I knew it was going to happen.
He was exhausted.
I asked him if he wanted a snack, but didn’t realize that we were out of the snacks he wanted.
He reacted with anger and said hurtful words.
I responded calmly with a consequence.
He continued to cry and meltdown for roughly 10 minutes.
I didn’t raise my voice.
I didn’t try to reason with him while he was in the heat of the moment.
I simply said “When you are ready, we can talk about what happened and your feelings.”
He was still having trouble, so I offered him a bubble bath.
He took a few deep breaths and obliged.
During his bath we talked and came to an agreement about the consequences.
He apologized and was genuine.
This is living with a child who has Anxiety and other mental health diagnoses.
It takes whatever plans you thought were going to happen and throws a fork in the middle of them.
None of this makes me love my son any less. It makes me want to help him that much more.
I could have reacted by yelling, but it wouldn’t solve the problem.
I could have reacted by ignoring, but it wouldn’t solve the problem.
So, I reacted by staying calm and listening and identifying my son’s needs.
Do I occasionally yell? Yep, I’m human and eventually reach the end of my patience level. However, 95% of the time I try to remain calm in these situations.
They will subside. It’s all about teaching our children to self-regulate. It’s not a one stop shop. Teaching children to regulate their emotions is continuous. Many adults have trouble self-regulating.
Also, self-regulating doesn’t mean to stop crying. It’s to learn to feel all the emotions and find a healthy and productive way to show them.
As much as I am prepared to deal with the meltdowns, it’s still exhausting. It still takes a huge mental toll.
These moments suck the life out of me.
It’s not fun.
I don’t feel “blessed” while I’m being told “ I hate you! You’re the worst mother ever!” and my personal favorite “You’re the meanest mom!”
I feel drained, but I stay the course and remain consistent.
I’m OK with being told those things, because it means that I’m staying the course. It means that my son is learning that his choices (good and bad) will result in consequences (good and bad). This is a vital lesson in helping children with Anxiety. It’s a vital lesson for all children. It is objective and easy to understand. You want this outcome, you do this, and vise versa.
I knew it was going to happen, but it still jolted me. Practice, preparation, and patience get us through it every time.