How to Handle a Meltdown

We've all dealt with a meltdown before.  As the parents are approaching with the child, the child shows signs of anxiety and they are already saying that they don't want to go into the classroom or environment.

This then leads to a major meltdown as the child begins to cry and cling to his or her parents. 

This can be a difficult thing to manage.  The parents are embarrassed because their child is causing a scene.  They are trying to talk with their child and convince him or her to go into the classroom.  

How should you handle this? Let's look at some practical steps you can take to manage a meltdown.

This past week, I asked this question to Gretta Meeker.  She is a LPC and registered Play Therapist.  I asked her what you should do when a child has a meltdown outside the classroom.  Here is what she suggested.

Get down on the child's level so you can talk with them face-to-face.  Kneel down if needed. 

Validate their feelings.  Talk gently and tell them you understand they are afraid, upset or having a bad day. 

Give them some space.  Don't crowd them.  Give them some time to calm down.

Wait a few minutes before asking if they want to come into the room.

Let them choose to go in or not.  If not, they can go with their parents. 

Very helpful information.  

What are your thoughts on this?  What do you do when a child has a meltdown outside the door? 

We'd love to hear your thoughts and insight.  You can put it in the comment section below.