Meltdowns and the patience required to survive them as parents

We had one of those mornings where every single ounce of energy is spent just trying to get the boys off to school. 

The morning began with Elliott refusing a bath. He woke up this morning and his hair needed to be washed. He must have been sweating last night cause his hair was greasy and needed washed before school. 

He battled us pretty hardcore over this but did eventually comply. 

We’ve told him that if he doesn’t keep up with his long hair, it’s going to get cut much shorter. 

What we experienced next made Elliott’s struggles this morning seem like walk in the park. Of course, I’m referring to Emmett and his shoes. 
Emmett was really, really struggling this morning because he wouldn’t tolerate anything on his feet. Flip flops weren’t an option this morning because of the temperature and the fact that there was snow on the ground.  

We couldn’t back down today because Emmett’s already missed a few days of school because he couldn’t cope with wearing shoes or anything on his feet for that matter. 

This particular battle lasted for at least an hour and ran from about 7:30 am until 8:30 am. 

As soon as he settled down, we were out the door but that exit didn’t occur until after 8:30 am, a full thirty minutes after we normally arrive at the school. He ended up wearing his socks and slippers.  

I can’t really explain how exhausting these meltdowns are for all parties. As parents, we are choosing to be patient and understanding. The patience needed to manage and survive a situation like this is immensely bankrupting at times.  

As a result of this morning, I was so exhausted and despite my best efforts, I fell asleep while writing. 

Can anyone relate to this? How does your child’s meltdowns impact you? Please leave your experience in the in the moments below.. ☺ 

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4 Comments on "Meltdowns and the patience required to survive them as parents"

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Of course my kid’s meltdowns affect me. It’s very time-consuming, frustrating, and stressful. But it’s worse for the kid. That’s why I spend a lot of time figuring out what the triggers for a meltdown might be and coming up with things to try to avoid them or at least attempt to reduce their severity or duration. With that in mind, I hope you read my comment to your post immediately preceding this one. In that comment, I asked about Emmett’s sensory issues with respect to shoes and what strategies/routines you’ve tried to help provide him with the sensory input… Read more »
Rob Gorski

I did see your last comment but the server went down for like 12 hours and I’m trying to get caught up.

We have several weighted objects ranging from 5-40lbs. We do joint manipulation and brushing as well. We have a big rice box that he can stand in and wiggle his toes. He likes that. We also have a secret weapon known as ferrets. The ferrets will climb all over him and snuggle with him. That can help calm him down..

Not everything works all the time and lately, they haven’t been working much at all.


Yeah, it’s frustrating – I know the cycle of finding something that works…until it doesn’t anymore. But I’m curious- do you have a daily routine with the sensory stuff? Or is it more just in the moment, or when you think of it? The reason I ask is because it’s my understanding, from my personal experience with my kid as well as my own research, that a specific, dedicated daily routine is what can provide the sensory input that can (sometimes, if you’re lucky) help alleviate some (again, if you’re lucky) of the sensory issues.


I wonder…with the cold weather, has Emmett ever worn boots? Boots cover the feet and ankles, but have a soft pressure. Of course, every boot feels different. We had bad snow over here in NW Ohio Sunday, so I can’t imagine that Emmett can go to school just wearing socks and slippers. Guess I’ll keep reading! smile