So, I think we’ve entered threenager stage and wow, it’s a lot. While I’m enjoying it for the most part, and I always maintain that I enjoy the new stage more than the previous stage, but I would be lying if I said it was easy. However I’ve learned so much about myself and how to be a better human so my child tries to be a better human as well. Plus, to avoid lashing out whenever my patience wears thin. So here is what I do to communicate effectively with my 2.5 year old.
*Disclaimer* I am not a parenting expert, these are just tactics that have worked for me.
Level with Her-No literally. Stop what I’m doing and squat down to her eye level to understand what she needs in that moment. By doing so I’m ensuring she feels heard and together we put words to match the emotions she’s feeling in that moment. Once we’re able to do that, the situation is de-escalated and we’re able to move on after a few minutes
Give her 10 Minutes of my Undivided Attention-One thing I’ve learned about littles is more than anything they just want our time. Therefore, when I know she’s unraveling a little I leave everything and let her take the lead on how we play together. Usually, after just 10 minutes of doing that she’s fairly content to be on her own and I can move on to the next thing.
Involve Her in Her Decisions-Being the typical toddler she is, she wants to assert her independence in making her choices. So rather than deciding things for her, I give her choices so she feels empowered and in control of herself. Choices of snacks, outfits to wear, color of plate to use-anything that can be a choice becomes a choice. For example, every morning we choose our sneakers/sandals together. Through this she’s learned how to coordinate shoes with her outfits and she feels good that she’s doing so herself. PLUS it saves me a ginormous tantrum of forcing my choice of shoes on her
Apologize-Finally, there are definitely moments where my toddler is just insisting on something and in that moment I’m unable to think clearly and/or get through to her, and yes, I do lash out. Which I know never works, and I would never advise it. But yes, operating on my almost empty cup towards the end of the day does get the better of me from time to time. However right after doing so, I apologize immediately, and try again. Typically Aisha hearing the word “sorry” registers with her and she’s able to meet me halfway.
So those are 4 tactics I’m currently implementing to ensure Aisha and I have a effective communication. It certainly is a lot, but with any of the above we’re able to reduce the tension of a situation and ensure things move forward peacefully!