Illustration for article titled Interrupt a Toddlers Tantrum With This Script

Photo: Natal.is (Shutterstock)

If you have a toddler, and that toddler has tantrums, you know there is no surefire way to snap them out of it every time. A toddler tantrum is the world’s purest form of frustration release, and logic has no place in these animalistic emotional displays. However, once in a while, a parent is able to devise a strategy that both soothes a child during the tantrum and gets to the root of what the hell they’re actually upset about. And that is what this mom, on TikTok, has accomplished.

First, watch @bareyoursoul’s video for yourself, and then we’ll discuss:

It’s important to recognize that this adorable toddler is not yet in a full-out uncontrollably-screaming-and-pounding-fists-on-the-floor meltdown when the video begins, but this method is quite possibly what prevents it from getting to that point. When seeking to head off a tantrum, prevention and early intervention are always your best best.

Let’s break down what Kay did, step by step:

1. Using her sweetest mom voice, she has him sit down and take four deep breaths, a thing she has clearly had him practice many times—since, as she says, he turned two years old. That’s a great time to start implementing a practice like this.

2. Next, she has him “shake it off,” which helps satisfy the craving his body has to physically let out his emotions in the moment.

3. Then she says, “listening ears,” and they each point to an ear to indicate that they’re focused on each other and are listening. This is absolutely key, because so much of a toddler’s frustration comes from feeling like they can’t communicate what they want or need. Knowing his mom is fully focused on figuring out why he’s upset is half the battle.

4. Once he’s making eye contact and pointing to his ear, she says, “Tell Mommy what’s wrong,” and he instantly pops up to point out the Mickey Goldfish he’s coveting. (I am imagining that in the moments before she started recording, she tried to give him Mickey Veggie Chips and he immediately began to melt down, and she was baffled, because little man usually loves himself some Mickey Veggie Chips.)

5. As soon as she confirms he can have the snack, he visibly cheers up. She has him take one more deep breath and “shake it off” one last time, and they head off to chomp on some Goldfish.

I am betting this works so well because she both started practicing it with him at a young age and because he has seen many positive results like this, so he has some buy-in into the process.