Updated: Jun 10
How to guide your toddler through emotional meltdowns, connect with them, make them feel safe and by doing so minimize the meltdown.
Ever wish your toddler’s meltdown could be contained? Here is a routine to follow to minimize meltdowns.
Recognize- “I SEE you are feeling some big feelings right now. (ASK) are you feeling mad that I said no to __?” (insert feelings that apply to the situation)
Connect- AWKNOWLEDGE “Gosh, I understand you are feeling really sad and angry that I said no to that. Hearing ‘no’ to something you want doesn’t feel good. I understand that.” ATTACH- pause, look in the eyes, take some deep slow breaths and nod. Be present with your child.
Contain- Maintain your boundaries and explain WHY you are saying no or why you are making a choice as the grown-up. Then offer a CHOICE between two things that you are willing to offer.
Example: Sadie, I see you are really frustrated right now. Are you feeling upset that you are having trouble opening that container? I understand that feels very frustrating for you. (pause and look, breathe, and really look at her) Would you like me to help show you how to open it or would you like to put it away for another time?
Make sure to think about what can impact your child's behavior. Are their biological needs met? Or are they hungry, thirsty or tired? Often when a child is overtired they cannot regulate their emotions. Consider working with a sleep consultant to make bedtime and middle of the night easier. Tiny Duck Parenting works only with toddlers and children, most families see their child falling asleep independently by night 4! Then by night 7, bedtime will be easy and enjoyable, and middle of the night waking up will no longer happen!