The Hostage Negotiator


Today I found myself escaping a rather tense hostage situation. I feel lucky to have come out unscathed! The demands being made were ludicrous and at one point I thought there was no way out of the situation. I feared for us both. I was sweating, nervous, worried. Other innocent civilians were caught in the crossfire and they too didn’t know where to look or what to do. My captor was shouting, demanding, crying, throwing themselves on the floor.… Sorry did I say hostage situation? I meant dealing with a 2 year-old in the middle of a public meltdown!

I actually googled ‘dealing with a hostage situation’ and a wiki link (academic friends excuse the source) gave an extensive guide, many of the points completely apply to dealing with a toddler…


Attempt to establish a rapport with your abductor….

Avoid insulting your abductor or talking about potentially sensitive subjects….

Be a good listener – wikihow

Having been in some tricky situations recently I thought a more robust guide may help me and others, should we find ourselves in either situation.

  • Stay calm. Never let them see our weakness or they will take full control. A chink in the armour can lead to certain defeat. I learnt this the hard way when I dithered at a demand. sensing weakness my daughter pounced and before I knew it I had lost the upper hand.
  • Don’t shout. Sudden movements or noise may send them over the edge and end in disaster. Arguing, shouting, reasoning will get you nowhere mid meltdown. As hard as it is stay calm. I often fall into the trap of thinking if I raise my voice this will show her who is in charge. It in fact leads to such high-pitched screaming and throwing herself around that I wish we had a sound proofing as I’m convinced the neighbours think I’m torturing her.
  • Don’t give in to the demands. In the height of the tension giving in to unreasonable demands may seem the easiest way to resolve the situation. It won’t, it will just escalate until one chocolate mini egg becomes a giant Easter egg. This includes asking for Daddy who may well give in to demands that mummy thinks are ridiculous.
  • Remember this won’t last forever. The fear that this meltdown will last for hours is usually unfounded and, thankfully, a situation that seems insurmountable one minute can unexpectedly resolve itself as quickly as it started. How? I have no idea; it just sometimes happens like that!
  • Stay strong! You can and will survive this. Even if you feel like taking cover under the nearest duvet, or if in public, into the nearest hole in the pavement. You can do this.

Here are some recent situations that warranted some of these tactics.

My toddler had an hour and half screaming fit at bedtime because her ‘big girl bed’ is too shiny.

She went into a frenzy because her sandwich had cheese, which she had asked for, when she actually wanted…cheese!?

She threw an epic wobbly in the street when she wanted to scoot home, however this was impossible seeing as her scooter was at home, where she has insisted we leave it when we went out.

Parenting a toddler is wonderful, funny and rewarding. Yet equally at times it is utterly bewildering, confusing and plain frustrating. You are doing a fab job. Just think, now you have parented a toddler you are more than equipped to become a hostage situation negotiator!

          This Mum’s Life


3 Little Buttons



15 thoughts on “The Hostage Negotiator

  1. Ha! Genius! Thankfully, I’ve been lucky enough to have a toddler who doesn’t really “go for it” in public, but I shall certainly put all these tips to good use when we have a meltdown at home. #mmbc

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this! I smiled the whole time I was reading it thinking about the many hostage situations my 3 year hold has held me in! ☺️ I like to say “I’m a parent, I give in to demands and negotiate with terrorists” x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hehe, brilliant!!!! I need this guide, as with a toddler and a threenager, and find myself in more hostage situations than Maggie Grace in Taken! And I must admit to failing miserably at putting your tactics into practice…!! Mainly because I live in an area where about 95% of the elderly population are appalled by children, and every time my children have a meltdown, you can guarantee that there will always be 1, usually more, who will question my parenting/tell them to shut up/ask me to take them home (all of those have happened!!) so to save my mortification and nerves, I usually give into them…! I’m a little better at home, but can be prone to raising my voice if we’ve had a day of tandem tantrums…! It is really flipping hard parenting a toddler isn’t it!! And as well as feeling like a hostage, I once wrote a post about feeling like a prisoner in jail too…!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah I am so sorry people have been so rubbish!! How rude and infuriating! Don’t they remember what it was like having little ones? Sounds like you have your work cut out and are doing a fab job. Toddlers are meant to throw tantrums, it’s how they communicate what they can’t say in words. Next time they do it in public tell people it shows they have character and personality and they can mind their own business. I’m cross for you. Lol.
      Thanks for reading and I’m glad you can relate. Believe me I don’t always stick with the guide myself.
      P.s I have tandem tantrums to look forward to as mine are 19 months apart and the youngest isn’t there yet.
      keep up the good work mumma and ignore those silly people!!! X

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s