All parents would love to know some great ways to stop a meltdown. Meltdowns are no fun for parent or child. They can really up the stress in your day. These are 7 ways to stop a meltdown in its tracks that can greatly help you deal when you have this situation on your hands.
Distraction is one of the best ways to stop a meltdown. But it typically works best when you catch the meltdown early on, at least in my experience with my own children. If your child is completely worked up, then another method may be more useful, but using distraction can be helpful. It can be a treat, something on television or even someone to talk to on the telephone. The point is that you get your child’s mind off of whatever it is that is upsetting them.
2. Walk Away
Sometimes a meltdown is completely for your benefit. What I mean is your child may be throwing a fit simply to get your attention to get their way on something. If that is the situation, you can remedy that by walking away. When you walk away, they know they have lost and may give up. What fun is there in throwing a fit when no one is watching you?
3. Act Silly
Sometimes you just need to act silly. When you start singing a song and dancing around, it is going to catch their attention, especially if that is not your normal behavior. Sometimes you can get them so amused that they get busy laughing and forget all about their meltdown. This is one of the best outcomes and much easier than some of the other options. It takes the stress off of both of you.
4. Join Them
You know, sometimes you just have to really get on their level. Try pretending to throw a fit with them. Lie down in the floor with them and make your meltdown just a little bit louder than theirs and see how they react. Sometimes a child will be so amazed by their parent’s unusual behavior that they will completely stop their own meltdown. It is unconventional and you will probably feel quite silly but it really can work.
5. Speak Calmly but Firmly
The last thing you want to do is lose your cool. You being emotional will just spur your child on to be more emotional. You need to be sure that you remain calm when dealing with the situation. You also want to speak firmly to let your child know this behavior is not one that is a good choice. Hopefully, the combination of your calmness and firmness will help to get the situation under control.
6. Remove Them from Their Audience
A lot of meltdowns are for the purpose of getting their own way. Children act this way when they feel they have run out of other options. They feel out of control and like they have no other options but to meltdown. They think that by doing this, they will force your hand. They are watching you and anyone else nearby to see how well their tactics are working. If you and other people are no longer an audience for them, their attempts are in vain.
7. Look for Underlying Causes
A lot of times, meltdowns occur because there are underlying causes. Your child may be hungry, tired or feel badly. In those cases, it is best to deal with the underlying cause. That can help the meltdown stop in its tracks. It is best to be on the lookout for these things and deal with them when they occur rather than letting them cause a meltdown.
These are 7 different things you can try to stop a meltdown. Every child will be different in what works best with them. What have you found helps best in your experience?