It is on its way.
The public meltdown.
|image courtesy herbie119|
Having young children is humbling, and some of the most humbling experiences include vomit, messy pants, and public disobedience. While vomit is exhausting and messy pants are incredibly time consuming, I struggle most with public disobedience. Yes, I know that not a single little human is a good. I get that. But it really doesn't matter. I am completely embarrassed by this occurrence. Disobedience can include one or all of the following:
- passive agressive behavior
- pulling your hair
- anything that hurts you physically
- throwing things
I could go on, but you get the picture. No mother or father wants to be the one with the naughty children. And I think when our children choose to behave poorly and have meltdowns in public, we go through 5 stages of meltdown response.
5 Stages of Public Meltdown Response
- Denial and Isolation: As soon as we pick up on the possibility of misbehavior, we treat the potential offender with kid gloves. If we wait out the activity and most people are gone, then, he may be ready to go. He will see that he is the last one left and decide on his own that it's time to go.
- Anger: When that approach is failing, we suddenly pull out all the stops. Threats and consequences are verbalized. (not all threats are bad--one of our biggest ones is if you aren't sweet, you aren't going to get anything sweet to eat. Sweet needs to come out before sweet goes in). We suppress all the thoughts we can of, "If I could just spank you right here, right now, Boy!" Oh, don't tell me you have never had that thought. Even those who are adamantly opposed to spanking have the thoughts. We reach our boiling point just before we try a different tactic.
- Bargaining: When we see the negative side approach isn't turning the behavior on its head, we try persuade them to obey. We say things like, "Would you like a cookie? Okay, then we need to...." Do you see the difference? Once again, not always a bad thing. I am the last person to say that "bribery" shouldn't be used.
- Depression: More than once I have thrown my hands in the air and stated, "I don't know what to do with you, Sir!" We give up hope because we've used all our tactics. We will be stuck wherever we are because we have no more tools and we are tired of fighting. It's during this depression time that we actually start to breathe again. Sure, we may think we are failures at mothers (we aren't) and we may feel like we need to call the police (more than likely we don't), but since we are done trying to figure out how to fix the problem, we actually start to breathe.
- Acceptance: This comes when we realize, no matter what, it is up to us (as Mama/Daddy) to be the adult. We can choose to give them a choice to walk or be carried, BUT no matter what, it is time to leave (or stop depending on what the situation exactly is) and you need to obey me whether you want to or not.
Sometimes we only experience one stage before there is a positive reaction. Sometimes we go through all five. Some of us never get to Stage 5.
If you find it impossible to reach Stage 5, I want to cheer you on.
YOU are Mama (or Daddy)!
YOU are Mama (or Daddy)!
YOU can do this!
YOU are the adult and get to have the final say because YOU have lived life a lot longer.
YOU are not the one having the meltdown and YOU can choose how to respond.
I am proud of YOU! YOU were given everything you need to be the parent you were made to be!
Remembering all along the way that YOU are so not alone! We have all been in your shoes!