written, Falak. My older kid never threw tantrums. I am yet to see what my younger daughter has in store for me. I’ll keep your tips in mind 🙂

    • All the best Gauri