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

Soothing Solution: Use Words

Why it works for your kid: For a 1-year-old, an inability to string the right words together exacerbates his frustration, which is why he'll resort to biting his big sister instead. But if you offer him words to describe his feelings, along with a bit of empathy, he'll feel better. "When I say, 'I know you are upset that it's time to leave' or 'I know you wanted that toy and you're very angry that Mommy didn't buy it,' I always see relief wash over my children's faces," says Sachia Logan, a mother of three from Independence, Missouri. "It's like they're saying, 'Yes, that's exactly what I was thinking!'"

Why it works for you: Simply saying out loud, "I'm really angry right now," validates your feelings and clarifies that you need to stop engaging with your kids for the moment. Plus, if you say it only on occasion, it can stop your child in his tracks. "It can be valuable to let our kids know how we feel, and how their behaviors are affecting us," Hal Runkel says.

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