Have you ever felt like this after a day with your child?
Maybe after the tenth public meltdown, and a day of dodging judgmental bullets from retailers who are hoping you'll avoid their stores?
You been there? Yeah, me too.
And I know how hard it is not to take the perspective of "he should know better."
Our embarrassment and fears can easily override our thinking brain - in the same ways they can hijack the brains of our kids. If we let our perceptions and fears rule - then our reactions become survival-based.
We threaten, intimidate, punish or withdraw our love and attention to feel "in control."
One survival state reacting to another survival state leads us to a dead end.
Be honest with yourself in those moments when you feel you need to control your child's behavior.
Ask yourself: Am I responding in a way that will help my child learn to manage his or her behaviors or am I using this situation as an excuse to be unconsciously irresponsible with my own.
Choose AWARENESS. Be conscious.
It takes intention + repetition to create the habit of conscious awareness, and for it to become your predominant pattern.
Using fear may quiet down some kids - for the moment. But what are the long-term consequences to your relationship?
Flip the switch on your definition of behavior. All behavior is purposeful.
Every action and word is a clue leading you to what's going on emotionally for the child - on the inside. The message contained in behavior is always important, no matter how illogical the behavior may seem.
And I know, it can sometimes seem totally and completely illogical.
In this TEACHable Moments video, I share how I survived one of my daughter's very public tantrums, my top 4 tips you can use to survive - and even prevent - your child's public meltdown.
Now, is there anyone who has escaped, even the occasional, public meltdown with their child?
If so, I am in awe of you and please contact me immediately - we need to talk.
For some reason, parents run into a lot of judgment out there on the internet super-highway, people who criticize public displays of emotion and feel the need to insult, name-call or demean the parenting of others as "lazy," "permissive," or "indulgent."
Why do we do that? Why do we judge a situation from afar and then blame someone in their weakest moment?
It only breeds the exact kind of cruelty that we are trying to eliminate. If you've ever been with a child in meltdown mode, then you know there is no "disciplining" him out of it.
I'm not sure why we are so unwilling to accept the uglier parts of these typical stages of child development or why we appear so incredulous when kids act like kids.
There are fears and lack of skill, and painful memories hiding underneath those extreme outbursts.
I don't care
I hate you
I don't have to listen to you
- or the hitting, screaming and thrashing - they are all expressions of pain directed outward. They are cries for help.
If you can stay curious and compassionate long enough, I promise those fears will find their way out - through the tears.
What about you? Do you have a story of how you have supported your child or another parent through a public meltdown?
Share your thoughts in the comments below! You never know - your idea might be just the one someone else needed to hear!
Have a great week!
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