Hi, my name is Shannon Strogal, I am a wife and a mother to four children ages 22, 13, 11 and 8. I work full-time as a strength and conditioning fitness coach in Regina. My passion in supporting women’s health, both mentally and physically, started from my own personal experiences. I hope my blogs inspire and resonate with fellow mothers. I truly believe that behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back.
Aw, the good ole temper tantrum. That moment all parents go through whether it’s in public or in the privacy of your home when your child is losing their (bleep) over something more then likely menial to us but devastating huge to them.
Tantrums or meltdowns can happen when children want something and can’t have it, are avoiding something, are hungry, tired, or generally not feeling well.
At some point we all have witnessed someone else’s child or your own child expressing their anger and frustration by screaming, crying, falling to the floor, flailing their limbs, hitting, kicking, throwing items and, in some children, holding their breath. Although my children are well beyond this stage I still feel compassion for any parent that I see during the moment of a full fledged meltdown because I have been there, done that.
I feel like there is no definitive do’s and don’ts in this situation because we all parent differently, and frankly so we should. Our children are individuals and react to different behaviours so we all need to figure out what is going to work best in each situation. However, I can share what I used and hopefully you can take bits and pieces of it to come up with a strategy that works best for you.
I started off with mitigating any potential meltdowns before they happened. That meant I never, ever, took my children out if they were not feeling well unless it was to see the doctor. Nothing was that important and if it was, I got someone to watch them so I could step out quickly. On that same note I never kept my kids out late in public. So many times I’ve seen children in a grocery store at 11:00 at night. I am by no means judging because I do not know the situation but most times I witness these children crying, whining and not very happy.
I also never left the house without packing snacks and juice. A full tummy is a happy tummy every single time. Kids are growing and eating constantly so It’s no wonder they literally get hangry when they’ve gone more than an hour without food.
However sometimes even the best plan falls apart and the meltdown of the century happens without us seeing it coming. In these moments I found it best to remove ourselves from the situation as calmly and quickly as we could. Whether that meant going in to another room or leaving a store in the middle of shopping and going out to the car or where ever we could be alone. Trying to talk to children when they are publicly having a tantrum never seemed to go very well, but getting them in to a quiet space where they could calm down seemed to work better. Also, remaining firm on my decision was the rule, whether I wanted to cave or not. I found if children see you changing your mind they learn quickly that the tantrum worked, and this will only cause you problems in the end. Stick to your initial decision!
And when in doubt, hug it out. Human touch has a powerful way of making us all feel better.
As any parent we are just winging it most days. These are just some of the techniques I used to use, sometimes separately, sometimes in a combo approach but it worked for us.
Salute to all of us parents just trying to make it from one day to the next.