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Thursday, 8 November 2012

Meltdowns Versus Tantrums

Something that most people do not understand is Josie's meltdowns.  When I talk about it, the general consensus is that she's two, she's going to have tantrums.  Josie does have plenty of tantrums.  But what concerns me is her meltdowns.  What is the difference?  I'm going to clarify that for you!

This is based off of my research, my own experiences, and what I believe.

A Tantrum:
  • is a way of expressing anger or frustration or distaste 
  • occurs when a child is trying to get attention or a reaction 
  • has a resolution, a way of being ended 
A Meltdown:
  • is a way of expressing being overwhelmed by something 
  • occurs when a child is having an extreme reaction to something 
  • most often cannot be ended before it has run its course 

A Child Having a Tantrum Will:
  • Check to make sure somebody is pay attention to them 
  • Not pose a serious danger to themselves or others 
  • Communicate why they are having the tantrum 
A Child Having a Meltdown Will:
  • Not care if anybody is watching or even in the room 
  • May kick and bang their bodies in ways that can cause harm 
  • Not know why or not remember what started the meltdown 

A Tantrum Can Be Ended By:
  • Giving in 
  • Ignoring 
  • Threatening 
  • Punishing
A Meltdown Can Be Ended By:
  • Letting it run its course while the child is in a safe environment.

And there you have it!  There is a huge difference between a meltdown and a tantrum.  Any child can have a meltdown once in a while!  Once you have witnessed one, you will forever know the difference between a tantrum and a meltdown!

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