So, picture this. You’re camping with the family, and all of you have looked forward to this trip for months. You’ve just arrived at the campground after a one hour drive. After a short bathroom break, it’s time to set up camp quickly, because dusk is approaching fast.

Calming strategies for parentsHowever, the kids are nowhere to be found. They’re already down at beach playing with the sand and water. Your husband finally rounds them up, and you all start to set up camp. Then the kids start bickering. One throws sand at the other.  And the elder one pushes the younger one. A bit of scolding finally quiets them down, but your youngest child still mouths off.

It’s a ubiquitous experience all parents share. Kids transform into little terrors and push your boundaries sometimes till you lose it.

Here are some strategies to help you through with your children at some point.

Out The Window

If you want to send your kid out the nearest window because of a sassy remark or intolerant behavior, grab them and start tickling them instead. It will be so unexpected, you’ll both start laughing, and break the tension immediately. Simple Kids spotlights a variety of tickle games, like Buzzy Bee and Favorite Kisses, that will immediately stop your kid’s fussiness.

Grand Theft

Your little one has deviously grabbed your income tax refund check, and torn it into about 20 pieces. Rage ensues. Instead of ransacking your neighbors’ homes in a frantic quest to gather replacement funds, take a breather and distract yourself by playing hidden object games online or opening a relaxation app on your tablet. When you’ve calmed down, grab the scotch tape, and start taping.

No Closet Solutions

Toddlers can be unruly, and it may cross your mind to use a locking closet as a play pen (just for a minute or two). Resist that urge, and provide them with a collection of safe, but random, household items they haven’t used as toys before. Think pots and pans, plastic utensils, oven mitts, etc. For the older kids, ask them to make up and perform a puppet show, or be chef’s little helper in the kitchen while you cook dinner. Hopefully, that will buy you at least 30 minutes of “you” time or occupy their attention enough to be manageable.

Do you have suggestions for staying calm when the kids test your patience? Share them with us in the comment box below!