All children have “meltdowns” every so often. Most of the time, a child can help us understand what’s going on behind the scenes, what’s causing their upset or discomfort. When our children can’t or don’t communicate with us what’s upsetting them, we almost have to become detectives to determine what’s going on, why, and how to redirect them. The ultimate goal is to be able to avoid these behavioral meltdowns moving forward.
Keeping track of when meltdowns happen, and some details about them, is a surprisingly simple and powerful step you can take toward reducing their frequency.
The reason therapists, doctors, and article after article all give that same advice, is because it really can help. At Birdhouse, we work every day to make the best, most powerful (and fun) way to keep that log. Part of what makes Birdhouse so valuable is that in additon to just storing notes, you can:
- See the details of your notes right at a glance (when did severe meltdowns happen vs mild ones, how long did it last, etc)
- Search to find details of a specific occurrence (where were you, what time of day, what were the sounds like, sights like, etc, how much sleep had she gotten, did she eat anything strange that day, etc)
- Always have your notebook on hand to enter notes or thoughts quickly and on the go, or retrieve your notes, and without risk of it getting lost or damaged (or spilling coffee on it!)
Here’s how to use Birdhouse to keep a great record and start reducing meltdowns:
- Add a new Activity to your Birdhouse timeline
- Select Meltdown as your type
- Enter the details of the most recent Meltdown your remember (date/time, severity, duration, and any notes)
- Post Activity to save
- During, after, or at the end of each day (whichever feels best) – try to write down any meltdowns that happened
- Consider adding other types of notes from things that happened that day – Did they poop? What time did they go to bed and/or wake up? Did they have Therapy? What medications or supplements did they get (or skip)?
- At the end of each week, we’ll email you a summary of your notes from the week, so you can quickly review and remember what happened. It will even tell you if this week was better than average or worse. You might notice some interesting connections, or ways to make your notes better next week. This reminder can help you reflect and decide how to improve next time when you aren’t right in the middle of everything all at once.
- You can review your notes anytime, show/hide different details to look at just the days and times when meltdowns happen, look for patterns or connections with something else that only happens on days when there are meltdowns, graph them to see all of these details at once, and more.
If you need any help getting this going, or making it work better for you, just shoot us a message.
Here is a story about someone using Birdhouse to reduce meltdowns in their family.
Some fun things about recording your Meltdowns in Birdhouse
- Icons show the severity with different colors; yellow for low, orange for medium, and red for high.
- If you use the Reports on the web, you can see a bar chart of how many happened during a given week or month, at which severity or duration; how many were 5 minutes and how many were 15? Then just change the dates and compare to last week. It’ll even show you the times of day at quick glance, along with any of your other notes you want to compare them against.
- Next time you go to the doctor or therapist, you won’t have to bring that giant binder with you!
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