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  • 1.  Podcast Discussion - Behavior is Communication: Understanding and Responding to Tantrums and Meltdowns (S2E6)

    Teachstone Staff
    Posted 11-23-2021 10:45

    Hello CLASS Learning Community Members, Happy Teaching with CLASS Tuesday!

    Due to the upcoming holiday, we decided to give you this episode a couple of days early! We will also be releasing an episode on Tuesday the 21st to accommodate holidays as well.

    This Infant/Toddler focused episode, Behavior is Communication: Understanding and Responding to Tantrums and Meltdowns features our amazing host @Mamie Morrow TS, and our incredible guest @Megin Ruston! If you haven't gotten the chance to listen yet, be sure to check out this week's episode, then come back here to the CLC and discuss this topic with others!


    In this episode:

    Meltdowns or tantrums in the classroom can be a frustrating experience for both the educator and the child, but as Megin shares in this episode, they are developmentally appropriate responses. Meltdowns happen when a child feels overwhelmed, either by their emotions or their environment, and are a common response to frustration, sadness, or even just emerging independence. Young children don't yet have the language to describe how they are feeling or what they are frustrated about, but also during those toddler years, they are realizing they are completely separate from the adults in their lives. Part of that emerging fierce independence can sometimes show up as a meltdown.

    Biting, in particular, can be an especially difficult hurdle to overcome. Often, biting can be a result of children not knowing how to handle these big emotions they are having. Self-regulation takes time to develop, so support that child, and observe their behavior. Are there certain times of days or events that trigger this frustration for the child? When observing and trying to nail down a pattern, it can be beneficial to be mindful of this child throughout the day rather than for set periods of time. Be close to the child to see if any of these behaviors happen and be aware. Be sure to keep notes to keep track of your observations throughout the day and see how these behaviors evolve. Does the child show any signs that they are going to have a meltdown? 


    Megin shares some great strategies to t
    ry to prevent these breakdowns such as:
    • avoiding power struggles
    • avoiding demanding tasks at certain points of the day
    • allowing the child to have as much independence as possible in the classroom
    • being aware of the child 
    Even still, sometimes meltdowns still happen. Here are some strategies to try when these meltdowns occur:
    • When you see frustration building, name that frustration and ask the child how you can help.
    • Help that child through these big emotions by controlling your own emotions.
    • Conventional wisdom to ignore a meltdown is actually not that effective and can prolong meltdowns, and doesn’t really teach what we think it’s teaching (This includes sending a child to a “quiet corner” by themselves to “calm down.”) At these times, they aren't thinking about why they are upset, they are just upset. Stay with the child.
    • Acknowledge their emotions, don't dismiss or downplay their emotions in those moments. It is a big deal to them, otherwise, they wouldn't be so upset.
    • Help the child return to a regulated state. Provide comfort. 
    • label the emotions you see the child going through, help them describe what they might be feeling, help them with the emotional vocabulary of what they are feeling. 
    • Once they are feeling better and are in a regulated state, acknowledge what upset them, and offer your support to help them find the solution.

      Your response matters. Here are some strategies to try when biting occurs:
      • Address the child who is hurt and model empathy. "I am so sorry you are hurting, do you need some ice?"
      • If there is an altercation for Toddlers and Preschoolers, approach the child who bit, be calm, and tell them "we do not bite, biting hurts, and I can't let you hurt your friends". Have them help find a solution and practice empathy as well. ask "how can we help your friend feel better? Maybe we can go get them a bandaid"
      • If biting becomes a habit, be sure to reach out to the family to involve them in a solution. If you see a pattern of biting with a child and you are observing to find out the source of the frustration, see if the family has noticed this behavior and how they are handling this at home. Invite the parents to be a part of the solution process.
      • When you have a plan in place, sometimes it may take time for these strategies to make a difference.
      • Never bite back 

      Megin's 3 key tips to take away:
      • These challenging and unwanted behaviors are developmentally appropriate and sometimes signify an upcoming milestone. 
      • All behavior is communication, so pay attention to the signals these children are showing you. Stay close and step in when you need to.
      • Support them with these strong emotions and suggest other ways to express themselves.

      Do you have any other strategies that you've tried in your classrooms for tantrums, biting, and meltdowns? Be sure to share them below!

      I really hope you enjoyed this episode as much as I did - and a huge thank you to @Megin Ruston for this incredible conversation!

      Best,
      Allison




      This episode focuses on Early Language Support, Behavior Guidance, and Regard for Child Perspective. #ELS #EarlyLanguage#Behavior_Guidance#RSP#RCP#Regard #tantrum #biting #meltdown #I/T #Infant #Toddler #Infant/Toddler

      Learn more about learning through play and child-led activities on our blog:

      3 Overlooked Opportunities for Facilitation of Learning and Development

      Behavior Guidance Is as Easy as PB&J

      More good reads:

      Understanding and Responding to Children Who Bite

      ​​​​​​​​​

      ------------------------------
      Allison Bloomfield
      Charlottesville VA
      ------------------------------


    • 2.  RE: Podcast Discussion - Behavior is Communication: Understanding and Responding to Tantrums and Meltdowns (S2E6)

      Posted 12-08-2021 11:01

       

      Hello, my name is Raquel and I'm a owner of a home day care. This is my first time I write a comment after listening to a podcast and I need to say THANK YOU for help me understand better how to respond to tantrums and meltdowns. GRACIAS, GRACIAS

       

      Sent from Mail for Windows

       






    • 3.  RE: Podcast Discussion - Behavior is Communication: Understanding and Responding to Tantrums and Meltdowns (S2E6)

      Teachstone Staff
      Posted 12-08-2021 13:35
      Thank you so much @Raquel Avila for this feedback! I am so glad that you enjoyed this podcast episode and found the tips useful. If there are ever any other topics you'd like us to discuss, please don't hesitate to reach out!

      Best,
      Allison​​

      ------------------------------
      Allison Bloomfield
      Charlottesville VA
      ------------------------------



    • 4.  RE: Podcast Discussion - Behavior is Communication: Understanding and Responding to Tantrums and Meltdowns (S2E6)

      Teachstone Staff
      Posted 13 days ago
        |   view attached
      Here is a downloadable resource containing tips from this episode! Print it off and keep it handy for a quick refresher. 

      Best,
      Allison

      ------------------------------
      Allison Bloomfield
      Charlottesville VA
      ------------------------------



    • 5.  RE: Podcast Discussion - Behavior is Communication: Understanding and Responding to Tantrums and Meltdowns (S2E6)

      Posted 10 days ago
      These attachments are about Combatting Burn-Out

      ------------------------------
      Ann Dillenbeck
      VT STARS Assessor
      Mary Johnson Children's Center
      Middlebury, VT
      ------------------------------



    • 6.  RE: Podcast Discussion - Behavior is Communication: Understanding and Responding to Tantrums and Meltdowns (S2E6)

      Teachstone Staff
      Posted 10 days ago
      Hi @Ann Dillenbeck,

      I am so sorry about that! It looks like I swapped a couple of these downloads by mistake. I have uploaded the correct attachment now, thank you for letting me know!

      Best,
      Allison​

      ------------------------------
      Allison Bloomfield
      Charlottesville VA
      ------------------------------