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

Soothing Solution: Tap into Your Creative Side

Why it works for your kid: When your child is getting upset, hand her some crayons and paper so she can draw a picture of how she feels. Even making just a few angry black scribbles is a healthy way for her to express her emotions, and it lets her know that you're paying attention to how she feels.

Why it works for you: Getting creative by drawing, writing, or playing an instrument is the perfect way to vent, and it can channel the day's frustrations into a more fruitful outlet. Knowing that she'll spend the evening blogging about her kids' annoying behavior tones down Stephanie Elliott's irritation about it for the moment. "Sometimes I even say it out loud: 'That's a blogger!' And it's almost like I have to get to the computer immediately to get it out of my system," says the mother of three from Woodridge, Illinois. Blog bonus: Readers offer helpful comments and dispense sympathy when you're struggling.

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