It was an after school meltdown

At 3:09, among the the sea of of middle school students spilling out of school, I spy my child.  Already, at first glance, I can tell something is wrong.  He was walking rigidly and on his toes.  Then I hear through the chorus of voices, “Mom, mom, mommy, mom, mom, mommy.”  On and on with the repetition until he got close to the car.  I wonder what has set P off to the point of the meltdown that I knew was coming.  I unbuckle walk around the car to help him get in.  I see his face was flushed and he was breathing shallowly.  If I was going to head off the meltdown at the pass, I knew less is more to helping P.  I say, “look at mom” with tears in his eyes he looks at me, “I’m sorry.”  I do not know what the apology is for at the moment and frankly it is lost on me.  My concern is getting P home and helping him regulate his nervous system to regain his composure.

I say to P, “Take a deep breath for me…good…do it again for me buddy.”  All the way home, I hear P breathing deeply in through his nose and out through his mouth.  This simple act of focusing on breathing and controlling your own breathing has helped P calm down some.  P says again, “Mom, mom, mommy I’m sorry.”  I struggle immensely on days like this, because something caused him to feel out of control on the brink of a meltdown.  But what?  How do I find out?  I know I needed to contact the school inquiring about the day was the best course of action.  While I was waiting for a response,  I tried distracting P while making him feel safe.  He chose to lay down on the warm bricks in our outdoor seating area.  He curled in a ball until his body allowed him to relax.  I was happy to know that he was safe and I knew enough to not pester him until he reached out for contact.

I heard back from the school and essentially the day built on one request after another and P fell behind causing him great stress and anxiety.  I can understand that like a day that seemed so long and nothing went your day.  We’ve all been there, right? I knew P was experiencing  emotional responses to environmental factors.  It wasn’t caused by one specific thing but a bunch of small things piling on top of each other. Triggers build up until the person becomes so overwhelmed that they can’t take in any more information.  P needed time to recover.

During meltdowns, I don’t take pictures or videos.  First, my main focus is making sure my son is safe.  Secondly, I don’t want those images ingrained in my mind.  And my son doesn’t need those reminders of the times when he was overwhelmed with life.  I wonder what you have tried to tame the meltdowns that are bound to happen from time to time?  What is working for you?  What is working for your child? I would love to hear from you because you are not alone in this journey.  We are all in this together.

 

All my best to you,

Heather

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