Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Reading your child’s triggers and meltdowns

Over the past year I feel that I have become much better at reading Loghan’s triggers and when he is on the verge of a meltdown, thus I am able to pre-empt certain behaviours and melt downs; all in all the amount of meltdowns we have had over the last few months have plummeted and are now few and far between. 

I have one friend in particular who I feel has not only helped to grow as a special needs mum but who has taught me so much and I am incredibly grateful to her for all of her shared knowledge… and wine =)

But as a parent we also have bad days, we also have days when we are on edge and ready to fly off the handle.

Last night I picked the boys up from school, Loghan was in a wonderful mood but I could already see that Gabriel was out of sorts, we got home and he started irritating Loghan right off the bat and eventually after not listening to me for the umpteenth time and throwing a tantrum I sent him up to his room, he refused and I ended up half chasing him upstairs, my voice raising as we went, he then ended up going into full meltdown stage.

It had been a long day I could feel my temper rising, I got him into a shower after threatening him with loss of his tablet and as I stood there I realised what I was doing, I looked at him and realised that there was more to the situation and that the signs were there since I collected him I just chose to overlook them because I was tired and irritated.

So I took him in my arms and held him, as I did he broke down sobbing, I asked him why he was feeling so sad what had upset him during his day and he remarked that he had been sent out of class and had therefore missed some of his lesson which for Gabriel is grossly upsetting, he is incredibly focused on achieving and pleasing those around him, so of course he was upset that he had not achieved what he perceived to be a perfect day.

After a long chat and Gabriel had finished his shower I got him into bed and read the boys their stories for the evening, he went to bed feeling much better and above all loved, I feel it really made a difference to him that I stood back, took a breather and worked with him on acknowledging his feelings, parenting at times can be incredibly difficult and is a constant learning curve but I’m glad that I have reached a point as a parent where I can better understand my kids and their behaviour and I am so grateful for all the help and advice I have received over the last year.

Triggers and signs thereof are always there it’s about learning to be in sync with and aware of your child’s feelings and how their behaviour progresses, a child will never experience a meltdown for nothing or without warning, and a child is as we are always learning, they are still learning how to work through how they feel and what is or isn’t going to get them the help or attention they need at the given time, healthy emotions and reflection/projection thereof is a learned behaviour it doesn’t simply come naturally especially to a child who already has special needs and I am grateful that I am learning to travel along this path with my children, together I know that step by step we will achieve the understanding that we need in each other to help us be the best parent and child/ people we can be.

If you are struggling with your child whether your child has special needs or not I encourage to spend some time each day just being in the presence of and making yourself aware of their mannerisms and behaviours, if the throw a tantrum try to take a step back and acknowledge how they are feeling and that they are upset, even taking a few minutes at the end of the day to speak to them one on one about how they feel their day went and what they liked or didn’t like about their day does so much for becoming more aware of your child’s emotional state and acknowledging the time during which you are not there with them.  Our children in effect spend more time away from us at school etc than they do with us so this time is incredibly important and your child needs to know that you are aware of this and interested in what goes on in their life when you are not there to see and experience it with them.


  1. This is a great reminder "I encourage to spend some time each day just being in the presence and making yourself aware of their mannerisms and behaviours". Thank you.