Life Parenting
  • Facebook
    Facebook
  • Twitter
    Twitter
  • Pinterest
    Pinterest
  • +
  • Linkedin
    Linkedin
  • WhatsApp
    WhatsApp
  • Email
    Email
SHARE THIS
  • Facebook
    Facebook
  • Twitter
    Twitter
  • Pinterest
    Pinterest
  • Linkedin
    Linkedin
  • WhatsApp
    WhatsApp
  • Email
    Email

When your child transforms into a three-foot-tall shrieking gargoyle and you’re at the point where you truly believe that an evil spirit has taken over their tiny body, probably forever, sinking to their level and having a meltdown of your own is far from helpful. You’re the adult; you know losing your cool isn’t going to mitigate the situation and that it’s so important to act calm when your kid is stressing you out. (Even if you feel like dramatically throwing yourself onto the couch and wailing at the top of your lungs until you lose your voice.)

“Meltdowns are terrible, nasty things, but they’re a fact of childhood,” Ray Levy, a clinical psychologist and co-author of Try and Make Me! Simple Strategies That Turn Off the Tantrums and Create Cooperation, told Parents. “Young kids—namely those between the ages of one and four—haven’t developed good coping skills yet. They tend to just lose it instead.”

We asked Canadian parents to weigh-in on the very real techniques they use on the daily when their little ones are pushing all the buttons. Instead of getting upset, consider one of these techniques to calm yourself and the deescalate the situation.

Remind yourself of a calmer part of the day

“Imagine them sleeping at the end of the day and how peaceful they look.” – Rebecca Stewart, Kamloops, BC

And that, one day, they’ll move away and start their own life

“I remind myself that I’ll crave even the most arduous moments once they’re old enough to move out.” – Mike Ward, Toronto, ON

Give yourself a time out

“I walk away. I go to the bathroom and close the door for a minute.” – Trish Popov, Newmarket, ON

Find a mantra that speaks to you and repeat it

“The phrase ‘I love you, you love me, and we will get through this together.’” – Lisa Mehak, Stouffville, ON

If you have a spouse, tag-team the problem

“Sometimes my wife and I don’t even have to use words to know when we’re at our wit’s end. We’ll just make eye contact and then the other person will jump in and take over the meltdown that’s happening.” – Alex Robson, Calgary, AB

Pick your battles

“We are dealing with a 14-year-old, and at that age it is their job to push their parents’ buttons. I try to remember what I was like at 14 and I was much worse. Once you accept that it’s an important part of growing up, it gets easier to pick your battles. Every kid will learn quicker from making their own mistakes than they will from listening to their parents.” – Derek Brazier, Toronto, ON

Speak in a calm voice

“I had bad temper tantrums as a kid, and I remember my mom would speak to me in a soft, calming voice. It’s almost like I couldn’t stay in my destructive state when she was communicating in such a soothing voice. Now that I’m a parent, I find doing this really helps with my kids, not only to defuse the situation for their sake, but for mine sanity, too.” – Lindsay Gunther, Brandon, MB

Create a distraction and switch up what they’re doing

“Change their activity and give (enforce) quiet book time in their rooms to give me a break.” – Jessica Somerville, Toronto, ON

Breathe. Like, really focus on taking purposeful gulps of air

“Close your eyes and a few deep breaths.” – Jordan Mansell, Hamilton, ON

If you do lose your cool, apologize

“Even parents should realize they’re human like everyone else and may lose their cool from time to time; it’s Important not to beat yourself up over it. Show your kids respect and apologize if voices get raised. Then pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back in the game.” – Evan Sue-Ping, Toronto, ON