Saturday, February 28, 2015

Anna Duggar on Handling Meltdowns

We recently had a chat with Anna Duggar and discussed the interview questions submitted by all of you. Now it's time to share her responses. Are you ready to glean wisdom from this mom of three (soon to be four)?

How do you handle meltdowns in public with your little ones?

Anna: For me, when my children have a meltdown in public, there is a temptation to think that my children are better than that. I try to have a humble spirit and have an attitude of loyalty towards my children by being loving and understanding towards them. Often, a child's meltdown in public is the result of a really uncomfortable situation. 

I speak to my children in a soft voice and ask what's bothering them. And then I encourage them to respond with positive behavior: "It's been a long day, but you are doing so well! We're in this together." 

I ask them what they think the right response is, and then we practice that behavior. For instance, if we're at a restaurant, we practice sitting still at the table and using good manners. And then I praise them.

Like Michelle, I try to lower my voice instead of raise it. I bend down and ask them to look into my eyes. With Michael, since he's a little boy and is so squirmy, I have him put his hands on my cheeks right by my eyes to remind him to maintain good eye contact.

After I reach my kids' hearts, I try to figure out if there is a specific need they have. When we are out and about, I usually pack high-protein snack for my kiddos. When you have a tired kid with an empty stomach, that is really tough. You can keep raw almonds in your purse for forever, if your kids are old enough to eat them.

One of my friends has children who cry very loudly, so she has her children practice loud voices and quiet voices so they learn the difference. Then when her kids are crying, she comforts them and tells them that it is okay to cry but encourages them to cry softly. That's not to say that my children always cry softly, but it helps teach them how to deescalate a situation.

59 comments:

  1. You ROCK Anna keep up the GREAT work you are a wonderful woman, daughter, wife and mom. I hope some new young parents listen to your wise words

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  2. such wisdom and so young definitely a better than me ! So glad to have Goy examples to look to as reminds of what I should b doing !

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  3. That is very practical, and just downright good advice! Praying many young mom's will have the courage to heed your words, because you share by example, and that is just wonderful. Love all you Duggars!! ♡♡

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  4. Great ideas Anna. You are super mom and your children are adorable. They're allowed to be kids.

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  5. I think it depends on the situation.i a child is having a meltdown in public be use they are being denied what they want, then you need to use a different approach. If they have one because they are overtired or hungry, then a different approach is needed once again. ( which Anna covered) if the atmosphere is overwhelming for them, then Anna's respone is the right one. If they re bored, then you need to give them something to do. There are many different angle to this situation.

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  6. Great advice Anna! I too hope other young parents listen to your advice it is very gold advice for them too follow and the results you get will be so rewarding. Nice picture of Jill and Anna pregnant in different stages. Can't wait to see the new GrandDuggars!!

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  7. Excellent advice. Such wisdom for a young mother!

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  8. Is Anna having a boy or a girl?

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    1. She's pregnant with a girl. They just announced.

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  9. i think Anna is doing a super job with her three little ones, especially as another one is on the way. I have a good friend that also had her children look her in the eyes, and she would say to them "you're not pleasing God with that kind of behaviour", I disagreed with her, I had my own way of dealing, but it worked for her, ha, ha.

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  10. Anna, just the words 'being loyal to your children' got me back on track today after listening to lies that, as an older mom, I am not needed & have no recourse for disrespect. God bless you for the wisdom you get from him & pass along!

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  11. But what if a child is having a meltdown because of rebelliousness? Of course you should be soft and controlled, but rebellion should not be tolerated.

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    1. What if your 15 year old daughter meets a boy and he becomes controlling? I bet you bottom dollar you will want her to rebel against him instead of pleasing him.

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    2. Well I would say talk to them and explain why it's bad and then ask them what they think and why they want to do that rebellious thing and then maybe try telling them "what would God think about that"

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    3. But a teenager isn't going to talk to you about their love life. I certainly didn't and I have a very close relationship with my parents. I think a little bit of rebellion is good. It teaches them to be independent.

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    4. I'm different. I like my 3 year old to have a bit of spunk and rebellion. It will do her good when she's an adult

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  12. I remember how skinny and fresh Anna was when she was getting married. Now she is a mature mother of 3,such a change.

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    1. Re: sunny and fresh to mature...

      Yes, she just gets more lovely all the time

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  13. Thank you for being such an encouragement. As mother of a 2 yr old who is extremely strong-willed I have a very hard time going in public with him because I tend to have such a short fuse when I get frustrated.

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  14. We may be asking Anna for some valuable insights that she could put into a book form and sell.
    I appreciated her answer and the fact that it comes from a high profile mom like Anna who we can get to know and see in action makes it that much more special. Thank-you!

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  15. Hi Anna ! I'm a mom of 2 who homeschools in NYC . Great advice , let us know any more good tips you may have . Also, is there a book you might recommend on mothering ? Thanks

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  16. When I was babysitting the young child was crying loudly about everything so I told that child not to cry and some of the others in the family thought I was mean, on the other hand having a child constantly crying can make people around wonder what is happening to that child. I guess it is important to not actually be truly mean and to find some strategies for the difficult, impossible Xs.

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  17. Yes, she should definitely write a book!!!

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  18. Great advice. My grandson is a loud crier, so I never thought about crying softly. I will have to try it. Thanks so much,
    Kim

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  19. What about autism! Families of children with autism can face meltdowns numerous times in an afternoon. PLEASE be sure to understand the difference parents, and it would be great for the Duggars to acknowledge the challenges families of children with autism face when it involves meltdowns, Autism is a recognized medical disorder. Duggars seem very involved with parenting and close to children - surprised tjheu never mention autism on their show. Too bad they are missing an opportunity to minister to parents who could desperately use support and encouragement!

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  20. Just from the show, she seems like a very caring and attentive mother. I hope she will end up having a family size that allows her to maintain that level of personal interaction with her kids.

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  21. Anna is so sweet, that picture of her and Jill is just adorable.It would be neat if Anna was at Jills baby's birth like Jill was for hers.They have such a special bond.

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  22. Thank you Anna for respecting your children, in return they respect you and others! It was hard to raise my own sons this in the 1980's, They are both fine gentlemen today! Boy does our country needs respect!

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  23. Oh, I simply love Anna. She has such a sweet spirit! I wish I could be a good mom like her...but for now, my husband and I are still waiting for a blessing from God. "In his perfect timing" ... if it just wasn't so hard to paitently wait!

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  24. I hope she will share more of her Tipps.

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  25. This was so encouraging! I needed this reminder. I try to do some of these things too. It's hard to remember sometimes in the middle of a frustrating situation. My husband and I have 5 children that are 8, 6, 4 1/2, 2 1/2, and 12 months (3 girls and 2 little boys). My mil says I am so patient and that she doesn't think that I yell or raise my voice often, but it's something that I work on everyday. I try to use a soft voice and have them look in my eyes too. I have learned so much from their family and lean on my husband and God more everyday. My life is so blessed with so many people in it:)

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  26. Thanks for sharing some really beautiful and practical wisdom of how to "bring up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord". As a mother of four and grandmother of 10, I will be passing this on to my family.

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  27. I wish I could have been raised "Duggar". I am 52 and feel like cuz of my families lack of religion. My life was ruined and my childrens. Anna u once said it doesn't matter what mistakes have been made u can start now. I want to believe that. Keep me in or prayers. I love u all and your lifestyle. God bless you even more. Love KLP

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  28. @Anonymous

    Hi Anonymous 10,

    Josh and Anna have not revealed their baby's gender, but the Duggars have a big announcement to make on Tuesday, so stay tuned!

    ~Lily and Ellie

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  29. @Shirley Work
    I raised 4 kids who are now in their 20's. Spoil the rod, spoil the child was my go to scripture and they all have thanked me for loving them enough to correct them God's way.

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  30. My 4 kids all over the age of 23 have thanked us for spare the rod, spoil the child. They all are wonderful young men and women.
    Corporal punishment in public schools needs to be reinstated.

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  31. Remember the story that Michelle shared about going to the grocery store with the children and getting a treat that they get after if they are good but promptly leaving the store if they did not behave and telling them why and they did not get a treat that time either, she said that did not happen often. Did I remember that story accurately? It must be hard to look after a big family in a store. I think children are smart and the parents have to not allow manipulations. Even adults are smart and manipulative, ever go out and want to have someone go along with you round to the coffee shop for a little indulgence amid mid errands? Self discipline is tricky so is disciplining kids.

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  32. I love Anna's advice.. thank you for sharing this! I honestly feel it would be such a blessing to so many if Anna wrote a book about advice she has for parenting. She is such a sweet girl and you can see by the way her children carry themselves, that they genuinely feel loved. I have a little one who recently began throwing tantrums and would love to know how to talk to kindly handle it. She also has moments where she tends to ignore what I'm asking of her, and I would like help in knowing what to do with this as well. I don't want to raise my voice to her and I don't believe in forcing children to do things is the way. I would simply like to encourage her to do what I ask. If anyone has any loving advice, I would greatly appreciate it :)

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  33. Anna isn't even 30 years old. It would be good for her to write a book when she's older and has had many years of child-raising experience.

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  34. Great advice from a great mom. Keep up the good work Anna!

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  35. I love Anna she is so caring and loving.She is a wonderful woman of God.God bless this family.

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  36. I love Anna she is so caring and loving.She is a wonderful woman of God.God bless this family.

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  37. Spare the rod spoil the child. My four kids all in their 20's and all are wonderful young adults. Corporal punishment should be reinstated in public school systems.

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    1. It is never ok to spank a child because they misbehaved. You are teaching them that their problems can be solved with violence

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  38. I think the best thing about how you handle meltdowns is that you pay attention to your child and try to figure out what is bothering them while at the same time trying to get their behavior under control. I see too many parents ignoring their kids and then just punishing them when they melt down under the strain they are under.

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  39. Anonymous 6 and 14 are right on. That approach is not always right for every situation. The age of the child (his understanding) as well as the *reason* that the child is fussing needs to be taken into consideration. Sometimes discipline is in order. 'The Lord chastens those whom He loves...just like a father chastens his children'. There are many, many verses on discipline, but the main point is that sometimes the behavior does not warrant discipline, but sweet guidance like Anna mentions above, and other times is it sheer rebellion and they are whining, complaining, and behaving badly and know better.

    Parenting is not cookie-cutter. I respect what she says, but that simply does not correctly apply to every situation.

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  40. As my self being a parent of 11, (2 being the youngest and 22 being the oldest)
    I can't say I agree with the whole thing. But I totally understand where u (Anna) are coming from.

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  41. Maybe the Duggars could produce a four generation parenting advice book where they get input from the wee ones on up through Grandma....there would be all kinds of experience if everyone was included!

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  42. Could you pass something along to the Duggars for me? As a stay-at-home mother, I have followed a number of marriage/child-rearing blogs only to find out that their main objective seems to be to sell me something. Even worse, are the ones that shame me by setting impossible standards. I am a real woman, trying to live a real life the best that I can. Please thank the Duggars for INSPIRING me to be a better mother and wife through this blog. It's a pleasure to read.

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  43. Anna's children seem well behaved and polite. Mackynzie and Michael obviously have a loving relationship. It is a good reflection on Anna.
    Joan,Marion and Marilyn

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  44. please add new posts!

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  45. @Anonymous 32 -- God bless you. God does have a plan for you whether you started serving him at 6 or 60. Sometimes those of us who have not followed Him all our lives can more easily appreciate his grace and mercy. I will pray for you.

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  46. @Maja - I agree with you. I like a little spunk. Kids need to know there is a time and place to NOT be submissive.

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  47. anna duggar needs to write a book. maybe after this next little girl. then she will have a school aged child, a 5 year old, a toddler AND a newborn. all those stories would make a great book about raising a family! GO ANNA.

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  48. also I want to know if Anna uses physical punishment (AKA spanking, hitting, slapping)

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  49. Why are people acting as if this is a new thing? My four are closer in age than Anna's and are now 23-28 and are great. They have all thanked us for being disciplined by spanking when they needed it. Too many "helicopter parenting" and not allowing children to fail and learning how to deal with it.

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