Before I had babies, I'll admit it, I was one of those super annoying people who would be in a store and judge a parent that I didn't even know on how they were parenting their child. I didn't think twice about doing that either, shaking my head and trying not to stare or roll my eyes as I walked by.
Knowing what I know now I feel like a total jack-butt thinking about when I used to do that. I had no idea what was going on with that child, the parent, what had already happened that day, or most importantly how toddlers specifically are developing. It took me birthing a child to even begin to understand that a toddler's actions are NOT always something the parent can control.
I read something awhile ago that I constantly try to remind myself of when Emily is having a little (or big) meltdown; Due to the developmental stage of toddlers' brains they are literally unable to focus on anything other than being upset at the time they're going through it. That statement really stuck with me because, of course, as an adult, I am able to multitask and when I'm upset, my whole world doesn't come to a stop like it does for toddlers. When Emily started having her toddler meltdowns because she didn't get her way, I used to try to reason with her and talk to her about things while she was so upset and that never worked. I'd get frustrated with her (even thought I shouldn't have) and not understand why she couldn't calm down and focus. Since I've read and consciously make an effort to remember that statement, Emily's meltdowns have gotten so much better.
Toddlers love attention, right? Duh. If Emily is breaking down, I don't leave her alone or go to another room, but I do stop talking. I will sit down getting to her level and just look at her. Most of the time she will calm down way sooner than she would have before, come over to me and just want a hug. We snuggle and talk and most times she is perfectly fine afterwards. I totally understand now that when parents are out and about with a toddler, younever know when a meltdown is going to happen and it can come out over THE smallest thing in the world. Toddlers are experiencing everything new for the first time and that's exciting! Of course they're going to be hyper and excited to touch everything and might be upset when a parent has to tell them it's time to go. I don't blame them, I'd be upset too if I had just sat down with my Starbucks drink to read a book onmy IPad to have some giant scoop me up, take away my drink, put my IPad away and tell me it was time to go to the store. No way! I'd scream and cry about it, too!
Just a little info for new parents of toddlers to think about, ya know.
(Oh, and ice cream always tends to help make everything better, too.)