Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Monkeys and Meltdowns

I was so happy to see that shiny little face last night, after four days of quiet time and silence during meals. She was an absolute doll all the way home from the airport, and just so sweet after we got home.

*Insert suspenseful music*

...until bedtime.


Wow, I didn't know 28 pounds of girl could release such intensity. We have had such a long, pleasant break since the end of the last meltdown phase, that I had optimistically assumed maybe we were past it.

Well, we're talkin' knock over the fan, kick the door, throw your shoes, scream like Linda Blair meltdown.

I am trying to see the humor now, but I had trouble sleeping last night thinking about what I am doing wrong as a parent, why we are failing, why I've read every parenting book out there and nothing works, etc. So, in an effort for self-preservation, I want to hear from you all - what is the worst meltdown you've seen from your children, and how do you handle them?

In the meantime, I guess I can find solace with the monkey moms, who apparently are also at a loss as to how to handle meltdowns.


  1. Personally, I've decided to handle parenting like I do the rest of my life---I'm gonna wing it. Hey, I read 0 pregnancy books and the outcome was the same as those that read 5 million books--I had a baby. Basically, I can't help you (especially since my one progeny is only 9.5 months). But, I can regurgitate the phrase I hear most often about everything, "It's just a phase". So there, it's just a phase. Also, maybe you should ask Marilyn how she combatted the knock down, drag out fights to, from, and at the Ramada Inn pool. I think fighting is analogous to tantrums.......both require a referee.

  2. First of all, I'm sorry that this is coming up again for you and that this was the welcoming you received upon reuniting. It's disappointing, isn't it, to be apart, to look forward to being together again, and then to receive this? I've been there so many times.

    Re: the worst meltdown....I love my daughter too much to put into writing the worst she's shown me. I've rarely even spoken of it aloud to anyone. My response? Depends on the situation and what's going on.

    The "good" way is I've calmly put her in time-out or had her go to her room to calm down (the room-thing is new - I just tell her that if she wants to cry/have a fit/etc., she can do it in her room and come out when she's all done, which she does). We then talk through what upset her, why her reaction was wrong (usually it's because she didn't obey or honor mom/dad in some manner), and another way to handle it the next time. We have her ask for forgiveness for what she did, then we grant said forgiveness aloud to her, followed with hugging and kissing. The "bad" way I've handled it includes me having my own meltdown - usually either crying and removing myself from her presence to pray (something along the lines of "God help me!" while my face is buried in a pillow) or me yelling (a horrible, horrible option, let me say, and one that then requires me to go to my daughter once all is said and done, explaining that I was wrong to yell and asking for her forgiveness).