My two-year-old daughter is mastering the art of tantrums. She’s my third child, so by now there’s little that can make me lose my calm when it comes to tantrums. But even a beginner like her quickly managed to find my weak spots. First, she figured out that the best time to chuck a tantrum is on the way to school, especially if we’re running late. When that we started leaving for school 15 minutes earlier to allow for delays, she found the next best thing that was guaranteed to get attention – trying to run onto the road.
Our children’s behaviour is bound to trigger us sometimes. Most of us have said or done something in anger or frustration that we’ve regretted later. Do you find yourself wishing that you had more patience for your kids? Here are some tips that will help:
Get more sleep
Getting enough sleep is such an easy solution to help you see the world in brighter colours and have more patience that it’s easy to overlook. We forgo sleep telling ourselves that we have important things to do, that night time is the only time we’ve got for ourselves and we’d rather do anything else but sleep. If you’re feeling exhausted (as many parents do) and coming up with excuses why you can’t sleep more, I invite you to challenge yourself just for a week to make sleep a priority and notice the difference.
Take care of yourself
Similarly to getting enough sleep, exercise, healthy food and taking time to do the things you love can do wonders for your overall view of the world, including your children. When you are happy, it’s much easier to see the good side in every situation and maintain your positive attitude even when parenting gets tough.
Believe that your children are doing the best they can
Contrary what it may sometimes look like, your children are not out there to get you just to make you suffer. If you hold on to the belief that they’re good at heart and always doing the best they can, you’ll feel a lot more acceptance for their challenging behaviour. Tantrums are a way to deal with their emotions until they’ve learned to express them better. Pushing boundaries is a normal part of growing up. Experiments that don’t go well are how our children satisfy their curiosity.
Have your bag of tricks ready
Your patience will inevitably be challenged now and then, and it helps to be prepared. What are you going to do when you feel that you’re losing your cool? Breathe? Count to tent? Imagine yourself and your child in a pink bubble of love? Have a few tricks prepared ahead of time, so that you can easily reach for them when you need them.
Remember that you’re not perfect and you make mistakes, too. Don’t beat yourself up when things don’t go to plan. Take a few deep breaths, have a break if you need it and gently return to a place of love.
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