Solving Parenting Challenges: Age-by-age tips for Managing Meltdowns

Written by lyricsmama on February 28, 2013 – 12:12 PM -


No parent wants to face down a child’s tantrum, particularly in public. However, it’s one of the challenges we all face.  Like a tornado, once it starts, there’s not a lot you can do about a tantrum until it passes.  The big difference is that you can’t run and hide from your child’s meltdown…no matter how tempting it may be.

Claire Haas, a mom of two who also serves Vice President of Education at Kiddie Academy ( offers the following tips on how to manage and prevent tantrums at any age:

All Ages:
Most importantly, stay calm.  Sometimes, despite your best efforts to sidestep them, tantrums will erupt. Although it may be difficult, staying calm is critical.  If you lose your cool, you’ll likely add fuel to the fire.

Know when it’s time to go.  You can’t exit every situation when your child starts to whine, particularly because you don’t want to teach your child that cause and effect response.  However, if your child is screaming in public and won’t stop, it may be time to leave, even if it’s just to the parking lot for a 10 minute cool down.   If you’re feeling flustered and your child is causing a major distraction, leaving may be the best option for everyone involved.

Reinforce Good Behavior.  Praise your child when she does well during a trip you know she won’t enjoy, such as a grocery trip.  For example “you did a great job at the supermarket” or “you’re a good helper, thank you.”

Ages 1 – 3:
At this age, the responsibility for managing a tantrum is really on the parent.  Children 1-3 have tantrums because they simply aren’t equipped to handle their current situation. You know your child best, including when he’s cranky, bored or hungry.   Don’t set yourself up for failure by planning an outing during one of your child’s “danger zones.”

Ages 4 – 6
After the storm subsides, talk it out. At this age, children are old enough to look back on a behavior and identify that it was not acceptable.  Explain “what you did was inappropriate” or “this was wrong because…”

Ages 7+
Share your plans. Whether you’re walking to the playground or driving to the supermarket, tell your child in advance and share your expectations of her behavior before you reach your destination.  For example, “we have 30 minutes to play” or “I need to pick up food in order to make dinner.”  Avoid using bribes in exchange for compliance.    Explain that good behavior is what’s expected, and it’s non-negotiable.

For more tips for handling parenting challenges, visit the Kiddie Academy Family Essentials blog at

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It’s August, time for Back To School…

Written by lyricsmama on August 1, 2009 – 1:55 PM -

Can you believe that it’s August already?!? What’s happened to summer, it came and went in a flash, never mind the weather hasn’t been the actual ‘summer weather’ that we usually expect.

This August isn’t one I’m particularly looking forward to. August is generally ‘back to school time’, this year it’s going to school for the first time, time of year. That’s right, my oldest will be going to school for the very first time entering Kindergarten.

I’m a mix of emotions, I’ve always wanted to home school but hubby wasn’t going to have it. I really don’t know if I have the patients to home school anyways but the education system in the public schools around here are well, not that great. I’ll probably be supplementing a lot of her education at home still.

So within the next few weeks it’s a lot of back to school shopping for us. Between supplies and clothing, shoes and accessories, we’ll be doing a lot of shopping I’m sure. One thing i”m not happy about is the uniform she’s going to have to wear. This just means I now have double the amount of clothes that I normally buy her because she’s still going to need to have clothing for after school and beyond. I’m a little overwhelmed with the whole school uniform process, so many little nit picky rules to go with the ugly colors and ugly styles that they make our kids wear.

Shoes are another issue, this kid grows like a weed so she’s in a new shoe size every few months it seems. The shoes have to be a solid color with matching laces to the color of the shoes, what the heck! A very odd request to me.

I’m sure there are a lot of other mom’s and parents to kiddos heading to school for the very first time, I know I’m not alone and can take any advice I can get when it comes to supplies, clothing, uniforms and how to keep my sanity! Start-rite just launched a new social community for parenting advice that’s sure to have some helpful tips, tricks and answers to many pondering questions us first time parents have be it for school or other situations.

So as we prepare for our first day of school (and I try to keep my emotions locked inside) what tips do you have for me or any other parents going through this, what was your first day of school like for your child and for yourself?

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Posted in back to school, first day of school, parenting advice | Comments Off on It’s August, time for Back To School…
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