|Posted by Live Love Mom on September 24, 2016 at 6:30 AM|
by: Stephanie McEndree
Last weekend, my family and I went to the Easter farm. While my youngest daughter was getting face paint, my oldest daughter was having a meltdown. She is autistic. People were staring at me, giving me odd looks. I didn’t care. I spoke calmly to my daughter, asking her what was wrong. The simple action of speaking softly and offering her a hug, calmed her.
Dear people who were staring, who were judging; children have tantrums sometimes. The stares make them uncomfortable. Please either look away, or offer them a smile.
Dear parents who don’t know what to do during meltdowns; what has helped me is to ask questions. Ask your child what’s wrong. If they refuse to tell you, think about what led up to the event, and ask relevant questions. Are you sad? Are you mad? Once they confirm their emotion, ask them why. Is it because you didn’t get the toy you wanted? Is it because you didn’t get to pet the rabbit? My daughter says yes or no to these questions, and then I can pinpoint the issue. I can then explain to her why that happened. “The rabbit wasn’t hungry, so it hopped away to play with it’s friends. It’s okay, you’ll get to pet one next time.” I also validate her emotions. “I understand why that makes you sad, you really wanted to pet the rabbit.” Then, I ask if she wants a kiss, a hug, if she wants to leave the room to a quieter place. This often calms my daughter down. She often says yes for a hug. Then, if not before, get away from the trigger. Take them to another store, or to another part of the petting zoo farm. That way, they won’t have another meltdown for the same reason “but I want to pet the rabbit!” and it saves them from being upset all over again and getting stressed out.
Our children are precious. Let’s help them where we can.
A special needs mom
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