The Meltdown

Friday, October 5, 2012

In a house with 5 kids - it is busy.  we are often all on top of each other.  Most of the time this is fine and we enjoy tickle fights and and cuddle fests. But sometimes (at least once a day) there is a line crossed.  Sometimes the line is invisible but sometimes the line is glaring neon green strope lights flashing- it doesn't matter- someone's feelings get hurt- gets injured- offended- something taken away- ad infinitum.

Everyone loses it at some point.  Usually at least once a day (often several times a day) one of the kids loses it.

Princess in true princess fashion cries and marches of to her room
Stinky sometimes does the storm off.
Pixie can scream and yell with the best of them - but when someone offends her she does not hesitate to stand up for herself.  We are working on appropriate strategies.

All of these meltdowns last 20 minutes at most.

Peas has them beat.

She has the emotional intensity of-- something I have no idea how to describe- it is just a lot.  She can go from 0-100 in a second.   She is a little 4 year old tornado.

I really do not want to say anything negative about her- but they are epic.  Epic in intensity. Epic in duration. Epic in every sense of the word.

There is nothing that I can do to really help her.  That is the most frustrating part.  I want to comfort her, to distract her, to help her recognize her feelings that she is having and help her learn to direct them in appropriate ways.

Sometimes I get angry and frustrated that she has these meltdowns because I really feel so helpless.  I want to make her understand.  I want to tell her it is okay. I want her to know I love her and she is loved and safe.

She is an emotionally and sensory intense child.  I am still learning how to help her.

If any of you have any advice on how I can help her (or help me) please let me know. 

She is a super sweet amazing girl but I feel like I am failing her right now.


Michelle Martin said...

Ugh. Poor Peas. T also has epic meltdowns -- just had one this morning that involved screaming on the floor, kicking and lots of "No Mama!" Almost had her calmed down by nursing, but blew it by talking to her (in what I thought was a soothing voice, not saying anything besides "shhh"). Stopped nursing, started screaming "No talking!" and were were off to the races again. Not sure what exactly triggered it, but she was overtired and hungry (but when I gave her a banana that she said she wanted she threw it in the drawer under the oven ...)
Anyway, at some point she regained enough control to decide she was hungry, take the banana back and eat it, nurse a few minutes and has been asleep going on three hours. I predict a better afternoon.
As for practical advice, I have it a little easier bc there aren't any littler people around that she can hurt. I usually put her on the floor in her room and let her go until she calms down enough to figure out what would help. I've learned that with her, trying to give comfort in the middle of full meltdown only adds fuel to the fire, and it passes faster if I can let it burn itself out. Don't know how this strategy will play out as she gets older. In the meantime, I try to remember that she's doing this bc she's feeling miserable, and it's not a personal attack on me. Although a sneaker to the jaw still hurts.

Lisa Noel said...

I have three boys. Two already have ADHD Dx's and I'm guessing the third will too. But the middle one...he's the one who has the epic meltdowns. They were slowing but recently we've had a few good ones. He's almost nine. It's exhausting because I can no longer easily move him to safe place if he doesn't want to be moved. He throws things (large things) and kicks doors (like lay on the floor and kick with both feet...hard). From what I can tell its simply sensory related. Once it starts I have found no option but waiting it out. I can sometimes slow one from coming when he starts with "its not fair" and I reply "you're right its NOT fair..." but often its too late by that point. Just know you're not alone.

Post a Comment