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From Meltdown Mayhem to Masterful Parenting: Tuning Up Toddler Troubles

Updated: Apr 11

We have all been through an uncomfortable time when our kids just throw random waterworks and outbursts to get that candy, or to sway in that swing, or whether they need sprinklers on their ice cream, or how many scoops they want and how they don’t want to get ready for bed. There are just so many.

I remember the worst that I've been to, was when my little kid was throwing the loudest tantrum about how she wanted that Mickey Mouse balloon, while we were walking down the street. The problem was I could buy her any balloon but she was asking for a balloon that was tens of feet tall and floating in the sky and it was not for sale. But she just couldn't stop crying about how she wanted it badly. It was a situation that was a) chaotic and b) annoying and luckily I knew how to calm her down. 

Now let’s learn some of those tactics for these awkward situations with toddlers and how to gracefully handle them.

Before Words Work, Needs Come First:

Imagine you are supposed to have a meeting with an important client but as you are busy with loads of work, you haven’t eaten anything for more than 8 hours and you are also sleep deprived. How would you react? What would be your initial response? To have some food right. That’s the basic need of our human body. Now imagine it’s your child who’s going through the basic human needs and we are trying to use our communication strategies on them. 

Now you need to ensure that these foundational needs are met. A healthy snack, a calming cuddle, or simply quiet time can work wonders in transforming a "no" into a listening ear.

Stress Makes Sense, Not Nonsense:

Yes, kids are no exception to stress. Breakdowns and Tantrums are not personal attacks; they are usually the cries for help from an overwhelmed little being. Sometimes kids aren’t capable of telling what exactly they are going through and they end up crying and throwing terrible tantrums. It is our work to know what’s wrong with them. 

We need to know the signs of stress, for example, clinginess, crankiness, or even physical tension. Most of the time we just need to offer them a quiet place. A quiet corner, or maybe a soothing hug or simply understanding what it is that’s bothering them. Acknowledging their feelings can do wonders in de-escalating the situation.

Less is More: Avoiding the Overload Trap:

Imagine, you have been given a workload of 4 people that needs at least 2 weeks to complete and you are forced to complete it in 5 days. How would you feel? Frustrated, furious, irritated, right? Now that’s how children feel when they are bombarded with constant instructions and expectations. 

You need to step back and assess your child’s tolerance level. After that, you can simplify demands, break down tasks, or offer choices to reduce the overwhelming feelings of “too much”

Growing Up, Not Out:

Remember, each child develops at their own pace. What might seem like simple instructions to you could be a monumental effort for them. 

Align your expectations with your child’s age and developmental stage before bombarding them with constant instructions. 

Instead of forcing square pegs into round holes, celebrate their unique journey and adjust your expectations accordingly.

Seeing Beyond the Noise:

Imagine the world through your child's eyes. Textures that feel soft and comforting to you might feel rough and irritating to them. Tags might tickle unbearably, and seams might feel like pinpricks. By asking them gentle, open-ended questions, you can understand their perspective:

"What feels different about your clothes today?"

"Is there anything itchy or uncomfortable?"

"Would you like to try a different shirt?"

You might need to offer them choices of smooth textures of clothes or velvet ones, they work wonders. Remember, understanding the "why" behind the "no" is key to unlocking effective communication.

Parenting isn't about controlling every situation; it's about understanding the symphony of needs playing out before you. By acknowledging the importance of basic needs, addressing stress, avoiding overload, aligning expectations, and seeing beyond the "no," you can transform those frustrating moments into opportunities for connection and growth. 

Remember, every child is unique, and every interaction is an opportunity to learn and adapt. So, put down the conductor's baton, pick up a listening ear, and join the beautiful, messy melody of raising a little human.

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