Meltdowns are all too familiar in our home. At one point we were lucky if we went a day without a meltdown. Although we have reached a "stable" point in our son’s mental illness journey we still fear meltdowns, because we too know that they can be earth shattering when they happen.
Meltdowns in general are hard not just for the child going through them, but they are stressful for the family members, and outsiders alike. The holidays seem to be especially hard, there are a lot of outside factors that are different during the holidays than there may be on any given day. Some of those factors for us include changes in routine, an increase in interactions, and changes in diet such as more sugar and caffeine, which all can lead to an increase in behaviors which can ultimately lead to an increased chance in meltdowns. I have seen my fair share of meltdowns, at this point it is a knee jerk reaction for me. If I allowed myself to get worked up every time my son did my whole household would be in a lot of trouble. Don’t get me wrong, I dread them especially when we have family and friends over because unlike me they are not well seasoned in this. In fact we have had some very volatile reactions from friends and family members alike after the whirlwinds of a meltdown ravaged through our home, dinner party, family gathering… we’ve had many gathering’s interrupted but we always found a way to bounce back, sometimes we were a few friends or family members lighter but heck who needs the anyway.
With the holidays approaching, I realize my concern isn’t mine alone I share it with millions of parents out there. As if we did not have a big enough burden to bare, with fighting and battling our child’s brain disorder we often find ourselves at the end of the pointed fingers. We know what works and doesn’t for our children, and what consequences and punishments have to be put in place, and even with that we will forever run into someone who knows better, or more than we do.
When it comes to your child having a meltdown in the presence of “outsiders” there are a few tips that I like to follow. Even with following them I have ran into issues, but as many as I have had I am sure I avoided ten times the amount.