Focus on the yellow shirt kid for a minute…
GONE….Hello Meltdown, we know you well…
Itty bitty babies can have HUGE meltdowns…
I hate soccer meltdowns
Meltdowns about melting down
Car Seat Meltdowns
The “Happy Father’s Day I’ll Remove Crabby Baby From the Restaurant While You Eat With Your 2 & 1 Year Olds Meltdowns” which is the worst Father’s Day gift ever.
Meltdowns are tough. Each child is different. Ages 1-3ish were the worst, and somewhere in the 4s it got way better. We only read 2 books on the topic…Love & Logic and Happiest Toddler on the Block and both were helpful and you’ll see some of them below, although I can’t remember which came from what. It’s hard, but you’ll survive. Take pictures. I promise you will laugh about it. We don’t have all the answers with meltdowns, but here’s a few tricks from our Meltdown Arsenal:
**An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure**
1. Keep your child well rested, fed and be on the look out for overstimulation or sensory overload.
2. Fill up your child’s “choice tank” with choices you can live with. Toddlers love to feel in control. Give them as much as you can through limited choices at first, then growing with them. It takes the sting out of it when its Mommy or Daddy’s turn to make a choice.
3. Ages 0-4…don’t leave the house unless you need to;), but if you do, the more places you drag your kid the more likely they will melt down. And, I swear something about certain stores set my children off.
4. “Maybe a Hug will help”….this is a great phrase to try as the meltdown is brewing.
5. Try to distance yourself from the fit. “You are welcome to throw your fit in your room” or “Come find me when your fit is done” as you walk out of the room.
6. “Hey, great fit. Can you make it bigger? Oh, yeah, like that. Maybe kick your legs some or scream louder?” I know this seems so opposite. This was in Happiest Toddler on the Block and when we read it we rolled our eyes at first. Then we tried it and it totally put out the fire. It has worked on all 3 of the kids.
7. Sometimes taking a picture or video clip of them fit throwing has stifled it. Later, when they’re in a good mood, I bring it out as a teachable moment. “Wow, you sure were upset earlier. Look at this? How do you think that made Mom feel? Why did you get upset? How else can you get your “angries out? Sometimes Mom takes a deep breath”, Etc.
8. “Try, don’t cry, and ask for help.” My husband made that one up. Love it. Great as kids become frustrated with tying shoes, putting on a coat, trying to buckle in their booster, etc.
9. Room to Meltdown…depending on your kid, I don’t recommend a time out chair for toddlers. You end up fighting about sitting in the chair, than whatever it was that put them there. It’s a power struggle I can live without by widening the time out boundaries some….again, depending on your child…their room, a room, a hallway, the living room floor…whatever works..and modify as they get older. And a note about time out, remember its about a minute per year of age. Hmmm….have I given myself a 36 minute timeout today yet?
10. Public meltdowns, if possible, EXIT IMMEDIATELY! We kind of made sure this happened a few times with each child around age 2-3ish at places that didn’t really matter, when John and I were both there to help. The second the child started melting down one of us would take them to the car and they missed out. The ones left behind learn from it too. We only had to do this a few times per kid.
11. Say what you mean, mean what you say. “If you don’t stop your fit I’m taking away your birthday party”….not happening. Don’t let your boiling blood make you say something you know you won’t or can’t follow through on.
Finally, keep your sense of humor close and remember The Revenge Plan. –Shelisa