When we think of a child shutting down we inevitably think of those toddler years. My mom and I have often laughed and said to each other, “it’s a good thing that God makes toddlers so cute”. They are so awesome, cute and pudgy, exploring everything with wonder; but even the most laid back of toddlers can have days that may give you gray hairs. The first thing we must remember is we cannot give in to the shut down. I once watched a father little girl in the mall, who had moved past the temper tantrum and was laying face down on the floor in front of Build a Bear. He had told her that they we not going to buy one today. I watched to see how he would handle the pressure of the onlookers. He was unfazed and simply sat down on the floor next to his daughter and calmly handled the situation. He was able to get her up off the floor and didn’t give in to her demands for a new toy. I wanted to cheer! It is so easy to allow your child to win because of the embarrassing situation that toddlers can put you in.
There are times where by simply staying one step ahead we can avoid the shutdown all together. Especially when out and about having snacks or something to entertain the child can help dramatically. It doesn’t have to be digital entertainment either; magna-doodles saved many a grocery trip in our house. Be wise in your timing of things for example don’t run errands around lunch or nap time. Realize that a lot of this can be attention seeking behavior so having something the are engaged in during dinner prep can help. Utilize distractions when you can. When my son is headed for a meltdown in his car seat my husband often has him look for airplanes or count birds. Make sure to use both consequences and rewards.
For more listen to today’s podcast and we have an entire week long series on toddlers you can check out by clicking here.