10 MOMS TELL US HOW THEY STAY CALM WHEN THEIR KIDS ARE MELTING DOWN

Picture this for a minute. Yelling, shrieking, tears, limbs flailing about, more tears which inevitably results in a pile of kid on the floor. Tantrums, meltdowns, big emotions are tough.

 
 

We all have a goal to get to the other side while staying calm, cool and collected - Julie Andrews style. Sometimes we succeed and wind up giving ourselves infinite parenting bonus points, and other times we fall completely flat on our faces. 

So we asked our Mighty Mamas to share their thoughts and here is what they said.

HOW DO YOU STAY CENTERED AND CALM WHEN YOUR KIDS ARE HAVING MELTDOWNS, TANTRUMS OR BIG EMOTIONS?

"We practice breathing techniques and we use a lot of redirection. I think it helps that I talk to my son in simple, logical terms, often as you would with another adult. It's important to me that he understand the cause and affect of his actions while still acknowledging his very real emotions. And when all else fails, sometimes, I lock myself in the bathroom. "

- Vivianna, Mom to one, Boss Mom

"If I'm being completely honest...I don't always stay centered and calm. I'm not perfect. But on my good days, I take a LOT of deep breaths...and talk it out. Just as I remind them to use their words, I do too. I remind myself that my words and tone affect their behaviour, and give lots of hugs or space to reflect when needed."

- Stephanie, Mom to two, Blogger and Social Worker

"Sometimes I don't but I try really hard to take a deep breath and sometimes I just need to count to myself til I feel calm and relaxed. If we are in our home I will ignore her so that she doesn't get attention during her tantrums. Once she realizes she isn't getting attention sometimes she will run to me for cuddles & I will give her a big hug and tell her I love her no matter what but she can't do or have whatever she is throwing a tantrum about. I do feel like this has helped because they don't last as long as they use to."

- Michelle, Mom to one, Dental Hygienist

"My daughters are both hot headed. They will frequently meltdown at the drop of a hat but only stay that way for a short time. At the first sign of big emotions, I take a deep breath and put both arms as high above my head as I can! It helps remind me to stay in control, and it looks so silly the girls tend to calm down much more quickly."

- Kristen, Mom to three, Stay at Home Mom and Blogger

"Before I was pregnant, I was so worried and stressed over little things. Seriously, the tiniest thing would set me off. But once I became pregnant I just didn't care about little stuff anymore. My patience grew, and I just feel so much more peaceful. I am happy to say that even when my daughter was born, that continued. My baby is only 10 months old, so I am sure she will test my patience and we will see how long is holds, but I feel like if I focus my irritation at the situation and not on my daughter then I can overcome situations and work with her to work through her emotions not let her emotions take her over. I think it is important to let her learn that feelings are just that feelings. It's okay to have them and talk about them, but not to let emotions "make" us do things."

- Annie, Mom to one, Government Worker Bee

"This is especially tough for me at the moment since I’ve only recently entered the realm of meltdowns and tantrums with my toddler. I acknowledge that my son is having whatever emotion and take a deep breath. I try my best to work through the emotion with him. For me, I want him to understand that it’s okay to be mad, angry, or frustrated but that there are different ways to communicate each emotion without screaming like there’s no tomorrow in the cereal aisle. Being able to talk it through manages to keep me calm during the whole process."

- Dee, Mom to two, Mother/Student/Legal Industry

"I have found in my house if I also get angry or show strong emotions, it is not going to help the situation in any shape or form, so I try to remain as calm and level headed as possible. I try to show empathy and try to get my son to talk about what is bothering him and why he feels he needs to show these big emotions. If at that point, he doesn't want to listen or cooperate, I take a step back and ignore the situation (when appropriate). I find that sometimes the lack of an audience lessens the emotions."

- Cathy, Mom to one, Finance/Administration

"This one took me a while to 'perfect', but I'm getting better at dealing with the tantrums lately. Maybe its just because my oldest is almost 6, so the meltdowns are fewer and farther between. The 3 year old on the other hand, has her fair share of meltdowns. I give her 2 chances to stop crying and calm down, and if that doesn't work I put her in her room so she can cry it out and calm down. I go a little crazy if I have to listen to the siren crying non-stop, and sometimes I think kids need to just cry and get their emotions out. I mean, after all, we all have our days, right? *If this doesn't work I may or may not hide in the bathroom with some wine. Like I said, its option #2)"

- Cassie, Mom to two, Orthodontic Lab Technician/Blogger

"Right now, the closest thing to a tantrum I have with my 10 month old are battles around eating solids and demands for my attention, etc. But I still believe in the philosophy of "begin as you mean to go." Even now when he gets upset, I acknowledge his emotion, and speak to him in a commanding, firm, yet calm tone when he is touching or doing things we don't want to become a habit around the house.

But I hope to carry this practice as he gets older. I think it's important that he learns to come under the authority of his parents, but he should still feel like he can express himself and know that mommy is on his side. That way, when the big emotions come, he feels safe with us as he is learning how to grow in them and deal with them."

- Gloryanna, Mom to one, Teacher turned Stay at Home Mother

"I can't say that I always stay calm. I admire the moms that are pretty low key. My kids have their tantrums and we ask them to leave the room until they can pull it together. Otherwise we all start yelling and nothing gets accomplished. We encourage them to go for a walk or take a shower to calm down. That gives us an opportunity to calm down as well."

- Kathy, Mom to four, Veterinary Nurse

 
 

HOW DO YOU STAY CENTERED AND CALM WHEN YOUR KIDS ARE HAVING MELTDOWNS, TANTRUMS OR BIG EMOTIONS?

P.S. If you enjoyed this, you may also enjoy LETTING GO.


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