I am a firm believer in the power of knowing your kids and proactively anticipating their needs as a parent versus living on the edge of kid's potential chaos and overly reacting in the midst. Now, I know that this is an ideal that is often too lofty or even unrealistic in every life situation like during the Holidays, but I am confident that a simple shift towards being proactive from being reactive will help you and your kids reduce the number of meltdowns.
I read this quick article today from the Focus on the Family Bulletin, Dec. 2011 edition. I found this to be a helpful reminder and hope you will as well.
Children have meltdowns at the most inconvenient times—like during a special holiday meal that happens to be scheduled at your child’s regular nap time. The question is, What’s a parent to do? Here are a few tips for managing meltdowns:
Keep calm. Irritation will only make your child more anxious. Take a deep breath and count to 10.While every child is unique, there are some common developmental stages that affect the way children react to the world, and being aware of some of these common stages can help to make holiday planning simpler. Read this article for more details on how you can Maintain Cheer Throughout the Holidays.
Meet immediate needs. Determine what will bring your child comfort, such as food, drink, quiet, rest, a book or a toy.
Have an escape plan. Sometimes it’s best to remove an exhausted, over-stimulated child from the situation.
Call in reinforcements. A second pair of hands is helpful. This person can help you gather your gear, fix a plate of food, or just offer a smile and emotional support. —Jean Blackmer ~ Focus on the Family BULLETIN, Dec. 2011.