Using consequences to calm the toddler chaos

Many a time, right in between the whirlwind of kicks, screams and meltdowns, if we have the courage to pause, we realise something. We realise it isn’t about bad behaviour, or that chocolate or a bad day. And when we see that it is about revising expectations we are able to help our child better. Read on for definite ways one can use consequences to calm the chaos.

Embrace the chaos

I know this is easier said than done, especially in the early years where the tantrums just start appearing. But it is so liberating to embrace the chaos and look at it as the ahaa moment in parenting.
Having a tantrum is a milestone, and when my child has a major meltdown with me, it only reinforces that she considers me her safe space to release all those big, scary feelings.
More importantly, how we handle ourselves and help them through the process teaches her about empathy, and paves the way for self-regulation ( a skill we adults struggle with at times, as well.)

Let us remove those label tinted glasses

Here is a fun exercise.… Click to read the rest

Independent eating-encouraging young children to self feed

Meals are sacred times- to nourish our bodies as well as have a social interaction with people around us by eating together. We already know why force feeding ought to be avoided. But how does one encourage independent eating in young children? This is especially difficult in the Indian millenial setup. Here is what helped us, and what I recommend parents too.

1.Revise expectations

Although this is about independent eating in children, the role of the adult is most important. Yes, there will be messes. Yes, the child may eat 3 bowls today and just 2 spoons tomorrow. It’s okay. What helped me was, reminding myself that my job was to offer, show, be patient and trust that V’s understanding of her body. My happiness is not linked to the size of V’s belly.

2. Dedicated eating area

Always have a dedicated area for mealtimes. It could be a weaning table or a dining table or a corner of the living room floor.… Click to read the rest

Helping children recognize feelings and handle emotions

Over the last few months, I have received hundreds of queries from worried parents on how to help their child manage their feelings or how to improve a child’s emotional intelligence. I finally penned my thoughts into a step wise post. Here is a step by step guide as to what helps me and what could help you, with tweaking, to your own family’s philosophies.
This older post may help one handle tantrums specifically and gently, whereas the following steps is a general long term agenda to help a child’s emotional quotient. This goes for the everyday grind, and traumatic incidents or children with special needs may need streamlined strategies.

1. Setting realistic expectations

Let’s be honest. How many times do we lose our temper or get carried away by a feeling, everyday? It isn’t fair to expect children to be in control of their emotions all the time. Despite V telling us clearly if she is upset or cranky, there have been days the corresponding behaviour is hard to handle.… Click to read the rest