Friday, April 3, 2009

Meltdown Mindy


Have you ever had to drive alone in a car with kids for ten hours or more?  Don't do it.  Ever.  Kids know how to test your limits.  I found out that my breaking point for tolerating bickering and whining boys in a small, confined space is about three hours, after which I have to pull over to the side of the freeway, cry and bang my head on the steering wheel five or six times before I can find the will to go on.  I mean, asking nicely to "please calm down," was a joke.  Getting firm and taking away privileges got their attention about as well as a documentary on the asexual reproduction of single celled organisms would have.  Yelling until the veins in my neck bulged only fueled the fire more.  Hence, a mommy melt down was the only other alternative.  And you know what?  It worked.

However, I don't recommend flipping your lid in order to get your children to behave well.  Neither do I pretend to have a better solution for kids who WILL NOT LISTEN no matter what.  Can anyone who is good with kids shed some light?




12 comments:

  1. oh yes, i've done that...6 hours between here and california. my husband knows that if i am driving alone with them, when i arrive home to arizona he had better be ready to take the kids, because if i have to spend one more min alone with them, i'll be selling them at a very low price to the gypsies!

    actually some tricks that do help- i pack each kid a backpack with stuff just for them- and snacks. my 6yo does better when I draw him a "map" of the visual things we will pass along our way- things for him to watch for. anyway- hope the trip was worth it!

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  2. Yes, I swore up and down that I would be more prepared next time. Thanks for the suggestions Heather!

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  3. You mean everything you just mentioned isn't how to handle it? Dang. I guess I'll be checking for more comments later...

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  4. Gerb, you are funny. I thought of you whilst romping on the sandy beaches in Newport.

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  5. That is exactly why we leave at 2:00 AM when we drive to CA. By the time the kids wake up at 8, we're already halfway there, and it's time for breakfast. I couldn't imagine doing the drive any other way.

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  6. Eric (ericcawley@gmail.com)April 6, 2009 at 11:41 PM

    Mindy, I'm not sure if its feasible, but on trips with any significant distance, we pack the portable DVD player with accompanying fave DVDs. The six of us went from Boise to San Diego and back with hardly a peep from the kiddos (including a 1 year old). Talk about your miracles.

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  7. Liz: Ooh. I don't think I could make it through the night without falling asleep! Ryan could do it though.

    Eric: Yes I did have DVD players. I think I had already tried to shove too many movies down their throats and they needed something new. So I wised up and bought them some new DVDs for the remainder of the trip. That helped a lot!

    Thanks for all your advice everyone!

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  8. We drove from NC to UT last summer with four kids. One of the best tricks was to have a surprise box/bag that you could pull out something new about every two hours. Things like wikki sticks, colorforms, klutz press books, paper and scissors (messy but quiet), tin foil (this one was a blast), colored pencils and how to draw books (like Ed Emberly), etc. We also used the laptop with free downloaded games (you can play for only an hour), and DVD's. We did some books on audio (downloaded free from librivox), and music. Food was also good. We definitely had our meltdown moments, so we would try and stop and walk around every so often as well. All in all, we had a good time, and I might consider doing it again in a few years (maybe).

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  9. Those are the best ideas yet! Thanks!

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  10. I am so glad other mom's have neck bulging veins too! Hang in there!

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  11. No Advice here. I wish I could get some! Yes, I've had the mommy meltdown on more than, I'd say, TWENTY occasions! I have people giving me mom advice all of the time, without my asking for it. Guess that means I look like I have my hand's full, without even trying.

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  12. Hahah I just read this and Laughed...Because I've been there. I currently have three 3 year olds...now I'm sure just saying that you can imagine... I don't have any advice other then lots of tylenol for yourself and pack tons of food for the kids. Ive tried Dvd players...horrible...the volume is never perfect for them...or they ask question about what is going on...ughh the Joys of traveling with children.

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