Tips

Drew Barrymore’s Hack for Dealing with Toddler Tantrums Is Freakin’ Genius

Parents, babysitters, and anyone else who gets to be in charge of little kids: huddle around. We’ve all had to come face-to-face with tantrums and other bad behavior, but the methods of taming them are numerous.

Your friends, your parents, your grandparents, and the cashier at the grocery store all have advice. We share, we lament, we overcome, and sometimes we ignore our encounters with tantrums, but we’re usually also willing to try new tricks to survive them.

You’re getting a new one today courtesy of celeb mom Drew Barrymore. The actress, who is a mother of two, is no stranger to in-house or public meltdowns and has been known to post photos on social media of tantrums in progress.

You know the type: kid decides to hug the ground with all four limbs or kid tries to hold up an imaginary planet while crying and lying on his back. Can you relate? Us too.

Barrymore recently shared some toddler advice on Instagram that came from the Seedlings Group. She credits them with providing wise parenting advice ever since she’s had kids. Their suggestion:

“SUMMER TODDLER TIP: ‘KEEP BUBBLES ON HAND. YOU CANNOT TANTRUM IF YOU ARE BREATHING AND YOU CANNOT BLOW BUBBLES WITHOUT BREATHING. YOU CAN’T TANTRUM WHILE SMILING AND YOU CAN’T CATCH BUBBLES WITHOUT LOTS OF SMILES. QUICK DISTRACTION TO GET BACK TO CALM.”

Ah, the old art-of-distraction tactic. Meant to kill a tantrum before it has a chance to strike, this technique sometimes works. It’s hard not to be happy when bubbles enter the picture, so why not tuck away a bottle or two before leaving the house?

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The idea is that urging kids to do the work of blowing bubbles will not only divert their attention, but get them to breathe calmly. As soon as you see a fallout bubbling up – pun intended! – take action.

We realize some folks have children who will smack the bubbles away, pop them while still proceeding with their meltdown, or ignore this attempt. In that case, you need to have a backup plan. How about snacks, toys, or if you’re really thinking outside of the box— beatboxing?

When it comes to this issue, you’ve got to have at least 5 to 10 things at your disposal. Unless your child is being physically aggressive and/or destructive, you can try things like ignoring the outburst, giving them a task, or the classic bribe.

Barrymore isn’t the first Hollywooder to speak on parenting moments like these. Last year, Jane the Virgin actor Justin Baldoni waxed poetic about leaving his daughter be as she dove into her tantrum at a grocery store.

Those of you minding small children should try the bubble-blowing method. We know that these fits are part of growing up, but finding the best tools to handle them can help keep everyone calm.

And who knows? Maybe the bubbles will work on fussy grownups too?

Were bubbles already in your tantrum survival kit? Do you have a technique that seems silly but works? What’s your best tantrum cure?

 

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