Tag Archives: Emotions

The almost 4 year old and her tantrums.

My dear daughter is 4 in a couple of months. We are deep in throwing tantrums over to most, what would seem like ‘nothing important’.

To her, she has all these ‘BIG’ feelings and is struggling to express herself with words.

Tantrums can be exhausting and frustrating to any parent. But ask yourself, how would you explain your feelings if your vocabulary was limited and your brain was overcome and overwhelmed with different feelings and thoughts?

This is a typical day for a developing child. They have limited vocabulary. Struggle with day to day feelings and the smallest things to them can feel like it’s the biggest thing in their world.

Welcome to 3-4 year olds.

For example, yesterday my almost 4 year old had 2 tantrums within perhaps 20 minutes of each other. The first was because her 6yo brother was watching something that she didn’t want to, and instead of her watching it in another room. Miss decided to scream, stamp her feet and yell all kinds of things because ABC kids was not playing.

After we dealt with that in a calming manner, explaining to her that there is another TV that we could put that channel on for her to watch, she decided to calm her ‘Big’ and ‘important’ feelings.

The second tantrum was because she wanted avocado toast just as we were about to leave for her brothers martial arts class. As I explained to her that she can have it once we get back, that was not a good enough answer for her and she proceeded to sit in the pantry and pull out all boxed items, creating a ‘wall’ so that I could not see her. All whilst screaming at me to stop talking to her.

With this I walked away and let her calm down and within a few minutes it’s, she came over to apologise.

These are only a few examples of what we have been experiencing over the past few months. Prior to this, my little miss almost 4, has been quite well behaved and mannered.

I don’t remember my 6 year old boy behaving this way at her age.
Is it a girl thing?
Is it a second child thing?
Or is it simply because my two children are different people?
It could very well be a combination of all of the above, but in any case, I’m hoping that these tantrums start to dissolve soon.

Below is a link that I have found quite helpful.
Hopefully you will also.

Just remember, breathe and know, this is just a phase. You will survive, and you will both thrive from these ‘adventures’.

http://www.essentialkids.com.au/development-advice/development/four-challenges-of-parenting-a-fouryearold-20130402-2h5t9

Terrible twos!

The terrible twos!

Well let me just start with OMG….

My precious little girl has recently entered the ‘terrible twos’. Now I’m not one to ‘label’ people or stereotype, but after hearing stories about the ‘terrible twos’, I’m pretty certain that my little miss, has decided to join that club.

Let me start by saying that although I’ve had some questionable days with my 4 year old, nothing he ever said or did is even close to what my little miss does.

Maybe it’s a second child thing?
Maybe it’s a girl thing?

I’ve heard that girls can be more ‘bossy’ and also the second child learns from the first? My first isn’t badly behaved, although he can push boundaries, he is no where near as brave to push me to limits where my miss thinks it’s funny.

I really know when it started, but most days (of late) we have a tantrum of some sort and over petty things? – well things that seem petty to me.

We can have tantrums because I got her shoes that she didn’t want to wear.

She can throw a tantrum because she wanted to do her own hair.

Sometimes tantrums are because she wanted to sit on a particular part of the couch.

Or a tantrum can be caused when I open her snack when she wanted too.

Oh and let’s not forget when I get her the wrong colour cutlery for meal times, and the list goes on…

Anyway, each day is different and I’ve learnt not to expect 100% perfect behaviour all day long. Now I know that kids can’t be perfect, I definitely let things slide, but picking my battles is becoming more of a lifestyle choice.

I understand that tantrums are often sparked by a child’s frustration at their inability to complete a task or voice and explain themselves correctly. The child thinks that they should be able to do on their own things and their own way and when they don’t succeed, it seems like they have failed themselves and in return they throw a ‘doosey’.

On top of this frustration, toddlers quite often get frazzled doing simple things because they do not have the language skills to express their feelings which equates to their temper being shown, therefore throwing a ‘temper tantrum’.

I’ve learnt that tantrums are normal for the development of every child. Each child goes through this (maybe some not as bad as others) however These tantrums will decrease around age 4, once motor and language skills are better developed.

When it comes disciplining my little miss, during one of her many tantrums, I’ve learnt it’s important for me to remain calm and avoid inadvertently reinforcing the behaviour. If I don’t, it makes her worse. Sometimes I feel like laughing of throwing a tantrum myself (merely from frustration) but I keep it together. I am the adult. 😉

If I keep my emotions in check, I find she generally calms down sooner. If my emotions escalate or I yell or get cranky at her, her temper is 10 fold.

I remember laughing at her once and it was like adding fuel to a fire. She laid on the ground kicking and screaming and yelling “I no likey you, go away me now”.

I try not to confront her. Instead, I walk away and do something else, basically I ignore her. I don’t make eye contact or speak to her, I simply wait for her to calm down. This has helped with ensuring her that I am not reinforcing her bad behavior.

After the tantrum finishes I go and provide her with reassurance and guidance. Speaking to her in a relaxed and calm tone and telling her what she has said or done is not appreciated or nice. Sometimes she is receptive, others she just sobs and ignores me. I guess I can’t expect too much, she is only 2.

With each tantrum I’m trying to teach her how to express her feelings through words instead of throwing herself around and screaming.

Reassuring her that I still love her, but not her tantrums then we move on to the next activity.

I thought that having a very stubborn boy was tough, honestly my little miss is so defiant, stubborn, head strong and loves to assert herself. I know it’s only a phase and will soon pass, maybe I will miss it (possibly not) but I know it’s all a learning process for us both.

Have you a strong willed child?

What are your experiences with tantrums and the terrible twos?

I’d love to hear from you. Xx

The Letter Your Teenager Can’t Write You

My two are not yet teens. They may act like teenagers on occasion, but they are only 2 and 4… I have the terrible two’s and the fournaudo…. 😉 love them dearly and would not change them for the world 🌎 but they do sometimes test boundaries. As do most kids.

I have many friends and also family members with teenagers and pre teens. This is such a lovely write up that is an insight as to how they may be feeling.

Teenage years can be tough. For both parents and the children. There is a lot of discovery happening of emotions, feelings, personal growth etc.

Luca Lavigne wrote a beautiful post not so long ago about his feeling through his teenage years. Well worth the read. As is the below.

June 23, 2015
The Letter Your Teenager Can’t Write You

Gretchen Schmelzer

Dear Parent:

This is the letter I wish I could write.

This fight we are in right now. I need it. I need this fight. I can’t tell you this because I don’t have the language for it and it wouldn’t make sense anyway. But I need this fight. Badly. I need to hate you right now and I need you to survive it. I need you to survive my hating you and you hating me. I need this fight even though I hate it too. It doesn’t matter what this fight is even about: curfew, homework, laundry, my messy room, going out, staying in, leaving, not leaving, boyfriend, girlfriend, no friends, bad friends. It doesn’t matter. I need to fight you on it and I need you to fight me back.

I desperately need you to hold the other end of the rope. To hang on tightly while I thrash on the other end—while I find the handholds and footholds in this new world I feel like I am in. I used to know who I was, who you were, who we were. But right now I don’t. Right now I am looking for my edges and I can sometimes only find them when I am pulling on you. When I push everything I used to know to its edge. Then I feel like I exist and for a minute I can breathe. I know you long for the sweeter kid that I was. I know this because I long for that kid too, and some of that longing is what is so painful for me right now.

I need this fight and I need to see that no matter how bad or big my feelings are—they won’t destroy you or me. I need you to love me even at my worst, even when it looks like I don’t love you. I need you to love yourself and me for the both of us right now. I know it sucks to be disliked and labeled the bad guy. I feel the same way on the inside, but I need you to tolerate it and get other grownups to help you. Because I can’t right now. If you want to get all of your grown up friends together and have a ‘surviving-your-teenager-support-group-rage-fest’ that’s fine with me. Or talk about me behind my back–I don’t care. Just don’t give up on me. Don’t give up on this fight. I need it.

This is the fight that will teach me that my shadow is not bigger than my light. This is the fight that will teach me that bad feelings don’t mean the end of a relationship. This is the fight that will teach me how to listen to myself, even when it might disappoint others.

And this particular fight will end. Like any storm, it will blow over. And I will forget and you will forget. And then it will come back. And I will need you to hang on to the rope again. I will need this over and over for years.

I know there is nothing inherently satisfying in this job for you. I know I will likely never thank you for it or even acknowledge your side of it. In fact I will probably criticize you for all this hard work. It will seem like nothing you do will be enough. And yet, I am relying entirely on your ability to stay in this fight. No matter how much I argue. No matter how much I sulk. No matter how silent I get.

Please hang on to the other end of the rope. And know that you are doing the most important job that anyone could possibly be doing for me right now.

Love, Your Teenager

© 2015 Gretchen L Schmelzer Ph

Should we make boys tough? Or should we be more gentle with them?

Psychology Today posted this very interesting article earlier this month. It’s very much worth the read. My husband is a bit ‘old school’ with the belief that boys need ‘tough love’ in order to make them ‘good men’. He often says I’m too soft on our 4 yo.

As a qualified Juvenille counsellor, Ive learned many things but this was one that I believe is really important. I’m glad I found this article and could share it with you. 💙

Be Worried About Boys, Especially Baby Boys.

Allan Schore discusses the harmful effects of stressing baby boys.

Posted Jan 08, 2017

We often hear that boys need to be toughened up so as not to be sissies. Parent toughness toward babies is celebrated as “not spoiling the baby.” Wrong! These ideas are based on a misunderstanding of how babies develop. Instead, babies rely on tender, responsive care to grow well—with self-control, social skills and concern for others.

A review of empirical research just came out by Allan N. Schore, called “All our sons: The developmental neurobiology and neuroendocrinology of boys at risk.”

This thorough review shows why we should be worried about how we treat boys early in their lives. Here are a few highlights:

Why does early life experience influence boys significantly more than girls?

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Boys mature slower physically, socially and linguistically.
Stress-regulating brain circuitries mature slower in boys prenatally, perinatally and postnatally.
Boys are affected more negatively by early environmental stress, inside and outside the womb, than are girls. Girls have more built-in mechanisms that foster resiliency against stress.
How are boys affected more than girls?

Boys are more vulnerable to maternal stress and depression in the womb, birth trauma (e.g., separation from mother), and unresponsive caregiving (caregiving that leaves them in distress). These comprise attachment trauma and significantly impact right brain hemisphere development—which develops more rapidly in early life than the left brain hemisphere. The right hemisphere normally establishes self-regulatory brain circuitry related to self control and sociality.
Normal term newborn boys react differently to neonatal behavior assessment, showing higher cortisol levels (a mobilizing hormone indicating stress) afterward than girls.
At six months, boys show more frustration than girls do. At 12 months boys show a greater reaction to negative stimuli.
Schore cites the research of Tronick, who concluded that “Boys . . . are more demanding social partners, have more difficult times regulating their affective states, and may need more of their mothers support to help them regulate affect. This increased demandingness would affect the infant boys’ interactive partner” (p. 4).
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What can we conclude from the data?

Boys are more vulnerable to neuropsychiatric disorders that appear developmentally (girls more vulnerable to disorders that appear later). These include autism, early onset schizophrenia, ADHD, and conduct disorders. These have been increasing in recent decades (interestingly, as more babies have been put into daycare settings, nearly all of which provide inadequate care for babies).

Schore states, “in light of the male infant’s slower brain maturation, the secure mother’s attachment-regulating function as a sensitively responsive, interactive affect regulator of his immature right brain in the first year is essential to optimal male socioemotional development.” (p. 14)

“In total, the preceding pages of this work suggest that differences between the sexes in brain wiring patterns that account for gender differences in social and emotional functions are established at the very beginning of life; that the developmental programming of these differences is more than genetically coded, but epigenetically shaped by the early social and physical environment; and that the adult male and female brains represent an adaptive complementarity for optimal human function.” (p. 26)

What does inappropriate care look like in the first years of life?

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“In marked contrast to this growth-facilitating attachment scenario, in a relational growth-inhibiting postnatal environment, less than optimal maternal sensitivity, responsiveness, and regulation are associated with insecure attachments. In the most detrimental growth-inhibiting relational context of maltreatment and attachment trauma (abuse and/or neglect), the primary caregiver of an insecure disorganized–disoriented infant induces traumatic states of enduring negative affect in the child (A.N. Schore, 2001b, 2003b). As a result, dysregulated allostatic processes produce excessive wear and tear on the developing brain, severe apoptotic parcellation of subcortical–cortical stress circuits, and long-term detrimental health consequences (McEwen & Gianaros, 2011). Relational trauma in early critical periods of brain development thus imprints a permanent physiological reactivity of the right brain, alters the corticolimbic connectivity into the HPA, and generates a susceptibility to later disorders of affect regulation expressed in a deficit in coping with future socioemotional stressors. Earlier, I described that slow-maturing male brains are particularly vulnerable to this most dysregulated attachment typology, which is expressed in severe deficits in social and emotional functions.” (p. 13)

What does appropriate care look like in the brain?

“In an optimal developmental scenario, the evolutionary attachment mechanism, maturing during a period of right-brain growth, thus allows epigenetic factors in the social environment to impact genomic and hormonal mechanisms at both the subcortical and then cortical brain levels. By the end of the first year and into the second, higher centers in the right orbitofrontal and ventromedial cortices begin to forge mutual synaptic connections with the lower subcortical centers, including the arousal systems in the midbrain and brain stem and the HPA axis, thereby allowing for more complex strategies of affect regulation, especially during moments of interpersonal stress. That said, as I noted in 1994, the right orbitofrontal cortex, the attachment control system, functionally matures according to different timetables in females and males, and thus, differentiation and growth stabilizes earlier in females than in males (A.N. Schore, 1994). In either case, optimal attachment scenarios allow for the development of a right-lateralized system of efficient activation and feedback inhibition of the HPA axis and autonomic arousal, essential components for optimal coping abilities.” (p. 13)

NOTE: Here is a recent article explaining attachment.

Practical implications for parents, professionals and policy makers:

1. Realize that boys need more, not less, care than girls.

2. Review all hospital birth practices. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a start but not enough. According to a recent review of the research, there is lot of epigenetic and other effects going on at birth.

Separation of mom and baby at birth is harmful for all babies but Schore points out how much more harm it does to boys:

“Exposing newborn male . . . to separation stress causes an acute strong increase of cortisol and can therefore be regarded as a severe stressor” (Kunzler, Braun, & Bock, 2015, p. 862). Repeated separation results in hyperactive behavior, and “changes . . . prefrontal-limbic pathways, i.e. regions that are dysfunctional in a variety of mental disorders” (p. 862).

3. Provide responsive care. Mothers, fathers and other caregivers should avoid any extensive distress in the child—“enduring negative affect.” Instead of the normalized harsh treatment of males (“to make them men”) by letting them cry as babies and then telling them not to cry as boys, by withholding affection and other practices to “toughen them up,” young boys should be treated in the opposite way: with tenderness and respect for their needs for cuddling and kindness.

Note that preterm boys are less able to spontaneously interact with caregivers and so need particularly sensitive care as their neurobiological development proceeds.

4. Provide paid parental leave. For parents to provide responsive care, they need the time, focus and energy. This means a move to paid maternal and paternal leave for at least a year, the time when babies are most vulnerable. Sweden has other family-friendly policies that make it easier for parents to be responsive.

5. One other thing I did not address that Schore does is the effects of environmental toxins. Young boys are more negatively affected by environmental toxins that also disrupt the brain’s right hemisphere development (e.g., plastics like BpA, bis-phenol-A). Schore agrees with Lamphear’s (2015) proposal that the ongoing “rise in developmental disabilities is associated with environmental toxins on the developing brain.” This suggests we should be much more cautious about putting toxic chemicals into our air, soil and water. That is a topic for another blog post.

Conclusion

Of course, we should not just worry about boys but take action for all babies. We need to provide nurturing care for all children. All children expect and need, for proper development, the evolved nest, a baseline for early care which provides the nurturing, stress-reducing care that fosters optimal brain development. My lab studies the Evolved Nest and finds it related to all the positive child outcomes we have studied.

Emotions.

Emotions and crying when angry.

Emotions are funny aren’t they?

They make us laugh, cry, smile, happy, frustrated, angry, irritated and much more.

I was going back through some of my old study note’s from when I was studying to become a counsellor. A topic that I came across was emotions and how we deal with them. I remember finding this subject quite interesting and one that I actually got great marks in my assessment for. (Quiet pat on my own back )

Emotions can get the better of us and in some cases can cause people to react or act irrationally.

I started reading through these notes and thinking about my personality and how I react to different situations. I know that when I’m extremely angry I cry. I find it hard to control. It’s almost like I get wild sensation come over me and tears come pouring out.

Some may say this is a sweet softer side of me, I’m also known to be quite hot headed and protective. (Yes I can loose it but I’m mainly ‘ticked’ and will become extremely protective, especially of my children or those close to me. I become a Mumma bear and hath have no fury like a Mumma pushed too far! 😉)

As I have aged I have learnt to ‘wind in’ my hot head and be more diplomatic but in some situations my tears still stream with anger. I suppose tears are better than yelling at someone or becoming violent right? I suppose it’s the more mature reaction but, I sometimes feel as though my tears are not seen for what they are (anger) and could be seen as sadness, defeat or fear?

Sometimes children cry with frustration when they can’t describe or control their emotions. They get sad when they don’t get their own way and cry right?

I cry with anger. With my anger, it’s generally because I feel as though my thoughts and values have been attacked, everyone is entitled to their own feelings and thoughts and no ones are right or wrong. We are all different therefore have different values. Who says your interpretation of something is right and mine is wrong? Or vice versa?

The physical sensations when I feel personally attacked or angry are similar to anxiety, which for me include a racing heart and tightness in the body. I loose my appetite, feel hot, feel like my face is sunburnt and feel a pressure in my chest, almost like someone is pushing against me. It’s weird but that’s how my body deals with it.

I have tried for many years to control the tears when I’m angry, but sometimes this emotion overcomes my control.

What I have learnt from negative emotions though is that if we dwell on it or allow it to manifest in us. They will overtake our lives and make us miserable.

Negative emotions stop us from thinking and behaving rationally and seeing situations in their true perspective. When this occurs, we tend to see only we want to see and remember only what we want to remember. This only prolongs the anger or grief and prevents us from enjoying life.

The longer this goes on, the more entrenched the problem becomes. Dealing with negative emotions inappropriately can also be harmful – for example, expressing anger with violence.

Some people can be overly emotional or sensitive, which is fine everybody is different. For me learning about emotions whilst studying to be a counsellor has helped me to understand other people’s personalities a little more. Reading their body language and reacting appropriately to their feelings.

I think the biggest factor for me personally, and what stands out from my studies is that negative emotions also can manifest in personal insecurities, general unhappiness, stress and anxiety which can lead to depression.

I know a few people who suffer depression and are on medication for it. Depression for some is described as a disease. I won’t go into depression as that’s a whole other topic and I could blog about it all day, a subject close to my heart. However emotions are natural, we cannot control them fully and we will never fully understand them.

Emotions are psychological (our thoughts) and biological (our feelings). Our brain responds to our thoughts by releasing various hormones and chemicals into our blood stream which send us into a state of arousal. All emotions come about this way, be it positive or negative. It’s complex and can be overwhelming which can also make it hard to overcome.

What we need to learn to do more is, let go of what has made you angry or emotional – constantly going over negative events preoccupies you and stops you from living in the ‘present’ and will manifest in making you feel sad and unhappy.

Helping your child deal with frustrations.

Such a great read!

My little guy can become frustrated and angry, he is only 3, and as a result he ‘flips out’.

This is a result of many things.

– The fact that he cannot articulate his feelings at this stage. He doesn’t really know what he is feeling except happy or angry or sad. ‘Feelings’ are generally acknowledged around age 5/6.

– He cannot control his emotions properly. This is something that is generally learnt around 4/5 years old.

– He could be feeling overwhelmed.

– He may be overtired. I don’t always know if he is waking through the night. A disruptive sleep can make anyone short tempered.

– Hunger. He could be having a ‘growth spurt’ and may very well be hungry. Or he could be too busy playing or doing something that he doesn’t eat enough. We can only monitor so much so if he isn’t eating properly he may not be able to deal with various situations. I know I’m I’m hungry. I can get angry and not even realise!

A great tip that I’ve learnt from this article to help children deal with anger and frustration is creating a ‘Mad List’. I’ve copied the paragraph from this article explaining ‘Mad List’. Very easy to do and I think, would be useful.

Mad list – When my son was younger, a mad list was the secret to helping him vent his frustration. Young children need to vent (just like adults), but they don’t yet know how to do that. Screaming and flailing feels good in the moment, so they go with what works.

Ask your child to name all of the things that make him mad. Write down his list on a piece of paper while he vents his emotions. Provide empathy and understanding while you do this. Kids need to feel understood, and a simple, “Ooh, that makes me mad, too!” shows that you get it. Once the list is complete, ask your child to tear it into tiny pieces (this provides a much needed physical release of emotion) and throw them in the air. Then collect the pieces together and throw them out for good.

Go on. Do yourself a favour, click on this link and have a read.
You may already use these strategies.
You may have already heard of them.
If you haven’t, perhaps try them?
If you already use them, how have they worked for you?

Id love to hear your experiences and thoughts on these.

http://www.pbs.org/parents/expert-tips-advice/2016/02/teach-frustration-tolerance-kids/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=pbsparents&utm_campaign=parents_expert

Taming the toddler!

Taming the toddler!

Dressing my 2 year old of late feels like I’m wrestling a crocodile – not that I’ve wrestled a croc but it seems that since he started preschool, a whole new world has begun!

Simple tasks like dressing him is full on with him running around being cheeky and making it more of a game, I get one leg of his pants in then he runs off expecting me to chase him with the only contained leg falling out, back to square one.

Although this is cute and can be a fun game, I’m 6 months pregnant and get out of breath easily and also can’t move as quick as I normally can nor can I manoeuvre myself as well with my tummy! The simple task of dressing that once took 5 minutes now can take up to 20.

He only goes to preschool 1 day per week and has only been a handful of times. This is also his first time in any day care / preschool facility as I’m a stay at home mum and whilst I was working he had a nanny one day per week whom would come to our home and care for him there, therefore he was still in his comfort zone.

So since starting preschool – which I do believe is good for him and will get better, the drop offs are very hard with tears and tantrums from my lil guy and him shouting ‘me no likey preschool’. ‘I go home now’ and ‘peese mummy no go’. Breaks my heart every time! Perhaps I’m just a clingy mum or not tough enough? However I am re assured by the centre director and other staff that he does calm down and settle after approx 15 minutes of me leaving.

I also know that it’s not the preschools fault that he is behaving this way, he is only 2 and being put in a new environment can be challenging for anyone.

On pick up I get the best reception from him with a huge smile then him running towards me followed by huge hugs having both his innocent little arms tightly wrapped around my neck and have him almost climbing up on top of me to get closer then followed by a big kiss. Makes my whole day to get that love from him as I certainly do miss him.

That evening and next day though can be tiring as he becomes extremely clingy and needing with him following me everywhere I go and holding my hand even walking around our home.

This I love, but bed time becomes another challenge with him no wanting to go to bed alone and insisting that I stay in his bedroom with him. If i try to leave I get tears and heartbreak. I think to myself, be tough and just make him stay alone to sleep but then my softer side says, why not sit with him, he is two and he won’t want me to ‘hold him’ for too many more years. Yes he says in the sweetest little voice ‘peese mummy old me’ which means he would like my hand to rest on his heart whilst he falls asleep – bless him.

He has also learnt lots of new sentences, including him putting his finger across his lips and saying ‘shhh, stop it, sit down’ something I’m guessing his teachers must say? And another one ‘umm I dont think so’. Don’t get me wrong I’m glad his vocabulary is expanding and he is learning better sentences however not sure I like those particular sentences coming from my ‘just turned 2 little guy?.

Another wonderful side effect from day care is the lashing out. He has certainly been asserting himself, mainly with other boys and generally it’s a jealous thing, like them playing with his toys or even being too close to me. He has never been an aggressive or rough child but the past 2 weeks have shown me that he can be quite rough with pushing and throwing things.

From studying my counselling course I’ve learnt that it’s very normal for a toddler or child to lash out or behave aggressively when they have a major change in their young lives as they are stamping out their emotions, asserting themselves and also trying to work out how and where they fit into the change.

It’s almost like they are pushing boundaries to see how far they can get, asserting themselves and making their own path. This does settle down but it’s a big adjustment for them.

Should you try to tame a toddler?

My theory is to allow them to show their personality but set boundaries. I’m not going to raise a brat or disrespectful child. My little man already has boundaries and though I do discipline him I also explain why I’m disciplining him and try to help him understand what he has done wrong and how not to do it again.

I’m not huge on smacking but I do believe in time out. I sit my little guy on his bed, get down to his eye level, ask him to look at me whilst I’m talking to him and speak to him in an assertive but compassionate voice. I don’t like to raise my voice but he does recognise the difference in the tone in my voice and that he is in trouble. He then sits on his bed with the door closed for 2 minutes. I then go back to his room and explain again what he has done wrong and generally find that he is remorseful.

I’ve heard that 3 year olds are worse than 2 year olds? Gosh! I love my little guy more than the world but he certainly tests me and keeps me on my toes at times, here is for hoping 3 isn’t worse!

How do you tame your toddler?

What are your experiences?

Is it just us or is parenting an emotional rollercoaster?

Every day brings its highs and lows and unexpected loopty-loops.

There are moments of absolute joy that lift us up and take our breath away. And then there are trying moments such as those when the little one decides to draw all over your nice white walls with black permanent marker that bring us down and also take our breath away.

Yet through it all, there’s something in us that forgives our little ones need for attention and we forget, open our arms, scoop them up and love them all over again!

The uncomplicated love of a parent.