Our two year old escalates from 0 to 100 in seconds. She screams, cries, kicks, throws things including herself on the floor. I used to get embarrassed by her behavior, now that I understand her more, I'm more accepting. Here is how I deal with our 2 year old homeschooler's melt downs:
1. Don't Interrupt
When our older daughter was the same age if she got upset I would hug her, squeeze her tight and give her lots of kisses. Welp!! That did not work for our now 2 year old. In fact it enraged her more. So when she is upset, I let her express it how she wants to.
2. Explain Safety
As long as she keeps herself and others safe, I don't mind her laying on the floor kicking and screaming. Throwing things scared me because it endangers herself and others. After she flung an item I would demand she pick it up and sternly explain it wasn't safe. Thankfully, she has not thrown anything recently.
3. Allow Her To Release Her Anger
Everyone responds to stress differently - some talk it out, some break out in hives, some internalize it, some weep -- our two year old is very physical. She has to move her body and I don't want to interrupt that process or stop her from fully releasing her anger. I think forcing her to express her frustration in a more socially acceptable way may result in built up anger and will only create more problems in the future.
4. Not A Tantrum
Nope!! My kids don't have tantrums. Those happen when parents try to control a child's behavior. I'm not into that. I let my children express who they are as long as they keep themselves and others safe. I sometimes correct adults who blurt out "she is having a tantrum," and use that as a teaching moment.
5. Can't Be Embarrassed
Yes, there are definitely moments I am embarrassed because my child is loud. But there are also plenty of times I leave her screaming on the floor (at the mall, library, playground...) and people come up and ask me if that is my child. I can't be embarrassed on how my child expresses herself, being able to advocate for my child and help others understand every child is different starts now.
6. Hunger & Sleep
Even though our two year old can walk, talk and do other independent activities she is still a baby who falls out when she is tired or hungry. I can not blame or punish her because in that moment I have failed as a parent to feed her at the proper time or settle her for a nap or bedtime. In fact, I know some adults (myself included) who get quite cranky when they are sleepy or hungry. A two year old still needs to eat frequently and may need one to two naps because their bodies are growing exponentially -- so there is a valid reason for her behavior. No she is not acting out, her basic needs aren't being met and that is my fault not hers.