Oh my gosh.  Rowan had a HUMONGOUS meltdown last night.  Another test of my parenting skills, right?  Right.  This one came after she asked for a sorbet after dinner.  It was late (close to 7 o'clock), she still had her "family work" to do, needed to make her lunch for the next day, and she had decided to move practicing piano to after dinner.  So I said, "tonight is not a treat night, there's just not enough time before bedtime.  "  This was met with an incredulous, "What???" from my daughter followed by her fleeing the room to sob in the living room.  Actually, it was more of a cross between sobbing and moaning, hard to listen to for sure.

What my sweet daughter has taught me is that her meltdowns are really meant to draw me in, get me hooked.  I have to make a conscious effort to stay away or I am just as upset as she is (and that is when the really proud parenting moments occur).  She really tried to work it last night - not only was she super angry about not getting a treat, she then declared, "Well, I'm not doing my family work then!!!"  Wow, what to do with that...  It is really rare that we let the kids get away with not doing their family work.  We are quick to remind them that we all have to work together as a family and do our part, then encourage them to participate.  It is such an ingrained part of our routine that it usually is met with little resistance.  Last night, however, I saw how hard Rowan was working at this meltdown and I decided to do her family work.

I know what you are thinking - what?  I caved and did her family work for her?  What was I thinking?  Isn't this giving in to the behavior???  Actually, I didn't really see it like that last night.  My gut really told me this was the right thing to do.  Rowan was over the top.  Totally irrational.  When I get like this, after I calm down, I make sure to make amends to the people that are affected by my meltdown.  I was hoping that seeing me do her family work would give her food for thought, once she was calm, and I wanted to give her a chance to make amends about that.

Meanwhile, poor Ben fell right into her drama.  He went into the living room to comfort her (as he left I said, "sucka" just loud enough for him to hear, real encouraging, right?) - she is our child and it is painful to see her upset.  I listened to him try and reason with her, even offer up a cookie as a consolation prize.  The meltdown escalated until he was mad and walked away.  I continued to finish up in the kitchen and she eventually started calming down.  When she was quiet, I called out, "Do you want to hug it out?"  She came in and melted into my arms.  You know what she did then?  She said, "I'm sorry, mama, that you had to do my family work for me, and that I had that huge meltdown."  You know what I said?  "Yeah, me too."

Then, she made her lunch, practiced piano and got ready for bed.

Phew!

I am certain that the process of writing this blog and teaching the Positive Discipline class really help me to use my parenting skills.  Its not always easy in the moment, but it is worth it in the end.  Thanks for the support!

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