Monday, June 18, 2012

He melted

We were having a late brunch yesterday, all was well until I had to take out my Iphone and entice the son to watch Thomas and Friends.


I've no idea why I did that too as I'm a firm believer of not watching TV at all during meal times. I guess the son was too charming that day and somehow made me do it, heh.

So anyway it was bad timing too as the food also arrived at the same time my phone was loading the video. Of course I had to put away my phone so we can all eat right?

This is when he had a meltdown.

He cried and cried and couldn't stop when we told him to. And when he did managed to stop for that split second, he didn't want to eat his food. He insisted no spinach in his pasta, wanted to use a fork, changed his mind about using the fork, gave him a spoon, he didn't want it, couldn't scoop the pasta properly, cried somemore, and in the end both the husband and I were so irritated that we couldn't enjoy our meal.

The husband had to leave halfway to bring the son out for a good scolding. He took him back to the car where he smacked him and scolded him severely and when I went back to the car, I found the son has cried himself to sleep.

And this is when the follow up happens.

The husband told me he told the son he will cane him when we reached home. So naturally, just before we reached, he asked me if he should really do so. I thought for a moment and said yes. But he'll have to explain to him first why he is being caned and just caned him once, that's it.

I felt that in doing so, it will reinforced to the son that our warnings carries weight as he is now at this age where he can remember things well. I wouldn't want to be that kind of parent that all other parents think they wouldn't want to be who just ended up shouting all these empty threats while their kids climbed all over their heads while thinking, 'Oh man, I've become this parent who let my kid climbed all over me when I say I wouldn't be.'

Just some of the irony of parenting.

So mothers all there, any other tips on managing your kid when they have a meltdown at public places?

meltdown in progress


June said...

Hey dear, this is one of the tougher bits of parenting I guess. And we all have these sort of everything-that-can-go-wrong-goes-wrong days. For us, we tend to wrap up everything we're doing and head home the minute we sense the crankiness coming. Even if it means abandoning our plans for the day.

Or sometimes if the situation is not too bad, I will leave the 'scene', bring her to a quiet corner and reason with her. I'll try to understand what it is she wants and if it's something reasonable, then I'll acknowledge her desire, and cheer her up by offering something else that I'm able to. If it's unreasonable, i will let her know too, and give her the choice of either stopping the behaviour (so that we can enjoy whatever we had planned), or we all head home. She has to make that choice.

Heh, easier for me to say, because I know such situations tend to get us's not easy but I guess our kids are learning how to cope with their big desires/emotions too. Knowing that tends to help me calm myself down and turn my attention to helping them instead.

Sorry for the long comment, but I hope this helps somehow. Take heart, this too, shall pass...

life-muse said...

Hey June,
thank you for your experience. I love reading long comments, haha! Really appreciate the time and thought that was taken to write it all out :)

Agree with you that our kids are also learning to cope with their desires/emotions too and guess that's when its also difficult for them to express themselves well, hence the meltdown.

Not necessarily a bad thing, just how we choose to handle it wisely.

Susan said...

I am facing the same situation myself and have yet to figure the same way to deal with it. But what's most importantly is to keep calm ourselves as the kids catch on to our flustered emotions and even frustrations. Something that my hubby is still reminding me everytime Sophie has a melt down outside.

life-muse said...

Keeping calm is so difficult!! And I admit sometimes I even roll my eyes at the son when he does a meltdown, haha. Sometimes I wish I can meltdown together with him too, lol..

Ruth said...

So did he get canned in the end? For me and my hubby, we believe in disciplining or meting out the punishment on the spot, rather than waiting too long. Your hubby did that with him in the car, and I thought that was enough for that very moment. Because unless the child really does remember what happened a few hours ago, it might be pointless canning him and he may wonder why he was being punished.

I remember when I attended my marriage preparation class, my counselors shared with us how they disciplined their children. The wife would carry a wooden spoon with her whenever they are out and if the children misbehave badly, the mom would bring the child to the toilet and behind doors, hit the palms as a form of disciplining. Of course, she would explain why she was doing it - what the child did wrong and what was the right thing to do. So you might want to try that? I thought it would be better than waiting till you get home and use the cane.

life-muse said...

Ruth: Yes he did got caned when we got home. As he has shown that he can remember things and events quite well, thus I decided to went ahead with the caning. But I did told the husband to explain to him why was he being punished for and just one stroke on the thigh only.

The son is usually considered quite well behaved in public places, thus when he was really unmanageable, it has to be a really 'memorable' punishment for him.

Hmm regarding the wooden spoon, I think I'll give that a pass, though its really a unique way of discipline :)

Madeline Heng said...

I would have done the same thing. Nowadays a threatening look from me usually will shut her up because she knows I will do exactly what I say. Dont worry, once he knows you mean business (and you follow through so he knows!), next time he wont dare to do so any more. And if he does, just threaten him with the car or the cane at home and I'm sure he will stop. Persevere! You are not alone! =)

Serenely said...

I found giving a good tight hug sometimes helps. Just holding them close until their little muscles slowly relax and they start breathing calmly again.

I also keep a small bottle of bubbles in my bag as an effective distraction method if needed.

But I agree that if the situation is really due to wilfully wrong behaviour that needs correction, we need to do our job as parents to discipline and teach them what is right and wrong.