Survive preschool tantrum years with meltdown-preventing book

Sophie I. Grossman

All toddlers have meltdowns; it’s a fact that parents have to face. What most parents don’t know, however, is that there is now step-by-step advice on how to deal with even the most outrageous of behaviors.

Somerville, Mass., author Michelle Nicholasen co-authored “I Brake for Meltdowns: How to Handle the Most Exasperating Behaviors of Your 2-to-5-Year-Old,” a comprehensive encyclopedia-type book on how to deal with the craziest of kid conduct.

As a mom of five children after “hitting the IVF jackpot,” Nicholasen is well-qualified to give advice on the subject, and decided to compile her knowledge to give other parents some well-deserved tips.

Nicholasen is enthusiastic about the benefits of Somerville as a place to raise young children. She sees Somerville’s cozy size as a huge advantage. With many kid-friendly activities within walking distance, there’s no need for her to bundle five children into the car.

From her house on Prospect Hill, Nicholasen and her kids can walk to no fewer than five playgrounds, where they enjoy the great community spirit and the company of the many other young families in Somerville.

Her children also benefit from the art and family activities hosted in the city, such as the OpenAir Circus and the Summer String Camp. The whole family especially enjoys Somerville’s diversity. “I love that my kids can sit in the playground and make friends from Tibet and Brazil.”

Nicholasen’s number one tip for parents of screaming toddlers is “Don’t yell. If your child is flipping out, do the exact opposite. Stay calm.” She points out that the situation will be much more under control if the child’s tantrum is the only one occurring.

She reminds parents to view tantrums as thunderstorms. No matter how violent and gusty they are, they will eventually pass.