Raising Toddlers is a tough gig. With their growing desire for independence we forget that this age still is very dependent on us as caregivers. With me, my first kiddo was determined and sensitive from the getgo. I honestly didn’t realize it until I had our second child and saw how different the two are. My youngest has just been more at ease and laid back from day one compared to my first. Through the tough days, I still acknowledge how amazing she is and I thank her for teaching me how to grow into a stronger and whole person because really, it’s my past that I haven’t healed when I’m triggered from one of her meltdowns or the like. I’m apologizing a lot and letting her know I’m trying to be a better mama and sometimes I ask her how I can be better for her. Usually her response is more hugs and kisses.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this transformation didn’t happen over night. Every day is a challenge and every day I learn more and more about myself and about how to be supportive to my family.
Recently, I finally started listening to an amazing book that I hope every parent either listens to or reads the book “How Toddlers Thrive” by Tovah P Klein
This book reminds us that these kiddos with such big emotions are kids. The ability for children to plan and deal with transitions and process through feelings takes place in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which isn’t fully developed until around age 25! The author of “How Toddlers Thrive,” has an amazing, yet simple mantra she used to use when her kids were “being difficult.” She would breath and repeat in her head “she’s just a little kid.” This has really helped!! Recently we went on a shopping trip for some clothes for my youngest and she wanted to go with. She had a big meltdown, one of the firsts about not being able to get a toy she wanted and I breezed through it while supporting and acknowledging her feelings! It was tough getting past the thoughts, “what do these other customers think of my parenting,” but then I just reminded myself that I didn’t care. I WAS SUPPORTING MY CHILD. I think too many times we parents forget this and become too worried about what other people think. We need to get past our feelings by taking care of our needs and healing our past so we may honor our children and support them as best as possible.