Keeping Calm during a Meltdown

I think the hardest part of dealing with a child's meltdown is the ability to stay calm. Often, a meltdown occurs because you are in a rush, or needing to get something done, or to go somewhere. Just what you need--a child in full tantrum, or meltdown. Not only do you know how difficult it is for the child, it is just as difficult for you! You have to be somewhere; you have no time for this and it is embarrassing!

Obviously, keeping your child safe is paramount. Remove any items or block any furniture that may come into contact with your child.

But, let's talk about your reaction. By not making eye contact, by being still, deep breathing, and not speaking, you become a place of calm. Talking will not help, because a child in a meltdown isn't going to hear you reason with her. If you can let go of what you have to do, and just be, chances are the child will pick up on your lack of agitation and she will soothe sooner, than if you share your anxiety.

Please add some of the ways you use to bring calm and help to end a meltdown. It is important that a child learns how to self-sooth, so that she can develop ways to reduce her own anxiety. We can share ideas and try what is best. But, first, we have to know that developing our own center of calm is one of the steps we can improve.

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