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Parents dread having to deal with meltdowns. However, parents of children with ADHD may face more meltdowns than other parents.
Children with ADHD are more prone to meltdowns for a number of reasons. Often their brain circuitry for emotional regulation is dysfunctional in which it takes less to trigger an anger episode that lasts for a longer periods of time than other children. This is the result of faulty wiring. Working with them on relaxation techniques like taking deep breaths or counting to ten at the first sign of being upset can help. It is important for them to practice these when they are calm.
These kids often aren’t fully tuned in to what is going on around them and miss important information that causes them to misinterpret a situation and then react to what they think is going on rather than what really happened. If you are having a discussion with your child, pause frequently to make sure they are getting your point. Ask questions to make sure they understand and encourage them to ask you questions as well.
Some ADHD kids lack the ability to be flexible causing them to go into meltdown mode when there is a change in routine or an expected event does not happen. For instance a boy may be having a great time “rough housing” with his dad but does not want to stop when dad feels it has gone on long enough. This can become ugly and lead to fewer such play situations. Agreeing to use a timer and stop when the timer says to stop rather than dad might help avoid this.
Here are some tips for coping with a meltdown:
1. Don’t Loose Your Cool
Take a few deep breaths. This triggers the relaxation response and will lower your own anxiety/anger level and make it possible for you to think clearly and model appropriate behavior for your child. Remember the preflight instruction, “When the mask comes down, please cover your own nose and mouth first before you assist your child.”
2. Don’t React – Respond
If you and your child have already agreed on how meltdowns will be handled with a behavior plan, make sure the plan is being followed. As an example, you might have agreed on an incentive program where your child can earn rewards for following the behavior plan. Incentives might be earning points every time he/she is able to calm down before having a meltdown. Points earned can be cashed in at the end of the day for a desired activity such as television time or a special treat.
If you do not have a plan in place then you can respond by saying “WE have a problem here. Let’s see how we can solve the problem TOGETHER.” Find out what the child’s concern is. See if there is a way to address it. It is not giving in if you modify a situation in a way that is more accepting to the child while still meeting your needs as well. Good leaders listen to the people they are leading and incorporate the feedback they receive.
3. Don’t Dictate – Discuss
Ask, “What is making you upset?” Listen carefully and respond empathetically such as “I see you (want or don’t want), what’s up?” Find out what the child is concerned about. For instance if the problem is not wanting to go to bed, you might say, “I understand you do not want to go to bed right now even though 9:00 is your usual bedtime. What is bothering you about this?” Perhaps the child says, “I need to finish my video game so I can get to the next level.” You then can say, “So here is the problem we have. I want you to go to bed because it is your bedtime and you need your sleep to feel good and do well at school and baseball tomorrow and you want to stay up later to finish your game. I am not saying you don’t have to go to be now but do you have any ideas on how we can solve this?”
For discussion let’s say it is only for a few minutes and you decide for tonight to let him finish the game to avoid an hour or more of meltdown versus a few more minutes. You might say, “Ok for tonight you can finish the game. Tomorrow we can talk about this and come up with a solution so that from now on you will be able to finish what you are doing and go to bed on time.”
It is ok for us to listen to our children’s perspective on difficult situations. If this is an isolated incidence then, problem solving could avoid a major meltdown. However, we need to follow up the next day with a detailed discussion on how this can be avoided in the future.
If this is an ongoing problem, then simply stick to the program/plan you have already set in place. If you have been working on anger management techniques such a taking deep breaths, then remind the child to practice it.
4. Don’t Demand – Encourage
If you have a prearranged plan to follow or you have come to an agreement for this crisis situation then you can say, “I know you are upset right now but I also know you can do a good job of calming down now,” or “You know what our agreement is and I bet you will do your part now just like the great job you did yesterday. I love how you are getting better at this each time.”
5. Don’t Give Up – Stay Committed
- Raising a child with any type of special need, be it developmental, psychological or medical, requires a tremendous amount of patience and strength to endure and continue to handle tough situations when they come up. Make sure you have a good support system. Be sure to have a break from time to time to do something fun and relaxing. Also, try to view the whole situation from the 30,000 foot level to see the progress you have made so far and that meltdowns now and then can just be little bumps in the road to helping your child learn to cope with the day to day events they encounter.
- If you have truly committed to following a behavioral approach under the guidance of a mental health provider and are not seeing progress, please don’t hesitate to discuss this with your child’s physician. A referral to a psychologist for a comprehensive evaluation may uncover other conditions that may need to be addressed. Sometimes ADHD may be misdiagnosed or a child can have more than one disorder which needs to be addressed.
- When talking to a professional, you should be able to tell them when and where these episodes happen and what took place just before the meltdown; these are valuable clues that a well trained clinician can use to modify your approach or discover an underlying skill deficit that can be improved or addressed.
- Sometimes, when behavioral approaches have been in place for some time and have been tweaked all they can, medication may need to be considered. Parents should be cautious about having their child placed on medication prematurely, but when symptoms are severe and interfering with a child’s ability to function in several environments then medication should be considered and can be extremely helpful.
Dear sir. My son just 4 months old boy he has motion and some time his toilet colour seen green please suggested good one medicine thanks.
One of My 7 year old girl child I'd always biting her finger tip and nails. They are twin kids. Any problem with this?
Hello doctor, my 22 months old daughter is not ready to eat food, like DAL-BHAT or ROTI SABJI, I am very much worried about it because of this problem, she only like to eat biscuits.
A newly born baby an mom breast milk production is so low how to get milk in breast to feed newly born baby.
In homeopathy and especially in working with homeopathic single remedies, selection based on an individual's specific symptoms is critical to success. Colds frustrate selection in that symptoms constantly change as the condition matures. One important element to examine is the cough. The character of your cough can make a definable difference in homeopathic remedy comparisons. Does it force you up at night? Is it dry or wet, rattling or wheezing, or constantly changing? Does the mucus stay down, gag you or come up easily? Does heat, cold, motion or lying down aggravate it?
The number of remedies indicated for coughs is seemingly endless. However, some stand out as suitable for common coughs and as good examples for what to look for in defining your cough.
Here are seven. Each one addresses a unique type of cough and set of symptoms that may accompany that cough..
Pulsatilla: Wearying night cough that forces the cougher to sit up and hold the ribcage. The cough tends to be dry, shaky and frustrating in the evening and at night– forcing you to sit up over and over again. In the morning, it starts out dry and very fitful with retching, but as the congestion matures the thick mucus loosens toward morning. The coughing spells worsen the dry sore throat and cause soreness in the chest. Related cold symptoms include sticky eye irritation, nose is stuffy at night and runny in the morning, minor fevers are chilling, mucus is bland thick and greenish and like everything Pulsatilla, symptoms are very changeable. Specific people are most apt to need Pulsatilla. They tend to be ‘soft, gentle, mild, affectionate, as well as clingy, weepy, moody, sometimes childish’ with a deep need for security and ever changing moods and symptoms.
Nux vomica: A suffocating cough highlights a restless cold or flu with extreme chilliness.
The cough is dry, tight and hacking. It oppresses breathing and causes a bruised soreness and often a bursting headache. Cough and other symptoms typically induce Nux's trademark irritability and sensitivity to light, noise, etc. Symptoms feel worse in the morning (possibly starting at 3a.m.) and in cold dry atmosphere. A finished nap and damp weather tend to lessen symptoms a bit. Extreme chilliness makes drafts unbearable. The cold may also have hot irritating mucus that blocks the nose at night and a rough sore throat that sends pain toward the ears on trying to swallow the lump in your throat. On the emotional side, typical adjectives for Nux individuals or states include: competitive, impatient, impulsive, ambitious, aggressive, fastidious, restless. Stress from excess is an important keynote, whether brought on by too much work, food, fun or spirits.
Kali bich: Stubborn, gagging cough. Thick, ropy, yellow to green, sticky, stringy, stubborn, smelly mucus is at the heart of what this remedy can treat. The cough is stubborn, gagging, hacking misery as you try to clear the thick mucus out of your throat. Mucus crusts up in the nose and fills the sinuses causing choking post nasal drip, hoarseness and pain especially at the root of the nose. The cough often starts very dry but over time becomes more productive especially after a walk in fresh air. When mucus accumulates overnight, morning becomes a torment of blocked nasal passages with stubborn hacking, hawking, gagging and coughing. Heat, but not hot weather, can help, but beer and morning are highly aggravating.
Phosphorus: A hard, dry, tight, racking cough set off by a tickle in the aching raw throat. The colds Phosphorus treats best move quickly into the chest. The cough may set the body trembling and cause labored breathing and tightness across the chest. Cold air, talking and physical exertion trigger bouts of coughing. A key trait to its fever is great thirst for cold drinks that are vomited soon after warming in the stomach. Hoarseness usually results from these colds, but it also helps hoarseness from overuse, especially in singers. Phosphorus can do the most for excitable, impressionable often lively individuals who burn the candle at both ends until the energy runs out; then sadness, anger and even indifference can dominate.
Bryonia: A dry, hacking, painful cough with stitching pains– worse for movement. Bryonia relieves ailments that approach slowly, linger too long, are worse for movement and may result from being chilled when overheated or from fast weather changes. Its slow moving flu and colds are marked by dryness and body-aching misery. Dry hacking cough causes pain in the sternum and forces you to sit up especially at night. Hawking will eventually move the mucus. Eating and drinking aggravate cough as will going into a warm room. Other symptoms include a bone-aching, chill-ridden fever, great thirst for cold water, dry throat and a “don’t touch me, leave me alone” irritability.
Hepar Sulph: A dry or rattling cough with chilliness. Chilliness and yellow phlegm also dominate this cold and there may be sinus pressure with splinter-like sore throats. Cold dry wind, walking, even exposure of any body part from under the covers can provoke this changing cough that runs from a barking dry hoarse cough to loose, rattling/choking coughing. The individuals needing Hepar sulph most lack internal heat, are easily offended, and get are sensitive to rudeness or causes. They may become quite sad and highly irritable, especially at night. Though not highly active, they may speak, eat and act out quickly and impulsively. In general, if highly sensitive to cold, pain, and touch, you might want to examine Hepar sulph, especially if cold air feels threatening.
Natrum mur: A dry tickling cough. Dryness underlies many of Nat mur’s applications. Its colds and congestions have a dry rawness with thickening clear to whitish mucus. Coughing is dry with rattling in the chest set off by a tickling the the throat. It can be particularly bad in the morning and very fitful at night in bed. Cough often triggers a frontal headache that feels as if the forehead would burst. On the emotional plane, the dryness becomes idiomatic as Nat mur applies to poorly circulated stress– suppressed grief, humiliation and heartbreaks. Sadness, irritability, anger, occasional sleeplessness and haunting memories tend to dominate. Complaints tend to improve with open air, deep breathing and tight clothing, and worsen with consolation, more emotion, hormonal fluctuations and sunlight (especially headaches). A deep crack in the lower lip and a desire for salty foods further indicate a need for Nat mur.
We hope this helps you get to know your coughs better.