What Children & Adolescents Need When Having a Meltdown by Dr. Munn, online therapist and coach for professional women with ADHD, anxiety and depression and child and adolescent therapist in Mountain View, CA

Often times, parents are perplexed at why their overall responsible and mature child or adolescent has a meltdown. Let’s pause for a moment and reflect on our experience. Our ability to regulate our emotions will fluctuate based upon a lot of factors, such as sleep, diet, workday stress, etc. Thus, it’s unreasonable to expect an adolescent to always have it together.⠀

When our children are struggling to control their emotions, they need our connection and our calming presence. I realize that the modern parent has an extensive daily checklist, yet when we are intentional about slowing down long enough to attend to their emotions and behaviors in the moment, they will feel seen, validated, and loved by us.⠀

And when I mean attend, I don’t mean, lecturing and asking them, “why are you having a meltdown (when they’re in it)? I told you so…” These statements and questions are often not effective and escalate the situation.

Instead, maintain a calm presence, acknowledge their feelings and provide them with words of affirmation. When they are calmer, they will be able to receive and take in what you have to say. ⠀

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Disclaimer: The content in this post is only intended to increase your knowledge on parenting and child development; it is not online therapy. If you’re concerned about your child’s immediate safety please call 911 and consult with a licensed clinician about any clinical symptoms you are experiencing.⠀

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