Toddlercalm – week 1 (part #1 of 2)

I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” ~ Maya Angelou

My first week of Toddlercalm class was, in summary, inspiring. Conducted by Jasmine Collin – a certified HypnoBirthing®, BabyCalm™ and TodddlerCalm™ teacher – this course was the first to be conducted in Dubai. Knowing that it would be attended by Jasmine’s friends and former students who already knew each other, I was a little apprehensive about being the odd one out but Jasmine was very welcoming and made me feel comfortable instantly. It was good to gather with like-minded moms. There were four moms including myself in the course.

In the first lesson, we dived deep into the overview of parenting and toddlerhood. We were shown the big picture of the whys, whats and hows. We investigated the following topics:

► Why do we impose limits and set rules on our child(ren)?
– For safety / fear of harm
– Convenience
– Life is busy
– To be in control
– Outside pressure / what people may think
– Worries about how they will turn out to be
– Making rod for their own back
– Good manners / so that they will be liked
– Socialisation

These reasons are our short-term goals for our kids.

► What qualities do we want our child(ren) to have?
– Empathy
– Respectful
– Curious
– Independent
– Resilient
– Ambitious
– Discerning
– Kind, loving
– Moral
– Confident
– Self-worth
– Emotionally intelligent
– Happy
– Successful
– Able to manage emotions well
– Responsible
– Assertive

These traits are our long-term goals of how we want our kids to be in the future.

► During a tantrum, what do you think a child feels?
– Frustrated
– Scared
– Desperate
– Angry
– Unsupported
– Overwhelmed by emotions
– Stressed
– Helpless
– Insecure
– Unlovable
– Curious

► During a tantrum, what do you think a mom feels?
– Upset
– Helpless
– Impatient
– Stressed
– Trying to understand
– Frustrated
– Nervous
– Tired
– Rage
– Out of control
– Guilty
– Failed as a parent
– Overwhelmed
– Dispowered

Tantrum is a vomit of emotions. When a child acts up, he/she is purging out the welled up emotions which more often than not, are beyond their understanding. As we can see above, the feelings felt by both the child and mom are very similar. They are both struggling. Now, imagine the situation if the child can verbalise his/her needs and feelings.

In fact, tantrum is an opportunity to shape their brain. If they are not addressed properly – whether by ignoring, shouting or punishing – the child’s feelings get suppressed and will elevate over time.

Here’s what we can do during a tantrum:

1. React with compassion
2. Acknowledge the child’s needs/feelings. Let them know that their feelings are valid and manageable.
3. Name the feeling – “I understand what you’re going through” / “It’s hard for you” / “I can help you”
4. Make the child feel understood, valud, loved, held and safe.

~ Continue to week 1 – part #2 of 2

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