So how do you all calm down a toddler that is having a tantrum?
I totally missed warning signs today that I could have prevented, and had a really hard time calming down my 3 year old. He just kept repeating the same thing over and over. Talking didn't help, holding did a little bit. Any other ideas?
Ethan - June 21, 2009
Olivia - December 5, 2010
5w3d - October/November 2012
Sarafina is my one who melts down if I miss any of her signs of being tired, hungry, etc... Sometimes, I have to just to remove us from wherever we are and let it go. Emotionally, once kids go over the edge, there is not much you can do other than wait it out. Sometimes, she will let me hug her (she initially resists, but will finally succumb and calm down). I have also used transitional objects to calm her down when possible. The only time she is allowed to have those is when I know we have reached the point of no return (as in ignoring it will not make it stop). I don't want to reinforce the tantrum, so I wait until I am sure she really cannot calm herself down. She is my only one who seems to struggle with knowing how to calm herself down.
If Teagan reaches code red, there's not much else to do other than to wait it out. I talk to her very gently. I keep my distance (because that's usually what she's telling me to do) but stay in the room. I identify the feeling and tell her its OK to be mad/angry/disappointed. I don't try reasoning or explaining anything because that just makes things worse. Getting down on her level helps so long as she's not flailing around. Once her tone switches from anger to vulnerability, I go in for some comforting. Mostly, I try to head them off but there's simply no way to do that 100% of the time. It just comes with the territory of being a toddler. I try really hard not to show any sign of anger or impatience when she's freaking out. DH is not so good at that but he's aware of this and is working on it. He's also nowhere near as good at recognizing her signs of impending tantrum. I employ patience. He employs escape. I find that spending a minute or two just hanging around with her while she freaks out goes a looooong way. Rushing just makes it worse. Just let him have his freak out time and wait until he's through it to have a discussion. He really can't comprehend logic when he's freaking out and just needs to feel like you understand that he is MAD.