Ten reasons why my child is having a meltdown…
Have you seen those posts that go around Facebook? You know, the ones with the photos of the children crying and the caption “my child is crying because…”
My boys have those meltdowns too. The ones where they cry because you gave them exactly what they asked for (the yellow cup!) and the ones where they want you to do the impossible (does anyone know how to get a banana back in its skin?). I find myself alternating between laughter and exasperation and definitely have to remind myself, “they’re not giving me a hard time, they’re having a hard time.”
As I made breakfast this morning, I asked the questions I always ask to avoid such meltdowns. This is one area where Mr 4 likes to have control of his choices.
“What shapes would you like me to cut your toast?”
“Two triangles please” (he actually does have good manners, most of the time)
“Two-dimensional or three-dimensional?”
“Three-dimensional please, a triangular prism.”
And don’t cut the wrong shapes by accident (lesson learnt!)
The story behind our 2D/3D shapes is, you guessed it, driven by a meltdown.
“What shapes would you like me to cut your sandwich?”
“A line please.”
A what? A line? How am I supposed to cut a line? I know, I’ll cut four long, skinny rectangles and put them in a line. Genius!
Yeah, not genius. It took me a while to calm him down and talk to him to realise that he wanted four triangles standing up in a row like his Nanny had given him the day before.
“Oh, you want me to stand them up?” Right. Of course. “This is a triangular prism.” Learning moment right there. Bazinga!
That afternoon playing with his Magformers, “Look Mummy, I made a triangular prism!”
I start thinking what an awesome Mum I am, I can teach maths! Then I remember that my son had a meltdown because I didn’t stop to ask him what he meant. Humility lesson.
Now I always ask him what he wants for his sandwich, and clarify. If he doesn’t answer, I wait. Never make a 4yo who has the nickname “Mr Particular” a sandwich without finding out exactly what shapes he wants.
Oh, and sandwiches are awesome for teaching two and three-dimensional shapes. That’s my other point.
Triangular Prism anyone?