We have all seen it! The massive meltdowns and falling-on-the-floor tantrums that inevitably appear as that little bundle of joy turns into a moving and screaming toddler. In the video above, moms share not only images of the outbursts, but also the humorous part of those public displays of emotion—the reason why their child is melting down.
With each sadly hilarious, drama-filled picture, the one-sentence story attached brings home the mommy pain. We laughed! A lot! And that made us feel bad...
So to make up for laughing at the plight of these moms and dads, we put together some of the best advice for dealing with, and hopefully avoiding, the dreaded meltdown.
Don't Do It
The "it" in this advice changes from kid to kid, but try to actively avoid tantrum-inducing situations. This may make for a bit of a boring life when it comes to having young kids because what we are basically saying is keep to your daily routines as much as possible. When kids are young it is best to rinse and repeat your everyday schedule so toddlers aren't caught off guard by the unexpected.
Sound The Alarm
Give your child a five-minute warning before changing activities. It is important that you let kids know what is coming because a quick change can be jarring. Talk to your child; we mean really talk. Don't underestimate your child's ability to understand what you are saying. Tell her the plan for the day and stick to that plan to minimize surprises.
Bring A Lovey
Allow your children to take a toy or snack with them while you are running errands. It may help them stay occupied or simply feel comforted. Maybe it is a blanket or a stuffed animal that your child bonded with early on to make him feel safe when you weren't in the room; this is the same concept. Offering a physical item can be soothing in different environments.
Don't Go Anywhere Hangry
Make sure your child is well-rested and fed before you go out so he doesn't blow up at the slightest provocation. Being hungry or tired leads to the majority of meltdowns. If your child did not sleep well the night before or woke up ridiculously early, it might be better to just skip what you had planned and stay close to home.
Relinquish Some Control
You know how you like being in control? Kids are sometimes mini-adults. They like control too! Give your toddler a little bit of power by giving the choice of which book to bring in the car, or whether she wants grilled cheese or peanut butter and jelly for lunch. These choices won't make much of a difference to you, but they'll give her the feeling of control for a least a small part of the day.
Pick A Good Diversion
Let's face, toddlers don't have long attention spans. This is one time where it can work in your favor. When you see that face starting to pucker up or that little lip quiver, read the signs and leap into action. Pull out a small dollar toy diversion or a book you know he loves, sing a song or challenge him to a game of "I Spy".
Make Them Laugh
When all else fails, try some humor. Make a funny face, tell a joke or point out something fun for her to look at. Do what you can to get your child's mind off what's upsetting her and focus it on something crazy, funny, weird or maybe all three.
If a full-blown meltdown happens, just stay the course and get through it. Remember that how you handle the situation (stay calm!) can be more memorable to onlookers than your child's drama. Later in the day, try to turn it into a teachable moment. Talk about why your child was upset and help her figure out the words to express how she was feeling at the time. Maybe you and your child can come up with some ideas for dealing with frustration a different way next time.