Is this the golden ticket? If I read this section, will I always be able to handle these meltdown situations?
Unfortunately, no. There is no golden ticket or recipe to follow for every meltdown situation. This section, however, lays out strategies to help understand behavior and insights into ways to deal with them. It is close to a golden ticket, but involves a lot more work on my part. However, if I am reading a book called No More Meltdowns, I am probably ready to put in the work.
So where does the author suggest we start?
1. By Accepting and appreciating our children.
Hummm. At this point in my mind I am picturing a full out meltdown in the middle of a store and me smiling and soaking in the moment to fully appreciate what is happening...Luckily the author goes on to explain that:
a. We "need to be able to control our own frustration before we can reduce our children's frustrations."
If a child does not know how to control their behavior we can not be angry at them. Challenging behaviors are natural and will decrease when we figure out a better way to handle the situation.
b. We "need to help our children feel competent with us and avoid learned helplessness."
By identifying activities that are with in our child's current ability level and providing praise for the child's effort as well as completion of these activities we are building competence.
c. We "need to avoid constant power struggles."
The author states, "If children are prepared for a challenge and have been taught the skills to cope with that situation, then we can try to push through the resistance and endure the power struggle. If children do not have the skills to cope with the challenging task then we should avoid the power struggle."
At times I really find myself struggling with maintaining my frustration to reduce Crash's frustration. I want to get everyone out of the house and to school on time. I try to start early enough to assure that this will happen, but there are days where there seems like there is nothing I can do except haul a naked child out of the house in the middle of winter and strap him in his seat in order to get out the door on time. Of course this has never happened, but seriously how hard is it to get dressed and get out the door? I have to remind myself, that in reality for Crash this is very hard. I hate wool. It is itchy, scratchy, and uncomfortable. It would be like me wearing a wool body suit, having to go about all my daily activities like nothing is wrong. Next to impossible. I need to remember that.