THE BLOG

3 Tips To Handle Meltdowns or Tantrums

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.


2016-03-18-1458283360-576537-sad_boy_204923.jpg

You know those happy times when your autistic child get a meltdown? Or when you "normal" child get a tantrum from another planet?

And all you want to do is dig a hole in the ground and secretly escape through a tunnel and never look back?

Or when other parents send you "that look" saying you have no control over your child?

It's really funny.

I know, because I have two boys with Asperger and a daughter.

Picture yourself walking down the street and out of the blue - or at least that what it looks like - your child starts screaming, crying, hitting and kicking (depending on how you try to calm the kid down).

How on earth do you stop this behaviour, either before it escalates even more, or before to many adults passes the scene and giving more or less well intentioned advice?

I'm going to give you 3 tips, I must admit that I can't guarantee the result, but I can tell you that these approaches has worked for me more times than not.

1. Accept the situation for what it is. You can't change the fact that it's happened, now it's time to end it in a more peaceful way than the child is doing at the moment.

2.Keep your head in the right place. Don't try to reason with the child at the same energetic level that the child's on. You need to be the rock. The calm spot. Low voice. No sudden movements. Show that you're there. Don't watch your phone, don't go into conversations with the neighbour and neglect the child.

And talk, talk, talk to the child itself. But not about the situation and how it affects you. Talk about something not present at the moment. Talk about something fun you did the other day, a vacation you've been on or something else that you know is of interest to your child.

3.Post the situation. When the situation has calmed down, and you can reach through to your child again, THEN, and only then you can try to figure out what just happened.

With a child on the spectrum, it could be something so "simple" as a smell. With a normal functioning child, perhaps it suddenly didn't want to go where you were supposed to go.

I hope you try these this next time your child is acting out, and manage to keep your head on the right place. It is difficult, I know, but it will pass and the child will understand that you've got their back. For better and for worse.