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Child Meltdowns: Do this, not that

Temper tantrums come in all shapes and forms, but their causes can generally be traced back to two occurrences: a child not getting what they want, or inability to communicate (or a combination of both). What has the biggest effect in decreasing problem behaviors? The behavior of the adult. Your reaction and actions in the face of the situation can either encourage or discourage future tantrums.

Here are some tips for navigating these behaviors:

Don’t do this

Don’t raise your voice, and try not to betray any emotion. There are two reasons for this. 1. Any type of reaction from you can be reinforcing to the child. 2. You want to model the behavior and demeanor you expect from the child in the future.
Don’t try to talk to the child during a tantrum. Chances are, the child isn’t listening, and your attention is reinforcing the behavior.
Don’t give the child what he wants in order to get the tantrum to stop. This teaches the child that bad behavior will get him what he wants.

“Temper tantrums can generally be traced back to two occurrences: a child not getting what they want, or inability to communicate (or a combination of both).”


Do this instead

Do remain calm and keep your voice/expression neutral.
If the child is in public or in an unsafe environment, do try to move them to a private/safe environment to cool down.
Do give the child time to self-calm and regain control.
Do talk to the child as soon as he/she is exhibiting appropriate behavior. This teaches the child that you will not indulge tantrums and that only appropriate behavior will be given attention.
If the cause of the tantrum was the child not getting what she wanted, offer alternatives that she can have/do.
If the cause of the tantrum was inability to communicate, give the child guidance on expressing themselves. If the child is verbal, say “Tell me how you felt” or “Tell me what happened.” If the child has limited verbal skills, ask them to show you. Or, validate the child’s feelings while modeling the words they can use. For example, “You feel mad because your brother took your toy.”
Do discuss appropriate behavior for the future. For example, “It is okay to feel angry. It is not okay to scream and kick. What do you think you should do next time you feel angry?”

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Patient Reviews

LLA Therapy

Patient Reviews

Crystal Scheibe

Great place, glad we found them. Been going to Medina over 2 months now and he loves Lauryn and Kyler. Wish they had more ABA therapy places available... live in Wooster and long drive everyday.

Karrie Swan LaRock

My 11 year old son has dyslexia and has made noticeable gains in working At LLA THERAPY. Katie is strong in her approach toward him and also keeps him comfortable enough to perform well. We will continue visiting both the Fairlawn and Hudson offices and recommend them highly.

Ron Monroe

My 9 year old just completed about 9 months of weekly speech sessions (due to his stuttering) with Matt Hagge at LLA and we are thrilled with the experience and results. What I thought might be a negative (what kid really wants to go to speech class?) was made very positive by Matt, and my son never hesitated or complained when we talked about class. He really enjoyed it and really took what Matt taught him to heart. His speech has been greatly improved and we definitely recommend LLA. Thank you so much!

Heather Dougherty-Pantoja

My son’s Occupational Therapist, Jess, is an amazing OT! She gives practical tips on working with my son at home and school!

Terri Apgar

I cannot say enough good things about LLA Therapy. My daughter was a client of Teal Simmons’ for approximately 2 years and was just released from speech therapy! She was diagnosed with Apraxia in 2015 and worked with Teal twice a week. Through Teal’s application of PROMPT therapy, my daughter had age-appropriate speech after one year. All of the staff we interacted with at LLA were absolutely wonderful. They really care about what they do and making sure your child achieves their goals.

Kelli Geisler Davisson

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for my son as well as my family! My son always asks, "When can I go see Ms. Jeannine again, is it Monday??" He has also made huge gains in only 5 months! I would highly recommend LLA and have already shared my experience with friends looking for services!

Victoria Hansford-Price

We are so grateful for our Speech Therapist Ms.Teal. We have seen a great improvement with our sons confidence and communication abilities since we have started "Prompt" therapy. What we love the most about LLA and Ms. Teal is that Kohl feels comfortable and relaxed which has played a critical role in his progress. Thank you Ms. Teal for all you have done.

Laura Lee Hogsett

They have helped in numerous ways. Speech, OT and behavioral. I've had numerous compliments on my son's progress thanks in very large part to LLA. I would recommend LLA before I recommend our local children's hospitals, though they are good, they don't have the staff that LLA does.

Amy Furukawa

We had a great experience with Matt Hagge at LLA! Our Middle School age son was becoming very conscious of his voice, which is nasal due to a cleft palate. Matt helped him to better form his sounds and project his voice in a way that makes the unavoidable nasality less noticeable.Our son is more confident and outgoing & even took on a speaking role in the church play. Matt has the perfect personality to relate with our son, and we would recommend him to anyone needing speech therapy services!

Jessica Havalotti

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for our daughter. I would highly recommend LLA. Miss Grace was so amazing and I can't believe how quickly our daughter showed improvement. Thank you!
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