[18 mths +] My best tactic for dissolving a tantrum/meltdown or in better terms ‘difficulty regulating one’s emotions’……..
‘Do you want a HUG!??!!??!??!’. Every single time my boys always say ‘YES’ (in an ‘I thought you’d never ask’ tone) and it calms them down enough for us to talk about the situation they were in. Much sooner than if I had not offered the hug!
The thing is, when your child is overwhelmed with emotion, their brain will find it virtually impossible to think straight or take in what you are saying to them. In fact, any type of talking or attempting to negotiate them in this state can actually add fuel to the fire.
The book ‘The Whole Brain Child’ by Daniel Spiegel and Tina Payne Bryson is a must-read if you are entering into tantrum zone with your child (or still struggling with them) and particularly if you are interested in how a child’s brain develops and works. It is a very easy read with plenty of drawings to keep you interested! You’ll find yourself taking sides with your child instead of fighting them..
ps – there are those occasions when your child might be SO worked up, they say ‘no’ to everything offered. This is when I found it was time for any distraction, planted just near them for them to accept themself. For us, it was the iPhone….!