It started out as a typical lunch with my five young kids. I had made their favorite macaroni and cheese and was getting ready to dish up when I noticed their typical plates were still in the middle of the dish-washing cycle.
In our family, each child is in charge of washing their dishes in the sink after a meal. They have their own colored plate so it’s easy to see who still needs to do their chore before the next meal. But every now and then I throw them in the dishwasher to make sure they’re really clean.
I used some random plates from the cupboard and happily placed one in front of my 4-year-old.
She lost it.
Refused to eat, argued, screamed, and nonstop requests for her pink plate. She continued to escalate until the plate (and her lunch) went flying all over me and the floor.
After a seemingly endless meltdown, the dishwasher cycle ended and I placed the pink plate in front of her, explaining that I would be happy to get her more lunch but she’d need to help me clean up the mess.
The interesting part?
She kept screaming for her pink plate even though it was right in front of her! Her emotions had completely overridden her logical brain and even her senses. An hour later, I was exhausted and wished there was something I could do to help my children accept change and the unexpected better.
Sound familiar? [Read More…]