How To Manage Toddler Meltdowns

Toddler crying in siblings arm.

Every parent of a toddler will experience meltdowns from their child. Toddler meltdowns are frustrating and embarrassing, but they can be managed with a few tips. The most important thing is to consider reframing how parents look at the behavior.

Toddler meltdowns are not one-size-fits-all. They can involve anger and frustration displayed through crying, screaming, kicking, and flailing around. Around the ages of 1-3, meltdowns are common. This is around the time a child’s social and emotional skills are developing, and they may not have the words to express what they are feeling. Parenting toddlers requires calmness and reflection to lessen the meltdown in the future.


How to Deal with Your Toddlers Meltdown

Parenting toddlers when they’re having a meltdown happens, and there is nothing you can do to avoid them.  A toddler’s meltdown is an expression of their feelings, whether those feelings are due to being tired, hungry, or resistant to an activity. Learning how they deal with their frustrations takes time. You can do a few things to try to make toddler tantrums a less stressful situation for you and your little one.


How to Stay Calm During Their Tantrum?

The best toddler parenting tip we have to help your child through their tantrum is to remain calm. They may not be able to hear you over their screaming and may not be able to see you through tears or thrashing on the floor, but they can feel your presence.

  • Minimize Talking During a Tantrum: Trying to talk over a toddler during a meltdown will not help calm you or your child.
  • Remember Tantrums Are Part of Development: Toddler tantrums may not be a fun part of child development, but they are normal and healthy.
  • Move Your Child to Another Room: If you feel judgmental eyes on you, your child will feel them too. Try taking your child outside or to another room to establish privacy and create a safer space for them to feel their emotions.

Child throwing a temper tantrum.

What to Say to help the Tantrum End?

Once you have your emotions in check, there are some phrases you can say to your child to diffuse the tantrum. They won’t magically stop your toddler’s meltdown but having a few keywords to say or ask will help you parent your toddler during this time.

  • “Tell me why you’re upset” is an excellent phrase to use to show empathy to your child and encourage your child to use their words and talk about their feelings.
  • “Are you hungry/tired?” might be an easy way to end a tantrum, along with offering a snack, as tantrums are often caused by being overly tired or hungry.
  • “Let’s do something else!” is a redirecting phrase that pulls your child’s attention to something else.


Reflect on the Meltdown with your Child

Parenting toddlers is challenging, and meltdowns are a genuine part of that. Once the meltdown has run its course, you and your child should take a few minutes to reflect on their behavior and why the meltdown happened. Your child is probably going to want hugs after the meltdown is over, too. Toddlers do not have meltdowns on purpose, and they are rarely trying to upset you. They just don’t know how to handle the big things they feel yet.

At Breakie Bunch, we have seen our fair share of toddler tantrums and understand they happen because children trust us, as they trust you. Toddler meltdowns are a normal part of your child’s development. In addition to questions regarding our facilities, we’re available to answer any questions regarding your child’s social, emotional, and development skills.