How To Navigate Toddler Meltdowns


Q: Adrienne, I have a 3 year old daughter who constantly has meltdowns at home for no apparent reason. What should I do? 

asked by Judy P on August 5, 2019

A:  First of all, I sympathize with you both personally as a mom and as a professional who sees a lot of meltdowns in children. I know how hard it is to manage this difficult behavior in a rational and calm manner. The easiest thing to do initially is to assess your daughter’s diet. Does your daughter eat a lot of wheat or gluten-based products and sugar? The first thing I suggest when working with any child with a behavioral issue is to get that child off of all wheat/gluten and processed sugar products completely. Another easy environmental modification is to limit screen time or technology time. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children ages 0-3 not be exposed to any screens at all. Screens include computers, tvs, Ipads, Iphones or any other technological device. However, I would recommend a more in-depth consult to discuss these environmental modifications and possibly other modifications that you could make in your own interaction with your child to deal with this issue. 


This is a very common situation that I deal with all the time Judy. I recently saw a three year old little girl who demonstrated severe meltdowns. This little girl wouldn’t even sit on a chair to play with me. Once this child went through The Adrienne Process, we found out she was eating a lot of gluten and sugar, on technology 4 hours a day and her mom was reinforcing her negative behaviors by paying extra attention to her meltdowns which we call “negative attention”. I’m happy to report that in just one month, this child is overall calmer and more attentive with less behavioral disturbances.

Adrienne Murphy