As much as you love your toddler, dealing with your a meltdown can be extremely stressful.
If you’re a stay-at-home mom (on call 24/7) some days might make you feel like you’re about ready to explode!
But don’t worry! There are a few ways to cope with your toddler throwing a tantrum.
Coping Strategies for Your Toddler’s Tantrums:
Okay, I know. You’ve heard this before. But it’s an important one. And you hear it a lot because it works.
In moments of stress, we tense up and almost seem to hold our breath.
If you can catch yourself and notice the tension in your body, then you can remember to breathe out.
Inhale a long, powerful breath of air. Close your eyes and feel the oxygen rushing to every cell of your body, rejuvenating and filling you with positive energy.
Almost immediately, you’ll notice your muscles relaxing and your face softening.
The emotional effects will be palpable, too. You may find that you can look upon the situation not with tired frustration, but with compassion.
Changing your mindset from frustrated to compassionate will help you calm your toddler down.
Your frustration will only lead to more frustration from an already upset toddler.
2. Let them be
If the environment is safe and you’re at home, sometimes it can be therapeutic for you and your child if you just let them have their tantrum.
Be calm, and let them cry it out.
Eventually, they’ll realize that throwing their fit doesn’t have the effect they wanted, and they’ll usually stop relying on this tactic.
It also allows them to learn how to self-sooth. Toddlers need to learn how to regulate their own emotions. So when they become very emotional, they have a hard time calming themselves down.
If you let them cry and have a meltdown, they will learn how to cope with it themselves.
Plus, it’s kind of relieving some of the stress off of your shoulders when you just let your child calm herself down.
3. Remember, It’s not personal.
Remember, your toddler isn’t purposely doing anything to you.
You are simply the observer of their actions as they try to figure out how they can get what they want and how to sort out their own emotions.
Their brains are still developing and they haven’t mastered emotional regulation yet.
This is especially true if they have ADHD. Even adults with ADHD have a hard time with this. As How to ADHD put it, their feelings move faster than their brakes.
That’s why their responses are pure emotion. The part of the brain that stops or slows down emotions doesn’t work as fast as they can come out.
If we can remember we are observers and not the intended receivers, we can approach the situation more calmly, thus reducing or eliminating the stress.
4. Stay in the moment
So many times, frustration arises because our minds want the moment to go differently.
Maybe you desperately need to vacuum the floor or get that last load of laundry done.
Instead, go with the flow. Recognize that you can make time for the chores later and know that it is okay.
Your child will never be at this precious stage in their life ever again. What would you rather remember looking back on these early years?
All the piles of clothes you folded or the treasured memories you made with your little one?
Don’t Forget to Nurture Yourself, Too
To best be there for your children, you have to be there for yourself as well. That means nurturing your body, mind, and spirit.
When all three of these needs are met, it’s easier to handle stressful situations such as toddler meltdowns.
How can you nurture your own needs?
Eat a balanced diet of nutrient dense proteins, fruits, and vegetables. (or at least try your best.)
Make time for yourself. Even during a child’s naptime or after they go to bed you can nurture yourself.
Avoid doing chores during this time. Instead, do something that rejuvenates you.
For example, take a nap, read a book, watch a movie, meditate, or talk with a friend.
Doing something that makes you feel like you (and not only a mommy) does wonders for your psyche!
Feelings of frustration are normal. Talking with a friend can help you sort out what you’re feeling and come up with ideas to see these emotions for what they are.
How Do You Deal with Toddler Meltdowns?
Let me know in the comments below!
These are just a few ideas. Feel free to use them as a springboard to your own unique solutions. It never hurts to keep looking for ways we can be better parents to our next generation.
If you can incorporate some of these tips into your daily parenting life, in moments of toddler meltdowns, you can guide your little one with patience.
Instead of reacting with negativity to the tantrum, you will be in a position to offer love and comfort.