How Do You React When Your Child Has A Meltdown?

How Do You React When Your Child Has A Meltdown?

Do you get angry?  Do you give in?  Do you just stand there like a deer in headlights? 

Did anyone actually teach you what to do when this happens?  

Maybe yes, maybe no.  Well if you didn’t learn this in college, during your student teaching experience or during some kind of on-the-job-training, then you need to learn about it now! 

Remember, “Behavior Communicates” and this behavior is clearly the only way your child knows how to communicate that something is wrong.  

I’ve filmed several strategies in the past year to help prevent this kind of behavior, but sometimes, no matter what you do, you’re gonna get a meltdown.  A new situation or a social/communication skill not yet learned could be the culprit. 

Take a look at the video to see 5 things you can do to navigate this behavior. 

As I said in the video, you need to celebrate the fact that your child has not gotten to the level of physical violence. 

 There is however one more thing your child could do right before he/she gets aggressive.  Your child could threaten you with some kind of bodily harm.  

If this happens, please take it seriously. 

Don’t laugh at or dismiss this threat.  That could escalate the situation.  When someone is trying to communicate raw feelings to you, they don’t want to be disrespected.  What could sound ridiculous to you, like if a child says, “I’m going to get you fired”, or “I’m going to call the police on you”, is probably the worst thing your child can think of.   To the child, this is as serious as threatening to get a gun and shoot you.  

All threats should be treated with the same respect. 

If you are alone, you should either remove yourself from the situation or call someone in for help and support.  A verbal threat is the most serious thing a child can do without becoming aggressive. 

 You also need to remain calm.  If you escalate your behavior, the child will too.  Both of these pieces of advice come from my training as a Crisis Prevention Intervention trainer.  

Now you have several strategies to use when your child is having a meltdown!  

Take care and I’ll see you next time! 


One comment on “How Do You React When Your Child Has A Meltdown?

  1. Thank you for your post. It helped me get an additional idea. An autistic child may throw tantrum or behave aggressively when he is disappointed or frustrated as other children do. But he is not doing it intentionally, because as an autistic child, he is unable to understand that other people have thoughts and feelings. Punishment must fit the crime. Whenever possible, the only punishment should be experiencing the natural and logical consequences of an undesirable action. If an undesirable behavior happens repeatedly, and neither incentives nor disincentives seem to curb it, you should look closer for hidden causes. Behavior analysis techniques can be very useful in this regard.

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