It’s Normal For Kids To Have Meltdowns: Stop Beating Yourself Up
No amount of parenting advice, thesis or research will ever be enough to prep moms and dads to navigate through parenthood with ease. Much as it is a wonderful journey to nurture your child into an independent and sensitive adult, the route to this is littered with challenges and setbacks, which make for great anecdotes when the kids grow up. Once such challenge is that of your kids having a meltdown — that irrational breakdown which mostly ends up with them and you in tears. And it won’t just happen once in a lifetime.
- Kids having a meltdown are a very common parenting challenge which all of us face.
- The reason behind a meltdown may seem trivial to your grown up sensibilities.
- Most of us take is as a parenting setback, feeling embarrassed at our incapability to diffuse the situation promptly.
- But mostly these meltdowns are so irrational — one can do nothing but patiently wait for kids to get past it.
A Twitter thread in which parents have shared the biggest meltdowns their kids have ever had has gone viral.
A Twitter thread in which parents have shared the biggest meltdowns their kids have ever had has gone viral. The mere mention of the M word was enough to send me spiralling down to the memories of the legendary meltdowns my own kid has had. When she lost her sanity over a fruit being into rectangular pieces instead of diamonds or when she stalled eating her breakfast and the Chocos became too “squishy.” Then on one of our vacations, she just refused to walk on her own. It escalated to me climbing the steps of an over bridge with a three-year-old clinging to my leg, and everyone from beggars to drunkards giving me nasty looks. Or any day when I accidentally digress from her set of instructions to wash and wipe her face.
Causes of 3-year-old’s meltdowns this morning:
-Banana too small
-Top of banana slightly squashed
-Honey on porridge doesn’t sufficiently resemble “a swimming pool”
-Sister had her 1st wee before his 3rd
-Doesn’t want scooter
-Does want scooter
-Something to do with sleeves
— Tom Gatti (@Tom_Gatti) April 2, 2019
Should we see meltdowns as a parenting failure? Should one feel ashamed of the judgemental glares which come our way in such very public outbursts? I don’t think so.
It only gives you a headache when your kids have their meltdown at home. But it is a totally different deal when they lose their bearings in public places. How embarrassing is it to have your kid rolling on the floor in throes of a major tantrum at a super market? We’ve all been in some version of these situations isn’t it? But should we see meltdowns as a parenting failure? Should one feel ashamed of the judgemental glares which come our way in such very public outbursts? I don’t think so.
This is funny.
Mine had a meltdown when I opened his little cereal bar and, brace yourself this is horrible, PUSHED IT OUT TO MAKE IT EASIER TO HOLD AND EAT. Cue meltdown. The worse thing was the withering look and tut from his mother “he likes to push it out himself.” 😐
— Dafydd Rhys Bowen (@dafbow) April 2, 2019
There is no guide or manual which can guarantee a parent an efficient way to diffuse a meltdown.
The thing is no guide or manual which can guarantee a parent an efficient way to diffuse a meltdown. There is no way to prevent this from happening. Kids will have meltdowns, both at home and at public places like airports, malls, parks or even places of worship, whether you like it or not. In fact some of these situations are so bizarre there is nothing else to do than to let the child cool down on their own. Or worse, you may end making the grave mistake of dismissing your child’s actions as unreasonable, as reasoning and persuasion only make the matters worse.
Two year old cries in anguish all the way home from the school run. Other concerned parents ask if she's teething or sick. Mother has to explain that child is heartbroken because she has not seen a purple car on the way to school.
— Rebecca Taylor (@Rebecca96935041) April 2, 2019
You realise that having a thick skin is all you need to deflect those judgemental glances that come your way. So gather your wits and your bawling child and wait for it to blow over.
So don’t take it a parenting setback if your child has a meltdown and you fail to tackle it expertly. Remember that the best way to get better at parenting is to learn via experience. Besides, once you have been in that situation, you realise that having a thick skin is all you need to deflect those judgemental glances that come your way. So gather your wits and your bawling child and wait for it to blow over. Everyone else, including your child will probably forget about the incident, but you’ll end up with some great stories to share with other parents.
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.