Answering your questions: Meltdowns, Overstimulated parents, and sensitive children

I regularly get many questions from listeners and followers of Joyful Mud Puddles. Let’s jump in and answer your questions today. If you have any parenting questions please send me an email at or message me on your favorite social media.

How can I help my child who is having a meltdown and not responding to any prompts or suggestions to calm down?

Once a child is in full meltdown they are much harder to calm down. Focus on remaining calm yourself and keeping everyone safe. Offer lots of empathy and be there for them in the moment. Once things calm down a little, then try some coping strategies.

To be more proactive I recommend practicing calming strategies regularly and building that emotional awareness. If you are a newsletter subscriber, I have lots of free posters you can use to help.

How can I reset myself when I am feeling overstimulated, while also setting a good example for my kids?

I know exactly how you feel. Modeling how to handle overwhelm is really hard, because you are struggling in the moment but you also want to teach your children how to respond to stress in a healthy way. Wow that is a lot. Firstly, give yourself some grace. Parenting is hard and we will make mistakes, but we can always work on repairs afterwards. I find taking a break works wonders. No guilt trips, turn on the tv, hide in the bathroom, call in the reinforcements. Do what you need to to catch your breath and think for a moment. Then work on some coping strategies that will help you calm down. Remember all those trick you’ve been working on with the kids? They will work for you too.

How can I help my sensitive child?

Sensitive children, and adults, can get overstimulated easily. They take in all the emotions, sights, sounds and textures around them and it can be overwhelming. To help those sensitive family members to cope better I suggest first simplifying your life (declutter, schedule, rhythm, media etc.). Offering lots of understanding and empathy towards their struggles. Teach them coping skills, and problem solving strategies so they can learn to speak up for their needs and figure our creative ways to handle stressors. This is a big topic so I’ll be doing a separate post on it soon.

Resources mentioned:

The Highly Sensitive Parent by Elaine Aron

Sensitive and Strong by Denise Hughes and Cheri Gregory

Exceptional Grace conference April 26-May1

International Parenting Summit Series (second weekend of every month)

Joyful Motherhood Devotional