Category Archives: Motherhood

When Everybody’s Watching: Handling a Toddler Meltdown in Public

As moms, we are all just doing our best to raise happy, competent children. Some days are filled with immense joy and others are inundated with speed bumps. Sometimes those speed bumps come in the form of toddler meltdowns. It’s something that plagues every parent. This phase is anything but easy. That’s why I am pleased to have Jenny from MomLovesBest, on the blog today. She is sharing her tips for how to handle those toddler meltdowns in public, while keeping your cool.

When Everybody’s Watching: Handling a Toddler Meltdown in Public

It’s happened to the best of us: our toddler loses it right in the middle of the grocery store. Or public park. Or any other place where the eyes of strangers are on you. But when it happens, you can’t lose it yourself.

I know it’s easier said than done, but you must keep your cool – even when everyone’s watching. Though it may feel like you’re being judged by the slew of onlookers, it’s important to focus on the task at hand. And you may be surprised to learn that task is NOT to get the tantrum to stop at all costs.

It’s to parent well in the midst of the meltdown.

So take a deep breath and get ready to tackle your mission. How you handle this situation will have much more far-reaching repercussions than whatever insignificant opinions strangers may have of you.

Here’s how to parent well in the midst of a public toddler meltdown.

1. Be empathetic.

Let’s be honest – it’s hard being a toddler. With little control, wild emotions, and few words with which to express them, situations can become overwhelming quickly. The truth is that toddlers don’t yet have the capacity to truly manipulate you and while tantrums may be a genuine expression of displeasure, it doesn’t mean they’re doing it on purpose just to give you a hard time. Most likely it means they’ve got some powerful feelings and they don’t know how to manage them.

Evaluate the situation and see if you can identify the reason for the tantrum. Are they overdue for a nap? Hungry? Antsy after a morning of running errands and need some exercise? Need a diaper change? Just plain mad that they aren’t getting their way? After you have identified a reason, it’s easier to respond appropriately.

2. Speak calmly.

Get down on your child’s level so you appear as non-threatening as possible. Speak calmly; a child overwhelmed with their own emotions will also be overwhelmed by yours. Look them in the eye and validate the reason for their tantrum.

“I know you’re very angry that you can’t have a snack right now. We need to finish shopping, and then we will get you a snack in the car. The faster you can calm down, the faster we can finish. Can I rub your back to help you feel better?”

Sometimes, just feeling like they’re heard is enough to stop a child’s tantrum.

3. Be consistent.

If the tantrum continues, handle it in public the same way you would at home. This teaches your child as they grow that causing a scene does NOT let them get their way. Because even though they’re not manipulating you now, you’re laying the groundwork for the future. Moreover, being consistent (regardless of the locale) provides a level of security and predictability for your child. They need to know that you are the same parent in every situation, whether at home or out and about.

4. Don’t make promises (or threats) you won’t keep.

I know. You just want it to STOP, especially in public. But that can cause you to make wild promises (or terrible threats) to coax your child into submission. Taking grand steps to get the tantrum to end may solve the immediate problem, but it can begin to develop a host of new, larger issues in the future.

It can teach your child that your words are meaningless, or that your follow-through is poor. Children may begin to believe that humiliating their parents in public will help them get their way. As children grow, the stakes become higher. The foundation is laid early on.

5. Don’t give in.

Sometimes it takes awhile for the situation to resolve. Once you’ve begun the battle of wills, you can’t back off. You’ll need to put on your patience and see it through to the end. Stay calm, stay firm, and – above all – stay empathetic. If your child continues to cause a scene and you’re concerned about the comfort of others around you, simply pick them up and remove them from the area. Continue the conversation outside or away from eavesdropping ears – but make sure you do see it through to the end. Don’t give in.

6. Make reasonable adjustments.

Let’s be honest – sometimes the tantrum is our fault. We neglected to meet a need our child had, pushed them too hard, or crossed our fingers as we blew right through the warning signs that a meltdown was imminent. If that’s the case, make the adjustments your child needs – even if that means creating an inconvenience for you. Take a time out to nurse your child or get them a snack. Sit on the floor and snuggle them for a few minutes. Leave your cart and head home for a nap.

Remember, while public tantrums are one of the hardest things to deal with as a parent, you are still the adult in the situation. Don’t worry about what others think of you; instead, worry about what’s best for your child. And what’s best for your child is to know that you are there to be loving, consistent, and help them learn to regulate their emotions effectively. Using these techniques will help to effectively diffuse the situation and allow you to parent your child well through an event that is just as stressful for your child as it is for you.

Jenny is just another Mom trying to do her Best. She loves organizing things into lists and helping others find what they are looking for. When she’s not using her powers to find her kids missing socks, you can find her giving parenting advice & tips at MomLovesBest.com or on Pinterest.

Update : {7 & 8 Months}

Oh sweet baby #2, here we are again. Doubling up on your monthly updates. Remember my darling, I love you more than you could possibly know. And I love making memories with you. Sometimes I get so caught up in the present moment, that I forget to jot everything down. But truthfully, it doesn’t bother me. I would much rather spend my time bonding with you and your sister, than doing anything else! So here it is baby girl, your highlight reel of months 7 & 8!

<3 Mama

Photo Cards – Milestone Baby Cards

Monthly Stickers – AppleEyeBabyShop

{Update 7 Months}

  • February 9th you had your first solid food – avocados. You didn’t seem thrilled, but food itself was a new concept to you. It took an additional two weeks to get the “eating concept” down.
  • February 10th the 3 of us went for a walk in the late afternoon. You and big sister enjoyed the stroller ride!
  • February 11 was your first library movie night! Once we arrived you had a bottle, then slept through a majority of trolls.
  • February 14th was not only your first Valentine’s Day, but also your six month check up. (Although you turned 7 months, these reviews are technically from the month prior.)
  • February 15th you slept hardcore on the living room floor. Falling asleep for nap in the afternoon and again in the evening close to bed time. Later in the evening, I held you for a while as you slept! Your rolls are adorable! <3
  • February 17th was one of your first six week baby story time sessions. At the end of the six weeks your were gifted two books “Yummy, Yucky” and
  • February 20th was your first time using the Boon Pulp to eat Bananas! Your expression said it all! <3
  • February 26th you started to army crawl! It’s your current mode of transportation and boy are you fast!
  • February 26th you tried carrots for the first time. You seem to really like them. Although you did finally warm up to avocados as well. Partly because you have the whole eating thing down now.

{Update 8 Months}

  • March 10th you and I hung out all night! After you threw up your bottle all over your sleep sack and me, you were bright eyed and bushed tailed until 3:30am. I loved the way your big eyes started happily up at me, as we caught up on the Ellen Show. It was a party of epic proportions!
  • March 12th was your first time having oranges. Holy Cow! You went to town on the Boon Pulp!
  • March 16th you hung out in your crib while I cleaned. Big sister kept you entertained, as she often does. 🙂
  • March 17th Boon Pulp and green grapes. You were in love! <3
  • March 18th you didn’t want to nap. So you got some one on one time with Mom and Dad!
  • March 20th was the start of napping in your crib on a daily basis and at the same time as your big sister.
  • March 24th was a blow out of epic proportions, which resulted in an immediate bath.
  • April 6th was your first “BABABABA” babble. I am desperately trying to turn that B to an M, while dad is pushing hard for D. Who will win the battle of the first word?

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You

In Twenty Minutes Everything Will Be Ok

A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend about our morning routine. Well… I wouldn’t call it a morning routine, so much as a chaotic mess. Anyway, I was discussing with her one specific morning where both my children were visibly unhappy with everything. I couldn’t do anything right and I am surprised we even made it out the door at all.

Shortly after I finished my overly dramatic story, another mother chimed in with her own chaotic tale. Because of course, what is motherhood without at least a few of those. Her story began where all great motherhood stories do, with poop! The short version of events goes something like this.

“Child A poops in the tub. Child B sees said poop and proceeds to throw up on the floor. All while Child C is crying somewhere in the background.”

In that moment, she calls a fellow mommy friend who gave her some of the best advice.

Step back,

                     take a breath,

                     in twenty minutes everything will be OK.

And it was.

In twenty minutes, she had cleaned up both the poop and the puke. The baby was no longer crying. Everything was OK. In a child’s mind the gears shift rapidly. What rocks their world one minute is no longer important the next.

Yet, as adults, sometimes those moments tend to linger throughout our day. Well, for me anyway. Sometimes shaking off the craziness of the morning rush isn’t so easy. I ponder about the recent events, wondering how I could have done it differently. Maybe if I hadn’t raised my voice? Gotten my toddler up sooner? Allowed her to have that peanut butter sandwich she requested for breakfast? Just left the baby in her sleeper without feeling the need to dress her?

The list go on and on…

Most of the time, I am probably too hard on myself. I mean, aren’t we all at one time or another? Motherhood is that crazy, beautiful mix of fun and messy. But sometimes its those messy parts that trip us up a bit. When our children have moved on to the lighthearted fun, we are still stuck in the mess, wondering “how to do it better.” 

Parenting is hard, y’all! But that’s just it. Sometimes we get so caught up in the messy, that we miss all the beautiful fun. I don’ know about you, but I hate to miss those moments! So the next next we have a messy moment, I am going to-

Step Back, Take a Breath, because in Twenty Minutes Everything Will Be OK!

Tell me about your recent messy parenting moment? Were you able to move on quickly or did you spend time pondering the recent events of the day?

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You

One, Two, Three : Don’t Blink

One, Two, Three…

There it is and just like that it’s gone. I feel like that is just how much time has past, but not in years. In seconds… Time is the tabistry of life. A fabric I am deperserately trying to cling to with every fiber of my being.

One, Two, Three…

That is how many seconds it took for you to go from baby to toddler. And within a matter of a few short months you will be leaving three behind forever. The visual in my mind is difficult to shake… I picture you waving good-bye to three and as you head down a dust road to greet number four. Leaving three to fade into the background, becoming a distant memory.

One, Two, Three…

While I feel as though there is something magical about each stage of life, I feel like 3 has been my favorite thus far. Or maybe 3 1/2. Either way, I love this number! A number that represents so much growth and development.

I love all the cute things you say!

  • “I will go wiff (with) you!”
  • “Yes, Imam.” (I am)
  • “I NOT!” (You sound as though you have adopted a sophisticated European accent when you say this. It’s too cute!)
  • “I’m free” (I’m three)
  • “I wuv you!” (I love you!)
  • “Not for now.” (When you don’t want to do something.)
  • “You tell me! You tell me now!” (When you ask a question I do not know the answer to. Ex. What is her name? As we pass a random little girl in the grocery store.)
  • “I have to stir my witches potion, mommy!” (As you stand on the step stool at the counter, donned with your superhero mask and cape, while stirring the eggs.)
  • “Minnie and Mickey live in Forda and Calfona!” (Florida and California are two of the first four states you learned.)
  • “I do it myself!”
  • “Oooo, that’s spooky!”
  • “Cuddle you Mommy.”
  • “What it taste of?” (What does it taste like?)
  • “Mmmmmm, that’s tasty.”
  • “That’s yummy for my tummy.”
  • *Dramatic Sigh* “I’m tired. I need to rest.”

I love the sweet songs you sing!

  • “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” You started singing to your baby sister when she was in my tummy.
  • “Go, Cubs, Go.” Daddy taught you this song over the summer. One day at preschool you began singing it to your teachers.

A few books you love! When you love a book you stick with it for weeks and even months on end.

  • For months following your third birthday, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves was a must read.
  • The Day The Crayons Quit
  • What Makes a Rainbow
  • Scaredy-Cat Splat – Halloween books are your all time favorite!
  • The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid Of Anything
  • Dr. Seuss ABC Book – Just within the last few weeks, you have memorized a majority of the content in the book. It’s amazing to listen to you!

Goodbye Three…

Honestly, I could spend days adding to this post. Writing down every tidbit that makes you, my adorable girl, one amazing three year old! We have had a great year, haven’t we!? You have become quite the inquisitive, creative girl. Adventure fills your soul. It’s this sense of wonder and excitement that feed your need for exploration! How you love to be on the go, just like your mama!

So while I am over here, making the all preparations for your fourth birthday bash, just know how much I have loved three! All the beautiful, messy moments of it. Of course I will always enjoy planning your birthday‘s! They are beyond special. But all the little moments of your life that make up an entire year are truly the best parts. So three, forgive me. I just want to hold on to you a little longer.

Unfortunately, time is inevitable and it never seems to slows down. So I will do my best to savor these last few months of three. Savor it, as you continue down the road to four. Another wonderful year coming to a close, but a new adventure just waiting to begin.

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You

 

 

Update : {Five Months}

My sweet baby girl, how can it be five months already? I know I say it time and again, but these updates are coming all too quickly. Time moves like quicksand. I barely have time to grasp one moment before it’s gone, slowly fading from my rearview mirror…

Sweet little one, we love so much! Do you know that? Do you know how much your big sister loves to play with you?

Baby Girl – {Five Month Update}

  • Saturday, December 17th was your first family Christmas. You wore the same adorable outfit as big sister did for her first Christmas! You were perfectly happy! This was your first visit with your Great-grandparents and they loved you! Great-grandma even holding you for a quick photo.
  • Christmas Eve was your first time at Church and you very well! I feed you and you slept through most of it.
  • Big sister helped you open your Christmas Eve gift – purple footy pajamas with a monkey on them.
  • Christmas Day was a lovely First Christmas for you! I placed you in your activity seat and big sister helped you open your gifts. Your favorite gift is a teething book, “Guess How Much I Love You” that Santa placed in your stocking!
  • Sing – your first movie on Christmas Day. We feed you before we left. I held you in the theater and you fell asleep about 20 minutes into it. Then you woke up for a short time. You fussed for a moment or two, so I feed you and you went right back to sleep. Your first movie was a success!
  • In the last two months you have been moving all over your play mat and often times moving off of it.
  • Wednesday, December 28th you cut your first two teeth, the bottom two front ones!
  • Saturday, December 31st at 1:00pm you rolled over for the first time from tummy to back! I was able to snap a photo after your second time rolling over, but you haven’t allowed me to capture it on video.
  • January 3rd at 9:30am was your first cloth diaper experience.
  • When I tickle your neck, you give a deep belly laugh! It’s too cute!

Monthly Stickers: {AppleEyeBabyShop}

Personalized Swaddle Blanket: {Audrey’s Bear}

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You