10 Tips for Handling Tantrums on Vacation


During: Make Contact

Hug it out. Sometimes eye contact, a good grip on the shoulders or a firm hug can help snap a small child out of his meltdown.
Hug it out. Sometimes eye contact, a good grip on the shoulders or a firm hug can help snap a small child out of his meltdown.
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If you took any childbirth classes before your otherwise-delightful child entered the world, you may remember learning the importance of eye contact in pain management. Eye contact engages and can help focus, ground and shake you out of a total panic. The same thing can help pull a toddler out of a tantrum.

Vacations can feel out of control for a toddler, who typically thrives on routine. One way to end a tantrum is to provide a focal point, so to speak.

Make some sort of gentle but firm contact to get your child's brain back into the rational moment. That could mean a firm grip on the shoulders and some good eye contact. That could mean a strong, long hug. Anything that makes a stable, physical connection can begin to ease the emotional freak-out that is the tantrum.

Up next: Leave the scene.

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