I’ve written in the past about Jude’s funny habits and traits that certainly keep him unique to humankind but more recently I have noticed a clear definition of triggers that set him off into a melt down. His melt downs have been terrible recently and sometimes even making an appearance in the middle of the night for absolutely no reason. It’s actually quite disturbing when you are woken by the loud bang of a door being slammed shut and repeatedly kicked. I’ll go downstairs to see what is wrong and he’ll be sitting there, in the middle of his room, butt-naked having stripped off and discarded his clothes at random. He always strips when this mood hits, it’s really weird but maybe the sensation of clothing is even too much for him during these moments. Another sensory issue?


The latest and most dominating trigger we have is Emmeline crying. When she’s tired and I’m trying to get her pyjamas on she often cries and for some reason this sets Jude off throwing things around his room and subsequently screaming and crying. If I lie with him then he calms down pretty well but it can take over an hour for him to go to sleep following an episode. It’s horrendous. How can we stop a toddler crying? We can’t. So how can we stop Jude being so sensitive to Emmeline’s crying?


Well, I have had a few conversations with Jude over the past week or so and explained to him that when Emmeline cries, he doesn’t need to panic because mummy is there to look after her and I always end it with a question – “Jude, what should you do if Emmeline cries?” My specific answer is always the same “you ignore her, you carry on with what you are doing, she is fine so don’t worry.”

I think he is starting to understand this. Tonight, when I was about to put Emmeline to bed, I took her into his room to say goodnight and to show him that she is perfectly fine and happy. She was getting upset and I wanted him to see her crying so he could compute this notion in his mind and form a mental image of her being comforted by me. I don’t know if he does actually worry about her as such, but I need to start somewhere with my rationale! Anyway, I asked him what he needs to do if he hears her crying and his response really interested me. He simply said “I walk away.”

Now, is Jude actually a really deep thinker? Is he envisaging himself mentally walking away from the noise so he can calm himself down? I think it must be the noise that bothers him as he really hates confrontation and this is one of his main triggers. Perhaps he sees this upset as a form of confrontation.


This evening has worked well (so far) – no freak out when Emmeline went to bed and he’s now peaceful in his room so fingers crossed this is it for the evening. Please please please please please please please.


But yes, a new, unusual trigger for Jude in Emmeline crying. Hopefully, it’s just a momentary phase…


Do your children have unexpected triggers that set off a melt down?


A x



  • Phil on

    Could this be an attention thing as opposed to a trigger …. his sister gets attention when she cries… he gets attention when he has a meltdown …just a thought

    • admin on

      No, because often he’ll do it in the middle of the night for absolutely no reason. It’s like he’s unreachable when he has this sort of reaction, in a kind of zone all on his own. His reaction isn’t attention grabbing as he doesn’t do it visibly, often I’ll find him crouching in his room picking the floor and I have no idea he’s been there because it’s silent and I thought he was asleep. It’s a bit of a nightmare to be honest!

  • twotinyhands on

    Sounds like you are doing the right thing discussing it through with them. I’ve no experience in this at all!! Does Emmeline get upset when Jude triggers the other way round? Don’t know how that question helps either but wondered if she understands what is happening. Any way thanks for linking to #familyfun x

  • www.caringinthechaos.co.uk on

    It must be immensely hard to try and work out what is setting him off, times like that I can imagine you want to pop inside his head to fully understand! What you’re trying sounds like a great thing, my daughter who has needs doesn’t always understand what you say verbally and showing her can help her to compute it…it can take a while, as you well know! I hope he settles for you and him as that must be hard with two children 🙂 #familyfun

  • Emma Reed on

    I think all children have triggers but their personalities will affect how extreme they are . Jake can meltdown at the most ridiculous things at times. I think you cope so well and I enjoy reading about your experiences xx

Leave a Reply