I think I’ve mentioned about a hundred times that Meredith is a spirited child. :) As so, she is particularly intense with her emotions, which can be so cool and fun but also…not! Today I wanted to share a few ideas that we use to calm her down when she is getting worked up. (First tip: try them BEFORE reaching epic meltdown level!)
1. Walk it out
Changing her surroundings is always a good idea, and going for a walk usually does the trick. When I’m trying to head off a tantrum I try to steer her towards riding in the stroller or walking rather than riding her balance bike because she can get frustrated easily with the latter. If there isn’t time to go for an actual walk I might just take her outside instead.
As long as it’s not washing her hair (which is torture, obviously) anything involving water is soothing. She particularly likes “washing” the dishes, but playing in the kiddie pool or the bath is good too.
If I can get her calm enough to sit in my lap, she loves it when I run my fingers lightly over her skin. She might get tickled at first, but she’ll get used to it and ask me to keep going. I do her arms, legs, back, and neck.
4. Just start talking
This is a distraction technique. When I’m desperate I will start talking about something – anything – random, and just keep going, and going, and going. Eventually she might become absorbed in my babble and then we can come back to the problem at hand a little more rationally.
5. Playing baby
I use this one especially when she is refusing to do something I want/need her to do. She is 4 years old, so I will start acting like she is a baby. Maybe I need her to change clothes – I’ll lay her on the changing pad, pretend to change her diaper, and put her clothes on there. Sometimes I’ll even swaddle her! It’s silly, but it can really work.
Anyone else out there want to chime in with your ideas? Where are my parents of spirited children? Let’s have a moment of solidarity!