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Help My Child - Is It A Tantrum Or Meltdown?

Sep 25, 2020

Can you tell the difference between a tantrum or a meltdown?

In a tantrum your child is frustrated.
They may be angry.

They probably want something and they might be having trouble telling you. 
Or perhaps you said "No!" to what they want!

So, the tanty builds like a snowball. 

Maybe kicking or hitting.


Have you notice that your child watches you for your reaction?
They are attention seeking.

But just watch ...

As soon as your child gets what they want - Boom! 
The behavior stops. 


You have your loving, sweet, and pleasant child back.

But that was so EXHAUSTING!

Does that sound familiar?

Now with a meltdown, your child is overloaded by their senses.

They can't control the meltdown. 

They are overwhelmed. 

Your child is not aware of you.
They don't know you are there and they do not want your help.
They just want to be left alone.

This is very different to a tantrum, where they do want your reaction.

Some behavior may appear similar to a tantrum - screaming, kicking, hitting, self-harming.
Your child will be exhausted from the overwhelm. 
This is due to the heightened sensory trigger.

Do you know what triggers your child with a meltdown?
Is it too loud and noisy?

Too light or bright? 
Are the lights flickering and bothering them?
Is the smell too strong?
Is the air conditioning making them freeze?

Perhaps too much is expected of them and they simply can't take anymore?

They need the trigger to stop. 

After a meltdown your child will be exhausted.

Unlike a tantrum, your child will not just return to normal behavior. They may sleep or be wiped out.

There body is physically and emotionally worn out. 

Allow them to have a safe space, away from the overwhelm to just rest and be calm.

What behavior do you see with your child - tantrum or meltdown?

Take care,


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