Sunday, February 23, 2014

No Telling

There are some days where Ayden fights and fusses about a lot of little things and others where he goes with the flow. Then there are days where he fights and fusses about things that are usually easy and is chill about things that are usually a struggle. It is hard to understand the mind of a toddler. Instead of trying to understand the why, because there's no telling what the source of his frustrations are half the time, we work really hard to just accept that is how he is in that moment. We summon as much patience as we can from within, take a deep breath and guide him through the day. Sometimes on a particularly bad day our knee jerk reaction might be to say, "Ayden, stop that crying and just do it!" But from what I have observed, this sort of response ALWAYS makes the child more upset. Instead we bypass that initial reaction, validate his feelings and ride out the storm (and validation should not be confused with acquiescence here. You can validate without giving in). It takes a little more energy but the payoff is ten fold. 

Toddler fires are very easily stoked and it seems that a little validation and patience (on our part) is all they really need to put those fires out. The toddler season can be intense but it is short. Luckily every frustration brings with it an equally wonderful moment. Today, Ayden seemed to have a short fuse but after nap he held my face in his hands and leaned in forehead to forehead with me. In that moment he refilled my patience tank and we made it through the rest of the day.

 I'm also so glad to have a partner in all this. When David is home with me on days like today we take turns and give each other breaks if we can sense that patience is running low. Thanks to the support of one another, we are able to be the parents we set out to be, even on the hard days, and that feels good. 


Here's what we were up to one year ago today: "The Secret Life Of Bees"
And two years ago today: "Tummy Time"

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  1. Thank you. I have lost my temper way too many times.

  2. Yes! Lately with Henry, we have stopped trying to "distract" him when he's upset and just let him ride the waves of his emotions, while we are there with him affirming that yes, this is frustrating. Often, it just takes a few minutes and he is done and ready to go on. I feel way less frazzled afterward too because I wasn't scrambling to "fix" anything.