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Readers Respond: How Do You Handle Preschoolers' Tantrums and Meltdowns?

Responses: 4


From the article: Grandparenting Preschoolers
When grandparents were parents, we called them temper tantrums or plain old tantrums. Lots of parents today call them meltdowns, which may be a more accurate descriptor. No matter what you call them, these demonstrations of frustration from toddlers and preschoolers can be impressive and baffling. Parents and grandparents, share your strategies for handling tantrums and meltdowns. Share Your Strategies

Early Three-Year-Old Meltdowns

My grandson turned three a month ago. I have noticed that the "NO" and the meltdowns are returning on occasion lately. However, these are more a battle of wills than something he cannot control because he can turn it ( the meltdown / tantrum ) on and off like a spigot! He had one this past weekend, and just as Sally Kabak advised, I had him in a timeout chair, etc. THEN he defiantly hollered, "I got OFF the chair!" Oh boy, lol! So I left him and walked into another room. He got back on the chair, screamed some more, and when he saw that this was not working, he turned off his spigot, came into the kitchen as sweet as could be and that was the end of it. What happens is that if you are babysitting for a long period of time, they are going to test you the same as they do with their parents, I guess. I find it exhausting because I just want to be the FUN GRANDPARENT not the disciplinarian but that's not how it works :)


My pre-k child last year adjusted really great. It was his first year in school and the first year we had custody of him and his little brother. He is now in kindergarten and has gone above the grade level he is in to the next, first grade, with such ease. They say they will still be able to keep his interest up when he does start first grade next year. His little brother, on the other hand, is the opposite. He has meltdowns everyday, including screaming and tantrums. But he is still on the high end of intelligence. What we have now learned he is autistic, Aspergers syndrome. So it is not just a meltdown or tantrums but a real life disability for him. He has no memory of doing these things after the tantrums and screaming comes to a stop. So, we will be going to Vanderbilt Childrens Hospital for help with this problem and will learn how to deal with him and the problems. It is not easy raising grandchildren, but add an illness to it, it makes for a new life style change for him and us.
—Guest Janet

Seniors keeping up with a 3-year-old

This was a problem for me until I enlisted the aid of my 12 year-old grandson. The two cavort like puppies and even share a bed on the sleeper sofa when they spend the night.
—Guest Pat Curry

Handline Preschool Meltdowns

If you find that you are experiencing very bad behaviour create a “naughty chair or stair” explain to your child exactly what is going to happen, that if they continue their bad behaviour then they will be placed there with nothing to do, children understand a lot more than what we give them credit. Place the child on the chair or stair, walk away, don’t talk to them, don’t leave them toys to play with, if they get off, put them back on, walk away again, again don’t talk to them or make eye contact, continue until they know that they will not get away with it. A minute for every child’s age is sufficient. After they have completed their time on the naughty chair or stair, get down to their eye level, and explain to them why you did what you did, and make sure that they say they are sorry. Please give them a cuddle and kiss; children need to know that you still love them even when they are naughty.
—Guest Sally Kabak

Share Your Strategies

How Do You Handle Preschoolers' Tantrums and Meltdowns?

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