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

Soothing Solution: Count to 10

Why it works for your kid: Counting warns your child that his behavior is unacceptable without requiring you to launch into a lecture. Plus, it gives him a set amount of time to transition from one activity to another, such as from hogging the toy truck to sharing it or from roughhousing the dog to petting her gently.

Why it works for you: The mantra-like focus you need to slowly count to 10 in the midst of a battle with your kid enables you to ratchet down your anger a few notches. And it buys you time. "When your kid's driving you crazy, if you can just pause before you respond, that's when you can make a great choice about how to react," Runkel says.

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