Response to Meltdown Thread

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by julierose24, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. julierose24

    julierose24 New Member

    I wanted to start a new post about what to do during a meltdown in case anyone was interested. My daughter's therapist said that she thinks I should set the timer for 6 minutes (she's 6 years old), and put her in her room and hold the door closed. Then after the 6 minutes, let her know that her time out is over and she can come out (even if she isn't calm yet). If she chooses to continue hitting or destroying things, she goes in for another 6 minutes, etc. for a new time out.

    I like this approach -hopefully, she won't hurt herself by kicking the door during that time (that's my concern).

    It's only been once, but we tried it today, and she did calm herself and come out after the 6 mintues.

    Things I've tried in the past include: holding the door closed until she calms down (didn't happen), ignoring her (she followed us around and hit/kicked us while destroying the house), restraining her (I hated it), sitting in her room against the door so she couldn't hit/kick the door and hurt herself (she threw things at me).

    Just wanted to share in case anyone was interested.
  2. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    I don't think there's any one way that works for everyone, but if this works to help calm your daughter, then that is great.
  3. julierose24

    julierose24 New Member

    I completely agree. I don't even know if it will work for her. I just wanted to share the therapist's suggestion.
  4. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    I think therapists have lots of suggestions and there theoritically all pretty good.
    In real life, some are unusuable or counterproductive depending on the child.
    When a therapist suggest a new idea, I make a point to try it. Usually, I can tell pretty quick if it works or not.
    V does not have meltdowns anymore, but Sweet Pea sure does! And believe me, it is well beyond a 2 year old tantrum.
    I put her in her room and close the door. I usually wait until she is calmed down or, at least, not a complete fury.
    Which means, sometimes I open the door before she is done crying and screaming but I make sure the throwing, head banging and hitting is over with.
    Basically, I "feel" the emotions.
    Then, I ask her if she is done. She then nodds yes or no (she is essentially non verbal). If she says no, I close the door and give her more time.
    Once she is done, she has to sign sorry. If she does not, the door is closed again. I ask her several times to say sorry before closing the door. It is not unsual to ask her 3 or 4 times before she will sign sorry.
    Then I explain that screaming, hitting or whatever is not acceptable, give her a hug and ask her to clean up what she threw around. She loves to clean up, so this part is not an issue with her :)
    For V, the key used to remove him from overstimulation. His room is in the basement, so I would send him downstairs and would tell him to come back when he is calmed down, ready to follow the rules of the house. I used to have to carry him over there, but now he goes on his own but protest verbally. It has been baby steps with V, but looking back I can't believe how much progress he has made. I used to deal with about 10 tantrums a day with him.
    So keep up the good work! You will find something that works with your daughter, gotta keep an open mind and trying.
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    We did that with-our difficult child and it worked sometimes.
    My dad did a version of that when I was little. I used to cry and cry, and especially when I broke up with-my boyfriend in hs, my dad would wait either hrs or a day, then come into my bedroom and say, Okay, it's time to wash your face with-cold water and get going.
    And he'd arbitrarily pick a spot we had to go to, whether I wanted to go or not. NO I did not want to go to the lake, or a car repair shop! lol.
    But he instinctively knew what to do for all of us 5 kids.
    Wish I were like that. I have to pay a therapist. I can be creative when it comes to poetry and art, but in Real Life, I'm stuck. Go figure.

    Best of luck! Thanks for reporting back.