We’ve all experienced it. Either while running errands or at home. The dreaded meltdown! Even the most well-behaved child can morph into a little hellion at times. 😉 It can be easy to blame it on the candy bar they are begging for or the extreme disdain for broccoli. But underneath the tantrum lies some unmet needs our kids may not be able to fully express. Below we examine some major reasons that can be causing lil’ Susie to mELtDoWn!!?!
- Hunger – Many times hunger is the main culprit. It has a way of making us lose sight of courtesy or good manners. But identifying the source of the problem as hunger is the first step. Simple things like taking note of the last time they ate can help find a solve for the meltdown at hand. As the famous Snickers ad campaign hilariously says, “You’re not you when you’re hungry.”
- Tiredness – Not far behind hunger is tiredness. Ask any parent of young kids and they’ll tell you, life revolves nap time. When children are sleep deprived, even something as simple as a nap, good behavior can go out the window. They become irritable and restless. On those days that the day’s schedule is out of whack or the previous night was anything but restful special attention needs to be paid to soothing a restless child.
- Lack of Attention – We all need love and attention. That’s a part of being human. If there is breath is our lungs we need of kind words, attention or a hug to thrive, especially kids. Ignoring a meltdown may be in order but double check that your child isn’t legitimately asking for healthy attention in an unhealthy way.
- Unused Energy – Restlessness!!! With more schools cutting recess times and winter weather trapping kids inside, there are bundles and bundles of energy needing to spent! That unused energy can make Johnny start bouncing off the walls. Give Johnny something active and productive to do that doesn’t include pestering his little sister. Chores, crafts, or good ol’ playtime should do the trick.
- Feeling overwhelmed – Sensory overload is real. It affects all ages but children may not be able to recognize and express it. Whether the sensory overload is internally-based from feelings of anxiety or fear, or if your child has been in overwhelming environments, they need to process and communicate what they are feeling. Giving them the emotional awareness and the language to express what they’re feeling is key.
The list above is just a short list of potential causes to meltdowns and tantrums. What would you add to the list? Comment below.