As a mom of an almost four-year-old, I am proud to announce that I can read my toddler like a book. I know when his meltdowns are coming, and exactly what they are going to look like. I am not so proud to announce I have no idea how to stop them. The good thing is, if you can accurately measure where you are on the meltdown scale, you know how much time you have left to endure. It’s like being able to see the tip of the mountain; you can begin telling yourself you’ll get to the top eventually.
Here are the 10 stages of a toddler meltdown, and how you’ll probably respond to each one.
He gets that look in his eye. You sense there is something off.
His mild irritation is taking a turn for the worst. You are the enemy.
3. The Build-Up.
He starts getting visibly frustrated. This is the beginning of what I like to call, “the no reason zone.”
He definitely DOES NOT WANT whatever you are trying to give him to distract him from total meltdown.
5. Seething Rage.
What the hell is wrong with you? He DOES NOT WANT whatever that is. You are the worst.
Why does his life SUCK SO BAD?
All the rage and sadness is exhausting. You should still keep your distance because YOU ARE AWFUL.
8. More Rage.
He seriously HATES EVERYTHING right now.
But it’s too exhausting to hate everything. He suddenly can’t remember why he is pissed.
He remembers he likes crayons/Spongebob/cheese/whatever is in his general vicinity and snaps out of it, unscathed.
You are a frazzled wreck. Yay, parenthood!