Category

Communication

My daughter started acting out of character. After several hours of grumpiness, and what my dad would have called “sass,” I had had enough of feeling like a punching bag. Repeatedly, I fought the urge to take her behaviour personally. (Because feeling walked on is about me. Her mood is about her.) Yet, I was so close to asking, “What’s your problem anyway?!” simply out of frustration. Granted, I really DID want to know what the problem was–so I could help her find a solution–but my snarky tone would not have invited a loving exchange. Instead, I took a slow breath in, and a slower breath out; to give my nervous system the message that all was well. “There’s no emergency here. Her behaviour is only what I see on the surface,” I reminded myself. “What need might she be communicating?” “Observe. Listen.” Breathe some more. Okay, so now I…

Not a pleasant post to read, but important to determine your stance on it and to know other ways to protect your kids. Predators are not often the hooded figure lurking in the bushes with lollipops and promises of puppies. Most of them are known to us and trusted by us and our kids see us trusting them. In our family, from infancy, we have always asked our children’s permission to tickle. We have been diligent in teaching our kids to say no if they don’t like it or when it stops being fun and we also to insist that someone stop if they are the ones tickling and the receiver says no. We check in with our kids during tickling or roughhousing by saying, “Do you want more?” or “Is everyone still having fun?” What about visitors in your home, like grandparents? You’re confident that they are well-intentioned but…

Meltdowns may be a fact of life with small children, but the Terrible Two’s are not a life sentence. Knowing what our little ones are trying to communicate goes a long way in managing meltdowns. When they are crying or throwing themselves on the floor in an epic tantrum, they are indeed communicating. When they are little, this is normal for their developmental age. They may be telling us they are hungry, tired, bored, overstimulated or a variety of other legitimate needs. They may also need to vent some overwhelming emotions. Current neuroscience tells us that when any of us are flooded by emotion, we are incapable of logical reasoning. Have you ever had your spouse try to fix your ‘problem’ before you had a chance to share your feelings about it? Kids feel the same way yet their brains are far less developed than ours, particularly in regards to…