How do you tell the difference between a meltdown and a temper-tantrum? Sometimes I think my son is having a meltdown but he seems so angry and manipulative that I wonder if it's just a temper-tantrum because he didn't get what he wanted. For instance today he had a dr appt so I got off early to get him from school and go. Since I had to get off early I skipped my lunch break. I was going to pull into a fastfood place real quick between picking him up and going to the dr's office and since the only one on the way was Hardy's I pulled in there. I asked my son if he wanted some fries or something because he had already had lunch. He asked if they had chicken nuggets. I said I don't know. So then he wanted to go to McD's. Well that is on the other side of town and I didn't have time to go there so I was just gonna get an extra large thing of chicken tenders and an extra small fries and share with him. Well he started screaming because he wanted to go to McD's. I tried reasoning with him telling him they do have chicken nuggets and I was getting him some but he wasn't having it. He started kicking the seats in my van and pitching an all out fit. I ended up leaving the drive thru with nothing. Then he refused to go into the Dr's office when we got there. By this time I was really fustrated with him and said some things I shouldn't had. I told him I was so sick of this and if he thought this was going to get him what he wanted he was out of his mind, and further more he was NOT going to have a birthday party we were plannning for awhile. I was yelling at him and telling him I was so tired of it. Then I was in tears. He got out of the van but then he sat in a chair in the hallway sceaming and pitching a fit saying he wasn't going in. We missed the dr's appt because he would not go in and he is too heavy for me to carry him in. The nurse even came out and bribed him with candy trying to get him to go in but he still refused. So I told her we would just reschedule and I told him come on lets go. He still refused to move. I said well I am going home and if you want to stay here all by yourself then fine..the drs and nurses are leaving to go home too. So he goes to the van but he is screaming at me the whole time. I wanted so bad to tear his tale up right there in the parking lot. I had to really restrain myself from the urge to do so. He gets in the van and he is still screaming and yelling and kicking the back of my van. This carries on the whole way home. I was so fustrated and angry with him. He comes inside and sits and cries softly but not screaming anymore and I went into my room to cool off. All this carried on for over an hour. His brother comes in and talks to him and gives him an icecream bar and he stops crying and eats it. So..with all that does that sound like a meltdown or a temper tantrum? He was mad because he did not get what he wanted. I did not give in and give him what he wanted so he pitched a fit the whole time. And it wasn't going to the dr that caused it. He loves his dr and the staff there. It was because I chose to pull into Hardy's instead of going clear across town to McD's and being late to the appt. I am not sure if I understand the difference. I want to punish him for his behavior. But not sure if I should be. I don't even know what to do with him anymore and how to handle him anymore. I don't think I can do this anymore! The older he gets the worse it gets!