Tuesday, December 12, 2006



You're in a crowded shopping centre and your three year old child reaches meltdown point. They are thrashing around on the ground, people are staring. You're tired. They're tired. What do you do?

a) get down on their level and attempt to gain their eye contact and discuss the situation rationally with them all the time being positive and empowering.
b) cajole them with soothing talk and reassurance maintaining a smile and humour.
c) ignore them to downplay the effect.
d) offer bribery.
e) all of the above.

Answers please.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmmm... please let me know when you have the answer to this one, miss 2.5 is melting down A LOT at the moment (and here i was hoping they grew out of it by 3)

5:16 pm  
Anonymous Ash said...

I am a bad mommy. I do all of the above, but mostly ignore and then eventually pick up and cart out over one shoulder. I'm SO glad that happens more rarely now that the youngest is 4. By rarely I mean like once a week or so.

7:37 pm  
Blogger sooz said...

f) laugh out loud and say oh my lordy, what would your mother say if she was here?

I do whatever I can muster the courage and energy to do, mostly try and get out of there as quickly as possible.

8:08 pm  
Blogger Alison said...

I'm interested, and surprised so far by the answers :)

There is a Part 2 coming. So there is meaning to the question!!

10:14 pm  
Anonymous Ali said...

Scoop up child and run from the public arena - sheesh, meltdowns are hard enough without an audience ready to award you marks out of 10 for your response.

10:33 pm  
Blogger craftydabbler said...

This may sound odd, but often what works with my daughter is if I give her a hug, but she doesn't usually get on the floor and thrash about. If I am not too tired, then I would get down to her level and discuss/explain things. If I was really tired/grumpy, I would probably not respond while I worked myself up to dealing with having to cart her out of the store physically. I agree that if you are in an unsympathetic situation it helps to get away so you both can cool down.

1:38 am  
Anonymous Shannon said...

What about the quick pinch when no one is looking....? Or do you save that for the kids you babysit?

9:49 am  
Anonymous tiel s-k said...

I start with a. Then because that usually doesn't work with child #2, I try option c.
I repeat to them as I walk away that they cannot have or do what they are wanting. I am more than happy to walk through an entire shopping centre with a screaming child and smile at onlookers. I keep on walking only ever stopping to make sure they are following me. Strangers will remain strangers, so I do not care what their thoughts are.

My child had a meltdown over wanting to stay in a double trolley one day.We had just completed our shopping and we could not take this trolley away from the supermarket.
She screamed her way through the chemist, through the bakery and out to the car. She screamed and cried for the 5 minutes drive home, and then continued to cry another 20 minutes in the car seat in the garage...all because of a trolley. Now if her request had been a reasonable one, I might have given into it for the sake of peace and one less headache!

12:54 pm  
Anonymous alice said...

any and all of the above--and don't forget the picking up and getting outside option--even if it is pouring, at least it's distracting. Oh, yeah, my favorite (which only usually works in the early stages of grumpiness leading up to meltdown) is "distraction"--first random comment that comes to mind about something the child is actually interested in (What if Santa has to pee when he's flying around the world?)--or something you can see from where you are (I wonder how much money in that fountain)--or something you might have to go outside and see (dogs, babies)--or something so contrary to reality that the kid has to pay attention. "Where'd your boots go?" (when she's wearing sandals)--or complete randomness(The mailbox is really yellow). Sometimes I try to pretend I'm her kindergarten teacher, so I don't get as upset myself.

3:40 pm  

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