Emotional Meltdowns | Part 3 | Challenges

This is the third and final article in exploring the causes and challenges of emotional meltdowns. You can read the introductory article here and the article on how the brain influences PTSD here.


Types Of Emotional Meltdown Challenges

Based on what we have seen, we want to share the top three challenges we have noticed in working with several students struggling with emotional meltdowns.

1) Erupting Over Seemingly Minor Events

An eruption can look like crying uncontrollably, screaming, or even engaging in physicality, such as destructing property within the immediate environment, self-injury, or hitting others. All of this often seems like an extreme response to what others perceive to be a small issue. Though this can be very real for the child, over the years, because of the attention and placation that they garner in response to this specific behavior, many times they become accustomed to the getting their “wants” met with near immediacy. Because of this, at times, the child may exhibit moments of rage over the perception of their will not being fulfilled. Though it is very important that the child understands that his feelings are important and that we care about those feelings, there is also a set of expectations he must adhere to, which sometimes may not be within the same framework of what he wants.

2) Heavily Withdraws from Others

Withdrawn behavior is avoiding or not seeking out social contact. This may be an active avoidance or simply not initiating contact. For a child who experiences emotional behavioral meltdowns, they may be experiencing a high degree of anger and burnout, which causes them to pull away from others. However, just as with the challenging example of eruption over seemingly minor events, though this can be very real for the child, this behavior can also become an “at-choice” learned response. Because withdrawal behavior garners attention from caregivers, the child is able to both see immediate tangibility of the caregivers love, as well as learn that this can be manipulated in order to meet a need the child feels they are not obtaining. While we always want to ensure our child that they are loved and cared for, we also do not want to give in to maladaptive ways to garner such affirmation.

3) Irritability

Though occasional irritability is a natural part of life, when this becomes a frequent interference in your child’s ability to function in a healthy and productive way, your child suffers. This irritability looks like a “short fuse”- becoming frustrated or upset easily- and is indicative of low distress tolerance, which is described as an individual's ability to manage their internal emotional state in response to stress-inducing factors. Often triggers to this include a situation not going as expected, feeling misunderstood, and perceived difficulty level of task.


How To Help Your Child

1) Sign Up For A Free Course

Based on our experience of helping hundreds of students overcome their behavioral challenges, we created video courses around the challenges we typical see and strategies that help. Click here to view the courses.

2) Explore The Hope School Programs

We offer a variety of programming for students struggling with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges including:

  • On campus

  • In school support

  • Virtually support

  • In home support

To explore our program offerings, click here.

3) Contact The Hope School

Contact us to discuss your child's needs and how The Hope School can help your student overcome their behavioral challenges.

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Our team is available to discuss your student's needs and how the Hope School can help.

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