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Tips for dealing with toddler meltdowns(10 Posts)
My 21 month old has been having a few meltdowns lately. It's actually quite scary because it comes on so suddenly and she cries bitterly and flails about.
Like after bath time today she was quite happy but then tried (and failed) to put on a pair of leggings. This started her off and there was nothing I could say or do for at least 5/10 minutes that could calm her down. I managed to get her changed and told her we were going to go downstairs to get her some medicine. As we went downstairs she finally calmed down.
But I've had worse than this when she's kicked off walking home. Took her out of the pram but she wouldn't go back in, wouldn't walk and wanted me to carry her (which I couldn't do all the way as I'm pregnant). By the time we got home I was in tears as much as she was!
So is this all normal for this age and is there anything that's worked for you with your DCs? I feel like this is different to tantrums and she is showing her frustration at not being able to do or say things but it just seems to escalate...
3 meltdowns in 24 hours...is that normal? Any advice?
Totally normal and may continue for a good while! At that age distraction is the only thing that works.
How is her verbal and non-verbal communication? around this age they start getting really frustrated as their thoughts/needs become much more complex and they are unable to effectively express themselves.
Good to know it's completely normal but not that it may go on for a while!
I think her communication skills are quite good. She's picking up words at a decent pace and will take me by the hand if she wants to go somewhere or point at what she wants. But she has always got frustrated easily if she can't do something so that doesn't help.
Is distraction really the only thing that can help?
There were no meltdowns today but she was with my DM a lot. Is it true it's more likely to happen with me or my DH?
I can’t imagine what else would work at this age. She’s too young to really understand how she is meant to behave. She wouldn't have the ability to regulate her emotions. She’s little more than a baby. As she gets older and starts to talk properly things might get a bit easier and you can start teaching her the correct way to behave - but even older children can have tantrums. For example, my 7 year old will sometimes suddenly roar crying if I tell him its time to go to his swimming lesson and he doesn’t feel like going! He is getting better at managing his emotions but this behaviour can happen when he is tired.
Maybe your DM was not trying to prevent your DD doing what she wanted to do so your DD had no reason to get annoyed with her.
My DM does let her do most things but, as I've said before, DD doesn't always do this when I've stopped her from doing things. Sometimes she wants to do something herself but she can't. The other night she woke up in the middle of the night screaming so perhaps she is also having nightmares.
My worry is her hurting herself when she's kicking off so it's about keeping her safe from harm first.
Mine is coming up to 3 in a few months and I agree its totally normal behaviour but doesn't stop it being frustrating! I've found one of the best ways is to not give DS too much attention when he has a tantrum, as that just seems to encourage more. I just distract him with a toy or say ok, mummy and daddy are eating now, and he'll come round in a few minutes. As a PP said its them struggling to process their emotions (I've noticed we seem to have phases that have more tantrums which I assume is in line with brain development) and quite often I ask wht he's crying and he tells me he doesn't know!
Also think the reason they tantrum more for you is they feel safest with you to let their emotions out. DS does have the odd tantrum for GPs but saves the best ones for me and DH! Sounds like you're doing a good job and its just a phase you have to ride out like any other (and try to survive with toys/TV/wine after they're in bed!)
Thanks @tappitytaptap. We will see how we get on. I'll probably be a pro at dealing with them by the time mine gets to 3!
Ha! I'm not a pro but I don't find them as stressful any more (apart from the ones on the occasions you actually really need to be somewhere on time!)