12 Terrible Ways To Deal With A Toddler Meltdown

What is the opposite of pro? Novice? Dummy? That’s me. I am the opposite of a pro at rearing toddlers. I suck at it. I have failed at basically everything – bedtime, naps, TV watching, eating – you name it, I’ve failed it. It’s not for lack of trying. Raising a toddler is to my early 40’s what math was to my early 20’s; I’m just not good at it.

Because I clearly can’t tell you what to do, I am going to tell you what not to do when your toddler is having an epic meltdown. None of the following things work when dealing with tantrums.

1. Ignoring. 

Toddlers are amazingly patient when it comes to driving out of your m-fing mind. They will wait for your focus.

2. Bribing.

He will never be satisfied. Don’t go down this road.

3. Outdoing. 

Try throwing your own tantrum and you’ll just feel like a moron and drive your toddler to be the loudest voice in the room.

4. Dancing. 

If your kid enjoys dancing it may distract him, but mid-meltdown it will probably just piss him off.

5. Laughing.

See #4.

6. Playing dead.

Doesn’t work because your toddler doesn’t care.

7. Yelling.

See #3

8. Begging.

He doesn’t care.

9. Distracting with candy. 


This actually kind of works, but backfires at bedtime.

10. Staring.

Toddlers always win staring contests, this is fruitless.

11. Crying.

You may think your toddler will feel bad if you do this. He won’t. A toddler does not have a conscience.

12. Locking yourself in the bathroom.


This is actually a very effective move for your own sanity, but may not be safe/ideal for your child.

(photo: Shanta Giddens/ Shutterstock)

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