When Your Child... Is in the Middle of a Meltdown

2-min. video | Open Door For Parents with Dr. Eileen

(105 seconds. Video transcript at bottom)

We’ve all been there… trying to deal with a kid who’s in a full-blown meltdown. This week’s 2-minute video offers some practical ideas about how to move past those difficult moments. Hint: It doesn’t involve trying to talk to your child while they’re screaming.

Does your kid have a question about friendship?

I’m starting a new project where I’ll be answering questions from kids about friendships. Answers will be available for all subscribers to Open Door for Parents. You can listen to some examples of me answering children’s questions about friendship HERE.

Adults, please use your smartphone's memo function or an audio app to record your child's question. Please hold the phone close to your child's mouth to make sure the recording is clear. Have your child state:

1) their FIRST NAME,

2) their AGE, and

3) a BRIEF QUESTION or concern about friendship. (Please do not mention any friends' names.)

Email the audio file to DrF@EileenKennedyMoore.com. I’ll answer as many questions as I can. (Obviously, this is not psychotherapy, and it’s not for emergency situations.)

With the holiday season approaching, this month’s live webinar for parents is about Dealing with Kids and Extended Family. I also have two new recorded webinars. Check them out below.

Quick reminder: Free subscribers to Open Door for Parents receive about one 2-minute video post per month. For only $12/month, paid subscribers receive additional video and Q&A posts about children’s feelings and friendships, access to the full archive, plus a coupon each month for $20 off a live or recorded webinar. If you haven’t already, please consider upgrading your subsciption to paid. (Please use the MONTHLY rather than annual subscription.)


* Dealing with Kids and Extended Family (Q&A session)

Wednesday, Nov. 16 @ 8:30 pm - 9:30 pm (Eastern US time)

Getting together with relatives for holidays or events can be fun but also stressful–especially when kids are involved. Old family dynamics or newer differences in parenting styles can raise tension or create disagreements. Join Dr. Eileen for an informal question and answer session about ways to increase the fun and lower the stress around family gatherings. (Recording will be available if you sign up but can’t attend the live event.)


Read More:

Webinars On-Demand

Watch at your convenience

  • Parenting During Uncertain Times

  • Help Your Child Cope With Feelings

  • Helping Your Anxious Child


Video Transcript

Hi, I’m Dr. Eileen, an author and clinical psychologist based in Princeton, New Jersey. 

I once read this hilarious study where the researchers analyzed audio recordings of kids having tantrums. What they found was that there was a shift in pitch somewhere in the tantrum. 

I remember this from when my kids were little and having tantrums. They would start out with this very angry tone, and then, at some point, they would shift to with felt like more of a sad tone. 

Listen for that shift. If your child is furiously angry, don't try to talk to them. If there are other people around, you might want to try to help your child get out of the situation, but don't get too close. Wait until you hear that shift to the more sad tone. Then you can try to approach your child with two questions that you're pretty sure they're going to say yes to. So, you might ask, “Would you like a tissue?” Yes, because they have snot all over their face! “Would you like a drink of water?” Yes, because their throat is sore from yelling for however long they’ve been yelling. 

Once you get those two yeses, you are well on the way to having a reasonable child to deal with. Then you can figure things out together