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

Soothing Solution: Offer a Reward

Why it works for your kid: When children are learning to control their behavior, an extra incentive doesn't hurt. Throw a marble in a jar when they manage to head off a tantrum at the pass, with the promise that 10 marbles earn them a trip to the bowling alley or a movie night at home. It might make them think twice before they blow their top.

Why it works for you: Everyone loves to be rewarded for good behavior, so if you have your own marble jar, it'll give you a tangible way to track and recognize improved patience. "If you know you've got a problem blowing up around your kids, and you've started doing deep breathing or drinking a glass of water to calm down, why not take yourself to the spa as a reward?" says Linda Pearson, a family nurse practitioner in Lakewood, Colorado, and author of The Discipline Miracle.

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