9 Ways to Prevent a Meltdown -- Your Kid's and Yours, Too

Soothing Solution: Have a Tickle-Fest

Why it works for your kid: Giggling not only lightens the mood, it provides a physical release for all that tension -- one that doesn't involve kicking and hitting. When Robin Alexander-Keenan's 3-year-old daughter Megan was starting to lose it on an 11-hour transatlantic flight, her mom lifted Megan's arms above her head and then counted her ribs. "By the time we made it to five she was hysterical and so was I," says Alexander-Keenan, of Haswell, England. "Now when I get really cross she does the same with me."

Why it works for you: Laughter isn't called the best medicine for nothing; it's long been known for its ability to reduce stress. In fact, one recent study showed that even thinking about laughing releases beta-endorphins, a natural analgesic, into your bloodstream. If playing Tickle Monster with your little one doesn't crack you up, break out the knock-knock jokes, or dive into a book by humorist David Sedaris while your toddler's down for her nap.

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