I've seen this face pitiful little face for many years. I am certain you have too. As you can see, kitty play quickly turned into a meltdown when it was time to come inside.
Nevermind that she had asked to go in.
Nevermind that she was hot and hungry.
Nevermind that I simply said, "O.k." to her latest request to, "GO IN RIGHT NOW!"
This was the result. In an instant her focus shifted from wanting to go in, to wanting to stay out. Unfortunately, I had already announced it to the 7 other children in my care and they were all headed inside.
So what is a momma, grandma, daddy, or provider to do when the babe goes from giddy to gruesome? Stop...take a deep breath...and relax. We've got this.
Tip #1 - SING!
Singing is proven to release endorphins in the brain that say, "I'm happy!"
Follow this link for more on that! http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/singing-happy1.htm
It makes us feel good to sing. The slow, rhythmic breaths required in singing naturally relax our body and mind. The amazing thing about tots is that they don't care if you can carry a tune in bucket...so SING!!!!
I know it can be crazy hard to whip up a jazzy rendition of "Twinkle, Twinkle" when your staring down a double barrel of meltdown. So, do it for you. Micheal Jackson's "Beat It!" complete with spin and grab will absolutely lift your spirits and just might distract your little one too! Besides...the lyrics are quite fitting!
"Showin' how funky and strong is your fight. It doesn't matter whose wrong or whose right!" (Singing it right now aren't' ya'? Me too!)
Which brings us to Tip #2!
Tip #2 - Duck, Dodge, Dive and Dodge!
Don't show up to every fight you are invited to.
I don't know who is credited with that quote, but man it's gotten me out of a lot of emotion! When tempted to respond to a toddler (or teen ((or adult!)) for that matter) that is letting the wrenches fly, I recall this quote.
Another one..."This too shall pass." Let the wrench pass. Don't catch it between the eyes, in your fist, or anywhere else or your likely to be a puddle on the floor with your over-tired/ over-stimulated/ over-it toddler.
When the tots of Todderville are hammering you with tantrums and 'tudes: duck the urge to respond, dodge actions and attitudes that would provoke a response from you, dive away from being drug into drama, and again...when in doubt...dodge!
This is the same thing as "pick your battles" and "this is not the hill you wish to die upon."
One of the easiest ways to avoid a power struggle with your tot is to never show up to battle! Set you limits, state the consequence, hold to it. No emotions required. They may have some, but the more peace you bring to their battle, the less it will last.
All these are potential "fights" you have been invited to join in on. They are fashioned to test your boundaries, engage you emotionally, string out your very last nerve.
Tip #3 - Eat, Drink, and Be Merry!
Too much of the time we place unrealistic expectations on toddler and preschool age children to behave like little adults. We ask itty bitty tummy's to wait for hours between meals when children this age are barely capable of keeping peas on a fork, much less sit still long enough to eat enough in a setting to remain full on an adults time table. This makes for grumpy kiddos that are prone to eruptions.
Feed the angry bear! Make a game of mealtime. Now I am not suggesting that you play, "Mommies little piggy!" like the scene from A Christmas Story, but have fun, carry snacks, feed them often, and watch your little one be able to keep his/her composure far longer!
One last thing.....
I hope I made you laugh a little with this tongue in cheek, but very effective post on 3 Tips For Communicating With Your Toddler, because keeping a sense of humor will help you and your toddler navigate the journey of childhood far past these challenging early years. The tantrums and whining will give way to cars and dating and you will look back fondly and longing on these years. You will remember the fun times, the silly times, and maybe an occasional tantrum...but mostly all the sweet snuggles, bedtime songs and tight squeezes after a long day away.
Enjoy these days...these too shall pass.
I wish you well and I hope you get to play today.
Life is made of moments...
"There isn't anything more full of hope, joy and peace than a child's smile... It captures the mundane and makes it extraordinary." - LaDonna Woolsey
I am a Mother Goose Time Blogger. I decided to become one after trying their products because I they are comprehensive and serve my mixed age group well. I do receive products to review from Mother Goose Time and do so with my own honest and thorough opinions. For more information, please contact me at Ladonna@woolseyacademy.com