Reply To: Getting Your Child to Calm Down During Explosive Meltdown

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lynngigliotti11
Participant

Write down things that you find that work. These are some for me (I have an 11 year old ADHD, symptoms of ODD but we believe he will outgrow it):
1. speak in short sentences 12 words or less like “Did something happen at school?” 2. My son has tantrums when his expectations are not met, so I don’t set him up for expectations. If we are going to a party, I tell him when we get in the car or a few hours ahead rather than 3 days prior to the party. 3. Reward like crazy with words and treats when your child doesn’t get angry when they were on their way to a tantrum. When my son gets angry but doesn’t spend two hours under his bed or hitting his head on the wall, I praise him like crazy and tell him how proud I am of him. 4. Recognize that most of the time, it isn’t something you did – for my son it might have been the fact that no one threw the ball to him at school or he got a bad grade. He just feels safe with family so that is where he explodes. Don’t blame yourself. For a long time I felt like it was my fault. 5. Don’t punish like a normal child – they can’t take it but be consistent. Don’t threaten anything extreme and keep punishments short. 6. After a tantrum remind your child how much you love him but want to help him so he doesn’t have a tantrum. We can never make our children feel bad that they have to deal with a behavioral disorder that isn’t their fault. 7. Give him a pillow to punch. 8. Go punch a pillow yourself. Right now I’m trying to work with him on shorting the anger so I’m trying to redirect with short sentences when I see a problem. Also, I give him play dates of short segments when he has been well behaved. You aren’t alone. Hang in there. I love the newsletters on the ATTitude and I read everything I can get my hands on. Right now I’m reading the Defiant Child by Douglas Riley and The Whipped Parent (forgot the writer). I look for parenting tips. Even if I find one thing, it was worth it. I don’t always agree with recommendations as a whole because all of our children are different but if I can find a few new things to try, it really helps.