I remember my pregnancy - reading every bit of literature I could get my hands on, loving my bump and taking in all the overwhelmingly exciting changes that were happening and taking place.
Then there was preparing the Nursery, washing all the tiny baby clothes trying to imagine my little one, who would soon be filling the baby grows I had lovingly washed, ironed and hung up.
Everything was in place - we were ready.
She landed and we were amazed that we had created something so beautiful and perfect. We had been blessed with a little miracle. The unconditional love we felt was beyond describable.
We had begun a journey of the unknown and were first time parents.
We worried about everything and anything. Was she warm enough? Was she having enough milk? Was she sleeping too long? Anything and everything. The sleepless nights, the bottles every two hours, the several changes a day as our little one suffered with reflux. Rolling over, crawling, first steps. We had weaning to explore, getting her used to new tastes and making lots of purees.
We had to childproof the house, moving all the breakables and choke hazards out of reach, fitting gates and fire guards.
The first Christmas, The First Birthday, The First Holiday - all such lovely memories.
In such a short space of time (that seems much longer may I add), Little N's second Birthday is fast approaching.
We have had some days where it's been one protest after another. I know what will trigger some of them, others com out of the blue, but understanding this phase helps dealing with it and restoring calm much more effectively.
Children are more independent now, they are learning about the world around them which can be very daunting. Their language is developing but it's not developed enough to enable them to express themselves effectively, especially in the heat of a tantrum when their feelings and emotions are all over the place.
They are learning about themselves and about their emotions, but again don't always know how to deal with them. It's soon becomes and overload and this is what gets them so worked up that a tantrum comes about.
They cry, scream, shout, throw themselves down on the floor because they can't take any more. They have reached a limit. They don't feel like they are being understood.
Think of a time when you have felt very upset, angry even. Sometimes you need time to deal with your emotions, sometimes you need someone who loves you to show they care and to know they are there for you. How would you have felt if instead someone raised their voice at you while you were feeling this way? If they ignored you, insisted you were wrong, forced time out on you, showed that they weren't willing to see your view or even give you chance to understand everything.
It's very similar for children. You may choose to deal with your child's behaviour in one of the ways mentioned above. Sometimes it works, all children are different. If it's not working, it's time to change your approach.
Think of a time when your little one has had a tantrum, take time to reflect on what caused it? What happened just before the outburst? What were they trying to tell you? How did you react? How did your behaviour affect their tantrum? Did they respond positively to your input or did it make them worse?
If we try to understand what our little ones are trying to communicate and show them care, love and nurture - their behaviour will improve as it helps their stress levels.
For example when Little N gets upset and is on the verge of a 'tantrum' I use words she understands, I approach her with compassion, love and nurture. She responds accordingly. She often comes over and most of the time needs a cuddle. I give her chance to express herself and tell me in her own time what is bothering her. I make sure she knows I am there for her and I will help her if I can. Sometimes she needs a little more time to calm down and I give her that space, but when she is ready she knows I am there.
She feels loved, cared for, special and appreciated.
Yes children will have tantrums, yes they are normal, but we must understand why they are acting this way and act accordingly to help nurture our children in a way that is positive and more beneficial to them. Let's help them try to understand this daunting phase, show them we are there, that we love and care for them.
In a nutshell 'what we focus on we amplify.'