Managing Meltdowns With Your Child
Let’s face it, it’s obvious when a child is about to have an outburst. Tiredness, hunger and sleep deprivation are all triggers when it comes to an outburst. These signs are important to recognise so that you can avoid them, or at least pre-empt them from happening in the future. Just remember, meltdowns are inevitable and are a common childhood trait, so don’t be discouraged!
- Keep The Environment Consistent
The only way plants can grow is through consistency. If you water a plant too much, it will drown the plant, if you water it too little it will dry out. The same here goes for children: children need consistency. Schools help children establish a routine, so why not continue this routine at home? For example, if you give your child chores, make sure each chore is on consistent days so that they can plan their study and time with friends around it. Children can be overwhelmed very easily, consistency is everything for them!
2. Recognise Pressure
Children can feel pressure about little things such as being late to school or handing in an assessment. If your child is late for school, they may already feel on edge. As a parent, reminding them about other tasks can send them over the edge and result in an outburst. Recognise the pressure and know when to back off a little.
3. Time Of The Day
Is your child more frustrated in the mornings, throughout the day, or later in the afternoon? If it’s in the morning perhaps the agitation is related to sleep quality, or a lack of rhythm in their morning routine. If your child has more outbursts in the afternoon, then perhaps they have had a long, difficult day at school. You may be inclined to step in and ask about their day, but sometimes it may be best to leave your child alone. If the attitude persists over time, then it might be a good idea to talk with your child, or even ask their teachers how they’re coping at school.
4. Work Together With Teachers
Remember that your child spends over 30 hours a week in school. Some teachers may be noticing the same problems you are noticing with your child, and many may even have solutions! If you find that your child is receiving wonderful behaviour reports from teacher, why not ask them how they manage classroom behaviour, and see if these strategies could be useful for you at home.
It’s important to understand that outbursts are a natural part of childhood development. The key here is to recognise the signs, keep a consistent routine, and to liaise with teachers so that you both have a better understanding of your child.
This article was inspired by episode #46 of The Parent-Teacher Project entitled Managing Meltdowns with Johnathan Doyle and Nathan Frazer.
Listen to the entire episode below.
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