Before I was a mom, I was one of those people, you know, the one’s that gawk, judge you with their piercing eyes and thought, geez lady, get a grip on your kids.
Then I had a child of my own and became the incredible shrinking woman, sinking to the floor in embarrassment with the onslaught of stares while my child cried in the middle of whatever place we were at. Then I had two toddlers, who decided to not only enter the “terrible two” stage together, but use it against me and team up on me during their meltdowns.
It’s a horrible feeling being at the receiving end of those experiences. I’ll never again look at a mother with anything but sympathy in my eyes as she does the best she can to control the situation at hand.
We had one of those terrible two meltdowns in the middle of the grocery store a few days ago. Halfway through my shopping list, Emma decides she must have the cookies inside her brother’s Lunchables container. Kaydee had reached her melting point and wanted out of the cart. Then it begins …
I want cookie. I want cookie. COOKIE. COOKIE! I want out, let me out … as she tries to take a flying leap out of the cart. Then it begins. The tears, the crying, the screaming, the foot stomping. And it continues.
So what do you do?
From what I’ve seen, some parents:
– march their kids right out of the store.We just couldn’t do that, we were only halfway done shopping.
– drag them to the restroom for a spanking.Yes, I’ve seen poor little kids being spanked … not the place or time people!
– continue shopping while the wailing continues. The worst possible solution in my opinion.
So what did we do? We pulled the cart into an empty aisle and each took a child. Jon talked to Kaydee, I talked to Emma … we talked to them like people. There just wasn’t a need to rush to harsh punishments or dropping the cart to run home. Within minutes they started to calm down (with passing shoppers giving us the stink eye) and once they got all of their crying out and understood that we had to finish our shopping, it was over. It was mentally exhausting, frustrating and horribly embarrassing, but we found the solution that worked for us without causing the shoppers too much discomfort.
While this probably won’t work for every family, I’m curious how you handled or still handle toddler meltdowns?