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    #131156 06/03/12 06:54 PM
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    DS is 9 years old.
    He recently has started to have major blow-ups, tantrums and over reacts in strange ways.
    Emotions are all over the place - lots of yelling, crying, rolling himself up on the ground, etc.
    Does anyone else have an older GT son who portrays this type of behavior?
    How do you deal with this?
    Mainly - how do you react to a child who over reacts so out of proportion the moment it happens when he/she seems so hard to reach and so caught in the moment and emotions?

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    I have gone through this with my oldest (now 8) and am currently with my youngest (currently 5)

    My oldest, once in a blue moon, will still have a full blown meltdown but not like he used to.

    My question to you is , has anything changed in his environment where he could be over stimulated?


    Increased academic load?
    Is he going to a new place where it is very loud or very bright?
    He has lost a friend or some relationship change?

    With my oldest, I was very firm with him in his behavior while still listening to him and talking it out. Over the last 3 years, he has come a long way.

    Even his teachers have remarked on the change.

    My youngest is now doing the same and I am doing the same thing to him while adapting to his circumstances.

    Best of luck, unless you opt for drugs, it will take some time to help him control the dissonance between his mid and his maturity


    DS9 - Starting 9th grade
    DS7 - Starting 5th grade
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    Overstimulation paired with frustration sometimes makes for disaster in sensitive kids. I work as a therapist with kids who struggle in this area. I often find that kids are not aware of their internal experience until they are far past the 'take deep breaths' stage. I show kids a cup and explain that everyone's cup gets filled daily with stressss and frustrations (and I make examples of these things while filling the cup with water). I explain that some people's cups are naturally more "prefilled" than others...so their threshold to overflow is much lower. My challenge to them is to start recognizing when their cup is more than half full and try to empty some of the water then before it feels too late. So we make a plan as to what helps them specifically (getting to a quiet place, putting a frustrating project down, making sure they're not over hungry). I ask the parents to gently name the child's feeling states when they notice them (ie while playing a game: you seem a little frustrated you're not winning). Whether the child agrees or not st the moment doesn't matter. I agree to stay firm on your expectations of their behavior....sometimes kids 'allow'
    themselves to not be as emotionally in-control st home. Of course there is
    truth in

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    Posted before I was done...

    Just as I allow myself to be grouchy with my kids and not my co-workers, kids do much the same. My ds5 can be a challenge...take heart that you are not alone! I love "Transforming the Difficult Child" and its approach.

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    DD7 started doing this, not coincidentally, when she was enrolled in school. The more time she spends in school, the more she does this. The harder the school fails her, the more intense the meltdowns. She is now on summer vacation, and we're already seeing this behavior diminish.

    What we find is that whenever she's having a meltdown over something totally insignificant, there's something else underlying that we need to discover. For example, last month she was doing this, and I stopped her before it got too far, and I simply asked her, "Is there something you want to tell us? Something is clearly bothering you. Even if it's about me or Mommy, you can tell us."

    Long story short... DD had only been riding the bus to school at her own request, some boy kept shouting at her face the whole ride in (among other antics), and she hadn't ridden the bus in a few weeks (again at her own request). But she was afraid DW would ask her to ride the bus again someday when DW was busy. With assurances that this wouldn't happen, DD's attitude problems subsided.

    Another thing we try to do is counsel her on methods to express her emotions in more acceptable ways, rather than bottle them up.

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    Originally Posted by Evemomma
    I show kids a cup and explain that everyone's cup gets filled daily with stressss and frustrations (and I make examples of these things while filling the cup with water). I explain that some people's cups are naturally more "prefilled" than others...so their threshold to overflow is much lower. My challenge to them is to start recognizing when their cup is more than half full and try to empty some of the water then before it feels too late.

    My DD is a visual learner... I am soooooo using this. Thanks.

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    Originally Posted by Dude
    My DD is a visual learner... I am soooooo using this. Thanks.
    Glad to help....you are so on track with the "something else" question. Sometimes kids can't express whet it is....sometimes it's the seams of their socks! I love to give kids concrete examples of how to recognize stress: tense muscles, clenched jaw, rapid heart rate, shallow breathing, facial flushing, tight stomach muscles, restlessness, etc. For my bright kids, they love to learn about our body's autonomic response system and how they can learn to control their heart rate just through relaxing and concentration. Talk about a
    lesson in physiology!

    Last edited by Evemomma; 06/04/12 08:21 AM. Reason: errors
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    Tantrums and gifted children is an issue that is very near and dear to my heart. There was a workshop at SENG last year in Seattle where the speaker talked about mindfulness and tantrums. I wrote up my notes here: Tantrum Solutions?

    One of the ideas from the SENG conference was to make a labyrinth, but that was a bust for us. Remembering the acronym HALT has been much more helpful. HALT stands for Hungry Angry Lonely Tired.

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    Fantastic thread. Thanks so much everyone for sharing your ideas and things that have worked/not worked. I will be trying some of these!


    ~ Christine smile
    Homeschooling DD in PA
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    Oh...I LOVE the idea of "HALT"....going to use that with my kids and in my practice!

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