Parents and Teachers!
PLEASE STOP referring to every emotional outburst as a meltdown.
A child bursting into tears when criticized IS NOT having a meltdown.
A child going to their room, slamming the door and cursing is not having a meltdown.
Punching or throwing something out of anger isn’t a meltdown either. It’s an impulsive act.
A child having a meltdown is experiencing rage or terror. They’re in extreme fight or flight. They lose control in a way that can be dangerous for themselves and others.
It’s like an emotional seizure, where the threat signal keeps firing and our nervous system keeps reacting with extreme intensity.
Until the trigger stops, significant calming measures are used or exhaustion occurs, it’ll likely continue.
I encounter too many Neurodivergent people (especially teens) whose parents criticize them for their emotional sensitivity by exaggerating it, calling everything a meltdown.
“There you go melting down again.”
“Don’t have a meltdown over this.”
It’s gaslighting to do this intended or not.
We need to help our kids improve their emotional intelligence and resilience. We do that by helping them understand, express and move through our emotions smoothly.
You need to know how to do that first. If you’re triggered by your child’s difficult emotions, I suspect you’re uncomfortable with your own as well.
We have work to do.