The first time
my daughter really ever had a melt down was when she was about two and half years old. Of course, she had been upset before and visibly frustrated many many times before this day, but this was a full MELT DOWN day!
I knew she was tired, in fact, we were just heading up for a nap, but still all was good. However, by the time I asked her to use the potty before climbing into bed, we were in full melt-down mode! Tears, partially screaming and a need to fling herself around several times to the ground. I just stood there thinking, "What is going on?!" I sat her down and as I looked at her tear streaked face, I said, "Honey, what's wrong?" She just looked at me with the most sympathetic look in her eyes, internally pleading for my help and said, "I don't know!" SHE REALLY DIDN'T KNOW! She couldn't find a reason to give me and trust me, this girl has a reason for everything-just ask her!
I realized, the fact that I even asked her what was wrong, worried her because she interpreted that to mean, I didn't know what was wrong and if she didn't know either, how was she ever going to feel better?! So I jumped into action! I explained that she was just feeling tired and that sometimes there's so much going on around us that when we get tired, it becomes difficult to process it all! SHE WAS JUST TIRED! That she understood and accepted. She nodded her head and I could feel her relief that I had an explanation for her-which meant to her there was hope, she wouldn't feel this way forever! I then tucked her into bed and told her that she needed a reset, and that the best way to get a reset this time, was to get some rest-then she would feel better. She nodded in acceptance and as I laid her down, she asked, "I'll feel better after my nap, I can reset?" To which, I nodded my head in agreement and kissed her forehead and told her I loved her.
The story RESET was written right after this very moment I had with my daughter. I knew I wasn't the only parent experiencing this with their kids and I wanted to help alleviate any other child from going through what my daughter had just experienced.
Even as young as two and a half our kids can process so much from us if we just take the time to explain and help them work through it. Now every time she starts to feel tired and is beginning to feel a little short tempered, she is able to recognize it! She will actually tell me on her own, "Mommy, I think I need a little reset!" How beautiful an experience this is for me as mom... I can't even explain. But ultimately, it's her who is most positively affected, as now she very rarely goes down that horrible rabbit hole we lovingly refer to as a "Melt Down!" Because while as parents, we joke internally about our kids having them, they don't have to happen or we can at least limit them. We can greatly spare them this feeling of being completely out of control of their emotions and help them from going down that dark, unsettling and scary rabbit hole of emotions! We can't stop them from ever feeling frustrated, but RESET helps us to at least help them come through the other side of it!
This story walks our kids through how to recognize when they need a reset, how to communicate it to grown-ups and gives several examples of how to do a reset; sleep isn't always the answer! It even provides keywords our kids can say to quickly tell us they need a reset. The best part? Grown-ups can use them too!
"And if your parents know the magic words, they can use them too.
This way, you know what it means, when they say one of them to you.
Because EVERYONE, now and then, needs a do-over or reset.
We ALL have moments when we seem to come apart because we're upset!" -Elle Grey