No-Drama Discipline: From Tantrum to Tranquility
Tantrums are a normal part of child development. In fact, tantrums are how our young children communicate their feelings of frustration. They typically occur when children are tired, hungry, or uncomfortable for some reason. Tantrums typically begin during the second year of life. This is when children’s language skills are starting to develop. Young toddlers cannot yet say what it is they are wanting or needing, so they communicate through the tantrum. Tantrums are no easy feat for parents. So, how do we turn tantrums into tranquility? Through connecting with your child.
Connections with our children are highly important. Why is connection so powerful? First, connection moves a child from reactivity to receptivity. Misbehavior is typically the result of a child having a difficult time understanding what is happening around them. Through connection, we can help calm the child down and assist them in making better choices. When children feel understood and loved, they can regain that control and allow the upstairs brain to begin working.
Second, connection builds the brain. We have learned so far that discipline is the act of teaching. Connecting during misbehavior will lead to your child’s ability to be more skilled at making better decisions, participating in relationships, and interacting successfully as they grow older.
Third, connection deepens the relationship with your child. How we respond to our children when they are upset will impact the development of our relationship with them and even their own sense of self. Not only will connecting with our children during their struggles help build our relationship with them, but you will be better equipping them to be adults who are able to maintain strong relationships with others.
The important take-away from this message is that even when your child loses control or engages in undesirable behaviors, it is important to connect with your child to help build a stronger brain and stronger person. Yes, we still need to address the behavior, but the first step is to connect with the child and to help calm them down so they can focus on learning the appropriate behavior.
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