I’ve been in your shoes with frustration and confusion. It is horrible place to be. Small children are very sensitive. They need lots of cuddle time, play, and kisses from mommy. Little children don’t do things to make us mad. They just don’t have any other way of expressing their emotions.
When one of my children is doing something that I don’t find enjoyable, like throwing a temper tantrum I ask myself these 5 questions.
1. Has he/she had enough sleep?
2. Has he/she experienced something physically or emotionally painful of which I am unaware?
3. Is he/she hungry or lacking the proper nutrition for today?
4. Has he/she not been outside, or not able to power out the constant flow of energy?
5: Have I looked him/her in the eyes today and really listened/communicated to/with him/her?
I try to meet these needs before taking any other action. If all is fine and the behavior is coming because I said ”no” to something he/she really wants, then I do the following 5 things…
1. I state the reason for the no.
2. I remind myself that a ‘no’ is a hurt to the soul, my child feels it deep within his/her bones.
3. I acknowledge his/her feelings with a statement such as. ”You really want that candy right now don’t you? Are you sad that I said no? (Or) Are you angry that I said no?
The smaller the child, the smaller the sentence… to a two year old, ”You’re mad. I know.”
4. I remind myself, that staying clam is the best way to go.
5. I remind myself, that allowing my child to experience the hurt of a ‘no’ and living through it will help him/her become a stronger person. Stronger because he/she will have learned that
a. ‘no’ is not the end of the world.
b. mommy can handle my emotions, she loves me even when I scream and yell.
c. by not punishing emotions, my child learns that it is ok to express emotions.
d. with time, temper tantrums will happen less if my child learns to express his/her emotions through words.
Then it becomes a matter of helping choose the right words, and not just name-calling when he/she is sad. The work doesn’t get harder or bigger it is just gets different as the children gets older.
So, hang in there. You’re doing great.
Love, Rebekah Butterfly
…Let’s get Naturally Happy Together