All moms have had "one of those days" where a toddling tyke has had a meltdown over absolutely nothing. Sometimes "one of those days" are like Groundhog Day over and over and over again.
Little ones have some serious feelings about life! What's a three-year-old to do when he or she can't find the ball that is right behind them? Or how is a little man supposed to handle having to *gasp* share a shopping cart with this sister? And this is why moms can only try to be all things to their little people. Some of these things are impossible to predict. So what's a mom to do? She's got to laugh.
Take this image, for example, as a simple trip to Walmart took a turn for the worst when this little girl wanted to get a Chucky movie for Christmas. It's hard to explain to a child the numerous reasons why a killer doll is not the best holiday movie, but as a parent, the goal is to avoid explaining the gnarly details and just accepting the fact that your child will be angry for a short while.
If this image made you laugh then check out the rest of these stories to learn what moms and dads have to endure all the time. At least these are the few that they can look back and laugh. Just remember, no mom stands alone!
20 Shoo, Fly!
One power that every mother secretly wishes she had is the ability to predetermine the landing zones of all winged creatures. If only. There's nothing more annoying than having lunch or breakfast extended by an hour because the bugs wouldn't stop. Family picnics become nothing more than a shoo-fly fest when toddlers are around. For this mom, a fly landed beside her child and he flipped out. You never know when a tyke is going to be scarred for life over a fly. How could the fly do that to the poor thing? Online Spy caught this mother's tale.
This is a tantrum that is dealing specifically with fear of the unknown. If something flew out of thin air and landed beside you during lunch and you didn't know what it was, you might freak out too. Think about these ones like you've never seen a fly before. Now you get it, right?
Dr. Ricker, psychologist and author of Backtalk: 4 Steps in Ending Rude Behavior in Your Kids says situations like these depend on positive feedback to be successful. In other words, you don't want to start screaming too, Mom. And this could happen if the winged creature that lands is a hornet that you are allergic to. This is another situation that can be turned into a game. "Shoo fly! Boo fly!" until giggles return to the land of lunchtime.
19 Dude, Where's My Balloon?
Play Buzz captures this moment that's so relatable. We've all been there. We put something somewhere, go to do something else, and then go back to use the something we put somewhere and can't find it. So you can't blame this guy for the epic freak out when he can't find something he's sitting right beside.
This little guy was playing happily with his balloon one minute. Until he wasn't. It was very, very sad, but also funny.
This one serves as a good reminder of how short the short-term memory in children really is. If they can't see it, it doesn't exist. Johnny's balloon may have sailed right past him two seconds ago. But a lifetime of opportunities has passed in those two seconds. He's not thinking about the balloon, until he is. So where is it? It was here, now it's not. Cue the meltdown. Here's another situation where crying it out changes nothing, and getting the balloon for Boo is just as effective. Teach him to look for it. "Look all around you honey, where did it go?" Patty Wipfler, founder of Hand in Hand Parenting says that a child must be relaxed to learn, but that crying is a gateway to that relaxation. Let him wind down, and then ask him to look all around him for the ball.
18 Permission Denied
This one is a Dump A Day classic. You've got to hand it to this mom and dad who insisted on the family photo while little Suzie sat on the step and lost her mind for a few minutes all because she did not want her picture taken! We get it. But sometimes the family photo just can't wait. And sometimes it can wait, but mom makes everybody do it anyway even if Suzie is still upset. This Mom decided she wasn't going to let Suzie call the shots, and they framed the family photo. Almost everybody is happy. You know this one that will be shown at her wedding.
Parents notes that when it comes to these tantrums, sometimes they are a stress release in and of themselves. Author Deborah MacNamara says that crying is about release. For situations like this, sometimes you really do just need to let them get it out. When we cry, we release the stress hormone cortisol. That's why we actually do feel better once we get it all out. Toddlers are going through all sorts of changes which can be really intense. There was a LOT of cortisol flowing in this house that day. You would cry too if you were this stressed out.
17 Lost Receipt
An epic item in SlipTalk's Tantrum tally. A lost receipt is no laughing matter. Hey, you have got to give a girl some credit for being fiscally responsible before she's potty-trained. We've all been there when we lose the receipt and see our life flashing before our eyes. You know there will be a time when she looks back on this day and says, "See? I need to compare prices. I KNEW I should have kept that receipt."
We don't know what goes through a child's mind when they see something for the first time. You see a gas receipt. She may see a piece of paper upon which she wanted to scrawl her first masterpiece. The next time you see a toddler having a tantrum like this in public over what appears to be nothing, know that the cause is lost on everyone else as well. You can stare all you want and you probably won't know much more than her own mother.
When a receipt gets tossed on the ground without anybody caring about it at all, some people take that very seriously. Either she's an environmentalist in the making, or will one day practice good fiscal sense. One thing is for sure. Since at least one kind soul that loves her took a picture, nobody is soon to forget the day the case of the missing receipt was cracked wide open.
16 When Man's Best friend Gets In The Way
Every wild cry fest will have a "solid" reason behind it, and this one is no different. The poor pup just wanted to take a nap and didn't know he'd become the reason for an epic meltdown. Even though this little guy seems to be having the worst day, his sibling can be seen unbothered by the screaming and crying. She's going about her day, playing with toys.
Some toddler tantrums can send moms and dads into one of her own but this parent seems to have been amused by what they saw. The moment was captured beautifully and this makes us think this isn't the only time a meltdown like this has occurred in this household.
Mixing fur babies and real babies is always an adventure. Having children learn that they are not always going to be able to control every living being is important. This is a great way for them to learn how to live with others and adapt. Considering Fido's lack of reaction, we'd venture a guess that this is not his first rodeo with a crying toddler. With two little kids, it seems as though this dog is tired of always having to move for a child.
15 Cheerio Liftoff Fail
It's a bad start to the day when you can't even get your cereal on the spoon, notes Sunny Skyz. You know you want to help him, mom, but somehow just stepping back and watching the learning process unfold is darned funny. What's a mom to do but take pictures as evidence for when she shares the story publicly a little bit later?
Helping the child, in this case, isn't always the best idea, say most experts. A mom's job is not necessarily to always be right, always have the answers, and rush in to save the day. For protection and safety, yes. But never in history has a moment occurred where a child needed to be rescued from a Cheerio that failed to lift off. Let him figure this one out. He'll get just as mad as you do when you're trying a fine motor task and can't quite get it.
But doing it for him is not going to help him learn. When he figures this one out on his own, he will not only be happy but he will have a little more confidence in himself as well. But absolutely get the camera out because there will be a day when Junior won't believe the story of the great lift-off Cheerio fail.
14 The Great Penguin Disaster
There's nothing worse than heading out to see penguins and only wanting to see penguins and then….not seeing penguins. For this mom, it will forever be known as the great penguin disaster, and Mom won't be able to think of penguins again without choking up. This mom was just as astonished as any mother would be when her child erupted in a meltdown because there weren't any penguins. In some instances of a meltdown, it's possible to produce the thing that the child needs to stop crying. But few mothers have penguins stocked away in their "Help Me" bag. And even if you did have a stuffed penguin, you may even get a bigger meltdown. A stuffed penguin is clearly not what they want.
The "The penguins aren't here today" argument will probably not be very effective. A child of this age does not understand this, and only sees words from your mouth, and still no penguins. So that's why they are still crying. This is one of those situations that may require re-direction. We aren't sure exactly what happened here, if the child usually saw penguins and then didn't, or if the child saw them on TV and then didn't, anything is possible. If the child is accustomed to seeing penguins, a simple, "The penguins may not be at the park today" could remove this potential tantrum in the future. Once you're already thick in the scream fest though, a simple redirection may help. "What would you like to do instead with mommy?"
13 The Paws Button
When a child sees an animal for the first time, or for the thousandth time after loving the family fur baby to death, it's a precious thing. All he or she wants to do is love them! Sometimes that may be with their lips. When mom hits the paws button on that idea, cue the meltdown in 5-4-3-2-1. Pinterest is the place for every documented second.
Toddlers are always trying to exert their authority and push the envelope. They know they aren't allowed to do some things. But sometimes, they will still try. This phase lasts for approximately 35 years. The Bump reports that Heather Wittenberg, author of Let's Get This Potty Started says that sometimes you can redirect with a reward, but not a bribe. Use sentences like, "Well, I have some of your favorite snacks when you are ready, but we can't do snack when you are so grumpy like that." This sends the message to the child that they do not get rewarded for the tantrum. They get rewarded for taking initiative and regulating themselves out of it. If that still doesn't work, let them cry it out. Some parents might even let them just kiss the dog to learn why it maybe isn't always the most fun.
12 Football Munchies
Kids say the darndest things. Kids eat the darndest things. Kids will teeth on the darndest things. There's nothing you can do but hope that too much of the inanimate object didn't reach their stomach. This mom shared a post of her Boo taking a bite-sized chunk, or several, out of a toy football. Well, mom, he did say he was hungry 71 times. When Johnny goes suddenly quiet after that, you may want to check that one out. This one hit Bored Panda's list of funny meltdowns.
Heather Wittenberg, author of Let's Get This Potty Started says that some kids will gnaw on things just to get attention, sometimes it's teething, and sometimes it is actual hunger. Babies have a faster metabolism and process foods at faster rates than we do, and that's because most of their food is already liquid, pureed, or in the teensiest bite-sized chunks. So babies get hungrier faster. That's why we woke up every two hours on the hour for the infant feedings. They really will eat just about anything that is put in front of them, and they don't have the frontal lobe capacity yet to determine what is actual food, and what isn't. Just be mindful of what is in their arm's reach at any time. It may not look like food to you, but everything does to them.
11 Reach Out And Bite Someone
Again, most moms know the difference between an iPhone and a banana. Most babies don't. They don't stop to consider that the two items look completely different and thus must be something completely different. So sometimes when we take things away from them that aren't food, they get a lil bit upset. Such was the case for this tyke who found Mom's iPhone and decided to have a little afternoon munch fest. It didn't go very well for him. There is probably not a mom on the planet who hasn't had this argument. Another Pinterest classic, this mom received instant feedback when she took away her very expensive piece of technology from her infant. No, sweetie, we don't eat phones. Or footballs. Or anything that's not food.
It's possible this Boo really wanted to eat the iPhone. And it's possible this Boo was teething. But what is most probable about this case is that the child merely got upset at hearing that magical two-letter word, "no". There's nothing that destroys a mother more than seeing their baby's face crumpled like this. They almost want to give their iPhone back to stop that face from happening. Parents Magazine says, don't, that saying "No" now, sets up a lifelong pattern of compliance. Now that's something that every mom dreams of. Try "Phones are for talking, not for eating, sweetie" and see if that helps next time they want to reach out and bite something.
10 Ball Pool Blues
There are moments in life when all you want to do is be in a pool of balls. And others, when that's the last thing you want. This mom took to Pinterest when her tiny tot had a fit about being in the ball pit.
There's not much "grey area" for tykes that haven't begun forming full words yet. So while grownups and youth can say, "No thanks to the ball pool," little ones often can not. Their distaste can look like either nothing, or everything. Few moms know exactly what the problem is sight unseen. These are all opportunities to connect with children, and begin that process of communicating.
Sentences like, "What's wrong? Can you show me? What can Mommy do?" The child may then point to the offense in question, raise their arms in request to get picked up, or, just scream. Using fingers to point and show the child what you want them to do will help them to model that behavior. And sometimes we have to try a few things. Children this age aren't capable of rational thought, so trying to make sense of it is likely a futile task. Start with mom's intuition and go from there.
9 Turtle Trauma
We all react to reptiles differently. For some, screaming is the only option according to Dump A Day's collection. And nobody will ever say the word "turtle" again in this mom's home.
When it comes to toddlers, you have to be very careful and very cautious about introducing them to new things. This is true whether the new thing is a new ball, or a turtle in the backyard they've never seen before. There are some grownups that would not be able to sleep at night thinking there was something slimy in the back yard. So when this poor dad tried to teach his tyke a science lesson about the biology in their backyard, Miss Thang had a little freak out.
Kids Health says that toddler meltdowns happen for a variety of reasons, and they are always an opportunity to educate. For a situation like this, it was the unknown that freaked out this poor little girl. For future reference, dad can ease the child into this situation to make it less scary and creepy. "Hey, want to see what's in the backyard? Ok, before we go, here are the rules, and you get to be in charge!" When the child is excited before they even head out, you minimize the tantrum potential. At least, if this were a perfect world.
8 Bathroom Blues
One thing no one teaches you in all of the mommy and pregnancy books is that once your kids arrive, you will never be able to go to the bathroom again without wondering if you're going to get interrupted, or screamed at for flushing something that could have been the grossest science experiment ever. Good thing we have Pinterest for those little life lessons.
Privacy seems to become a thing of the past once you are a parent. And sometimes you get in trouble for expecting it. Such was the case for this mom, who went to the bathroom like an ordinary adult, and was thrown into a catapult of guilt for waste disposal. Cue the meltdown.
This is a time of their life when children are learning so much about bodily functions, and it's really quite fascinating to them. Not just the function itself, but even the way it swirls down this bowl and then goes away forever. To a first-timer, it can be pretty cool. But tykes do need to learn boundaries in the bathroom, and that's an excellent teachable moment when he gets mad at you for flushing first. "Bathroom time is private time for EVERYBODY." The website Parenting reports that ignoring a tantrum of this nature will make it go away. You are allowed to go to the bathroom by yourself, Mom.
7 Halloween Hardship
Apparently, Superman was a little over-rated for this one, notes Dump A Day. Who among us hasn't put on a red cape and instantly regretted it? This mom will never see Clark Kent as Superman again.
Let's not overanalyze. This is a classic example of "sometimes kids just don't want to do something." While we can chalk up a lot of toddler tantrums to actual mysteries, sometimes they are just saying no to some fresh humiliation we've put upon them. Parenting Magazine says that almost every tantrum has a specific pattern. A slow start, a rise to the scream, and then a full-blown freak out before fizzling out again. Waiting till the fizzle out phase can be one approach that you can use here.
Another is to just change the kid out of the costume, even if you spent $399 on it, on sale. Apparently, not everybody wants to be Superman. And if that's the case, put the kid out of his misery and just get something else for him to where. You might think twice as well if someone asked you to put on a bodysuit and pose for a camera. So just give the little guy this one and end the horror. But not before you take a picture. Because that's funny!
6 The Case Of The Missing Muffins
Ranker has this classic that secretly happens in every home in America. It really bothers me when I eat all of the muffins and then I can't find them. You would cry too if it happened to you.
Kids are really funny. They often think they are the smartest people in the room. That's because their ego, especially at this age, is super developed. Think about it. They have people that come running to their every whim. They don't have to buy their own food or cook it, it just comes to them. Baths, just happen. Playdates magically appear. Special presents arrive out of nowhere all the time, just because they are cute. Who wouldn't think they were the smartest ever? So when they do something and try to get away with it, they really do think they stand a chance. It's hilarious.
Such was the case for this mom, whose tyke ate all the muffins and then cried because they were all gone. Maybe he thought he was smarter than everybody. And maybe he genuinely forgot. Today's Parent has identified the most common kinds of triggers for tantrums. Sometimes, kids are just plain hungry. That's probably not the case here since the whole bag is gone. Sometimes, they are overtired. We've all had those days too. All you want is a muffin and there are no muffins. Coming to the realization that you ate all the muffins may not be helpful. But a nap probably is at this point.
5 Sibling Nightmares
There's nothing worse than spending all day, every day serving as both judge and jury for the infractions between siblings. You just never know when the next offense is going to be committed. Little Things notes that as mom pondered this one, she also grabbed the camera. Almost have to feel sorry for this little one. That is some rage!
For this little one, she wanted to have some breakfast and was having a perfectly fine day until her innocent brother sat down beside her. What's a girl to do but have a full blown freak out? She's going to be pulling this one for years, unfortunately. There's not much mom can do in this case, without actually splitting the two up, and that's not going to help anyone at all.
Active Kids reports that in cases like this, distractions are the only way to go. You can't say no to your son eating breakfast at, gasp, the same time as his sister. And if you give in to her this once, it sends poor messages to both of them. But you can distract her in a way that calms her down and dials down the hate, at least for a few minutes. This might be a time she would be allowed to read a book while eating breakfast for example. This one she may just have to suck up a bit though. She can't cry every time he sits down beside her. Well, here's hoping, anyway. You're totally remembering that time at breakfast you wanted to punch your brother out, aren't you? Doesn't this poor boy look so thrilled that there's a camera crew on standby documenting the sister hate? Family. Good times.
4 Cheese Whiz
The folks at Apple Montessori Schools know tantrums can happen anytime. But when we become moms we don't realize that we are entering a life of constant guilt. You just never know what it will be that you've done next that is just so horribly wrong. This mom committed the cardinal sin of breaking down a piece of cheese, probably for safety purposes, and she got laid into.
One minute it just looks like a piece of cheese. The next, it's a wounded object worthy of screams from a third party, followed by a cheese funeral complete with the stuffy brigade ensemble. We are entering confusing territory here, and one where the cause could be either one of those tired and/or hungry situations. This situation implies it's very possible your child is over tired, and freaking out over the mourning of a broken piece of cheese.
Again, there's not a lot you can do with this one. Offer the cheese and see what happens from there. If he's not hungry, you know he's overdone with the stimulation and needs a mental break from broken cheese. Or, anything. Regardless of what has set him off, however seemingly small, give him a chance to clarify, notes Parents.com. Ask, "I don't understand, what's the problem, honey?" And see what happens. If all else fails you'll get cues someone is very overtired. Time for a nap, Mom.
3 Not For A Rainy Day
Moms can be so confusing sometimes! One minute they tell us to do something, the next, we don't have to do it. How are we to know what is what? Such was the case for this little boy who's mom was trying to teach him good skin care. Teaching them they need to wear sunscreen is important. But don't forget that tiny little detail that they don't need it when it's raining. The mixed messages sometimes aren't received very well. Or at least that was the case here from this mom's tale on Viral Scape. She just can't win!
Kids do need to hear specific instructions like this, as they can tend to take everything literally. Then, when they get confused, it's all our faults.
The cause of this little guy's tears is just straight up confusion. That and, he thought he was doing something that big boys do, and instead of getting praised, he was corrected. Who wouldn't cry when they thought they were going to the beach but weren't? Parents Magazine notes that when children cry about these types of things, they just need to hear the praise first. "I like that you were trying to be a big boy, just not today because it's raining sweetie. I can't wait to see how you good you do tomorrow when we DO go to the beach!" There are some things you prepare for in parenting, and some things you just try to do damage control. This is one of those.
2 Dinner Drama
We all have expectations when it comes to dinner time. Sometimes, those aren't communicated well. Sometimes, they are communicated loudly. When this mom couldn't take the crying in front of the stove, she took to Twitter. Because it's funny.
Hunger is a very common reason for many, many toddler tantrums. They just need more meals than we do, but not necessarily more calories. Active Kids says "hanger" is a real thing with kids. And if you think about it, it is with you too. Nobody wants to wait to eat!
There are a number of ways you can deal with this one. Depending on how close it is to dinner, you can offer a snack for your tyke that is healthy or small enough to keep him happy until dinner. A change of scenery will work here too. Maybe he's not hangry. Maybe he's just bored. Taking him into a different room, and getting his eyes and his mind off of the cooking dinner could be all he needs to turn back into a happy baby. Keeping healthy snacks in reach in every room can help too, and it doesn't have to be major. A bowl of Cheerios there, a few slices of apples there. If he's that starving, he will find it.
1 Hot Dog Surprise
You can't just spring a hot dog on people. You just never know how they are going to react. This mom found out the hard way according to Klyker.
One minute you think you're eating this gorgeous golden breadstick thing. The next, a hot dog is trying to jump out and eat you too. At least that seemed to be the thought process of this little guy, who was not warned ahead of time that he was eating a hot dog. Ruhr oh! He may never look at hot dogs the same again.
This is another one of those situations where a little preparation goes a long way. But not every mom thinks of mentioning the ingredients in every meal. If something simple throws your Boo off, it may not even be the issue. He could be overtired, hungry, confused, or just want some attention. If Boo freaks out over something like this you can dial it down right away, reports Parents. Just say, "I don't like it when you whine like that, use your words please." And see how that goes. You may get a screaming rant about hot dogs again. But at least he is learning to express himself, and that's more than some adults can say at dinner time.
Refrences: Pinterest, Twitter, Viral Scape, Apple Montessori Schools, Little Things, Ranker, DumpADay, PlayBuzz, Online Spy, Bored Panda, Slip Talk, Sunny Skyz, Klyker, Dictionary, The Bump, Parents Magazine, Kids Health, Parenting, Today's Parent, Active Kids