Meltdowns is part of parenting a toddler(S). It just gets a bit out of hand when there are two of them. 2 with the same needs. Causes of meltdowns in our household is mainly due to:
- Seeking Attention
Here's how I handle their meltdowns (not that I'm a pro and I can't always do this but on good day when I can, they sometimes work.)
- Take a deep breath and get a hold of myself. Their meltdowns is highly contagious.
- Pretend everything is ok even when I'm fuming mad or when everything is actually NOT OK.
- Figure out the cause of the meltdown, if I can.
- Empathize with them even when I totally couldn't relate to the screaming all because their banana broke into 2 and they couldn't accept a new banana.
- Distract. Reading an interesting book or a book they like sometimes work. If all else fails, ipod touch is god sent. But only when I'm handling one kid because another fight will occur when they start to fight over which application they want to see.
- Isolate. As the tantrum escalate or before it begin to escalate, I will remove them from the situation and bring them to my room to "calm down". It will usually aggravate the situation, sending them kicking and screaming even louder.
It's not easy to calm them down when they go into their full blast screaming mode. Here are my calming tactics:
- Have a different view. I let them look out of the window and ask them what they see. They could see cars coming out of the car park from our windows and I always have to pray hard for a taxi as they love Taxis.
- Blow. My boys still don't understand how to take deep breaths. So, I ask them to blow. Since we need to take a breath to blow isn't it? This is still not working on them yet but I hope they will get it soon.
- Sing a song. Sing a calming song but usually a silly song works better.
- Read a book. I will read a book aloud while they cry. Sometimes it agitate them but on days that work, they calm down and move over to see what I'm reading.
At the end of all these, I'm usually exhausted and drained, physically (from the abusive kicking, they could really do some damage!) and mentally. When I'm out with one and faced with another waiting for his turn, it's time out for ME, (that is when my mum is here and they are not left alone to vent their frustration on each other.)
How do you handle your toddler's meltdown? I would love to hear and learn more tactics!