To stay calm, cool and collected as a parent, it’s ALL about getting creative in times of child meltdowns. And trust me when I say I am in the thick of this phase given my oldest is now just shy of two years old! I stick to three different variations of tantrum responses depending on the situation I’m in: distractions, keeping THEM cool, and of course, the “divide and conquer” strategy (especially if you’ve got more than one little one like I do).
When the yelling and crying first starts, distractions should always be your go-to strategy. My toddler, Ansel, is most effectively distracted by music, a sip or nibble of something delicious (he loves orange juice), or if he’s really lucky, some creativity time. I’ll let him open up his craft box and get busy coloring, gluing, drawing, stickering… whatever his little creative mind desires! Pro tip: Let them put headphones on so they really get in the zone and create a masterpiece during arts and crafts time. If these distractions don’t work, try reading a book or putting on a YouTube video. I must note that I am very cautious of resorting to screen time as a tactic in times of meltdowns… but can’t say I’ve never had to go there! Hey, a parent has to do what a parent has to do, especially when you have two kids under two and they are BOTH losing their minds. If you’re able to, getting out of the house and going somewhere like a playground is always a great tactic. There’s no problem a giant slide wasn’t ever able to fix.
On the flip side, if your kid is melting down while you are outdoors, another trusted trick is to (quite literally) cool off your child’s tension by heading indoors for some chill time. This can involve healthy frozen treats like watermelon, grapes, blueberries and yogurt popsicles. Just make sure you’ve got JOHNSON’S® HEAD-TO-TOE® baby cleansing cloths for a quick cleanup after the inevitable mess these chilly treats will create. Or if your little one is teething, throw a washcloth in the freezer for a soothing, non-edible treat. This tactic prevents sweaty meltdowns, and who doesn’t love a healthy frozen treat in the afternoon? ;)
This last one is my go-to now that I have two little ones — divide and conquer. It’s always best to separate kids when one or both are having a tantrum. This way they don’t egg each other on. Take one for a walk or spend some time in the kitchen making a special treat. If another adult is around, have them keep your other child occupied with a game or something as simple as watering the grass and plants (or blowing up water balloons for a pre-planned water balloon fight). This diffuses the crazy energy that one kid will likely pass to the other. And trust me when I say that even Tylenol can’t cure the aftermath of being alone with two screaming, upset children. So nip it in the bud as soon as it starts with one!
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