Want to help your kid keep calm and carry on? Give them a few tools to build impulse control and self-awareness and you’ll be well on your way to keeping tantrums at bay. Here, EQtainment’s founder Sofia Dickens shares her top five tips for meltdown management.

Teach your child to pay attention to their breathing. 

Taking a deep breath really does help kids (and adults) chill out. Another technique to try with your kid? Tell them to blow into their hand five times. Concentrating on the breath is an instant way to destress.

Keep consequences consistent. 

Sure, sometimes you’re tired, and it’s hard to enforce the rules all the time. But if you only do it intermittently, your kid will wonder where the boundaries actually are and keep misbehaving until they find them. And next time you give them the consequence? On your mark, get set…massive meltdown!

Give them an alternate way to express their frustration. 

If you suddenly get the feeling you’re on a one-way bus to Tantrum City, quick, take a detour: Offer your child another outlet to get those big feelings out, like a pillow to punch, or a song to sing along to at top volume (think rock ‘n’ roll, not Raffi).

Have them talk it out before acting impulsively. 

Being a kid means having to listen to other people a lot. Give them the chance to call the shots occasionally (“Should we set the table first or walk the dog first?”) and watch the meltdowns melt away.

Show them just how silly a meltdown can be. 

Channel your eighth-grade drama club skills and pour on the kicking and screaming. Before long, your over-the-top stomping and sobbing may have them in stitches.