You know that feeling, the one where the anger, the sadness, the tension, the stress, the noise, the irritation, the frustration, the tiredness, the overwhelming need to just burst takes you right to the edge and tips you over?
I also know that when this feeling builds and builds it ultimately ends up with me completely losing my shit.
I punch a pillow.
I slam doors.
I cry some more.
I can’t hold it in anymore.
I am just so done. So over it.
It bursts out of me.
Control is gone.
I then breathe.
I may cry some more.
I apologise. I try not to make excuses but try to articulate the feelings that lead me to blow my top.
I hate losing my shit but for me, unless I get on top of it sooner rather than later, it is often inevitable.
When the overwhelming feelings win out … I have to lose my shit to regain it.
Life can be tough sometimes and it can be hard to catch the break you need to regain composure. To let go of the feelings that are building.
I’m sure most adults reading this can relate to this. We all lose our shit sometimes. It’s not pretty but it’s real. I doubt many of you upon reading this would think I was being naughty or manipulative or that I needed a smack or some other form of discipline despite the fact that I was for all intents and purposes having a giant adult sized ‘tantrum’.
Most of you probably thought, ‘oh hell yeah, I’ve been there. Some days are so tough. You just can’t help but lose your shit sometimes.’
You can relate.
And yet, we seem to have so much trouble accepting that our toddler’s meltdowns are legitimate cries for help when completely overwhelmed by emotions. They have no choice but to let it out. To explode.
What may seem minor to us like my toddler losing his mind because the baby put his train track in his mouth, to them can simply be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Big feelings, small feelings, big upsets, small upsets, big frustrations, small frustrations … They can build and build and build until just like us, it’s simply all too much. The only way to disperse some of the stress and tension is to lose it.
So next time your wee one melts down, try to look at him with empathy. Let him rage without you adding fuel to the fire. Support him. Show him you know how hard it can be to keep it all together. Comfort him. Listen to him. Help him find his calm through the storm.
Our little ones have far less, if any, emotional regulation. It must be terrifying to lose the plot with no skills to regain it.
Let’s come at them from a point of empathy. After all, our perfectly imperfect little ones are human just like us. Let’s not hold them to a higher standard than we expect of ourselves. Sometimes, we simply have to lose out shit to regain it.
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