Best or Worst - LOVE

It is not rare for parents to pose all mushy mushy with their new born. It is a moment of celebration that has to be shared as well. Parents simply love their babies and also pose and post a lot of pics with their infants who are months old.

But, does the smile on their face stay there even when the kid reaches toddler hood and throws a tantrum? Does the parent still love the kid when he is rolling on the floor as he was upset with something? Here, I am not talking about loving as a whole but loving every moment of life. Some may say, about the 2.5 yr old that, he was cranky today and I yelled at him, still, I love him. All those words used in that statement just do not go together. When there is love within you and your baby is upset, you ' DO NOT YELL' for goodness' sake neither you 'SPANK' and then simply end off with the line 'I still love you'.

No, It doesn't work that way. When your child is upset and cannot communicate to share his feelings with you just as we adults do, he takes to some unacceptable behaviour - like, rolling on the floor, crying out loud, throwing away stuff, etc. Problem is not with his behaviour, problem lies in your understanding of child's behaviour. He behaves so, because he is experiencing something and wants to convey the same.

Starting from approximately 11 months, children exhibit their likes and dislikes. They start to yell to catch attention. They yell when they want something. They yell when they like something. And this is when I also hear many parents judging their little one. To quote an example, parents feel that their child does that specific thing that was told not to do. And, the fight begins, between two people, one grown up and another still growing up. Why can't the grown up understand that it is the curiosity that leads the child to do a specific thing. They are more curious to experience it when they are placed with restrictions.

Let them explore, when you notice they are doing something that is really inappropriate, quickly think of a similar replacement activity that you can offer and they will learn something out of it. As an example, seeing us clean up the floor, 13 month A wanted to do the same. She took a wiping cloth that was very untidy and wasn't the right one to pick for her and started wiping the floor. Instead of saying 'No, don't do that', I bent down to her ear, showed how dirty the cloth is, gave her another clean cloth and asked her to continue with whatever she wanted to do. She loved the idea of encouraging her. Now, let's analyse the negative response. If I had said 'No, Don't do that, pull the cloth from her hand, throw it in balcony and close the door hard, she, obviously wouldn't like it. She would have immediately taken a high pitch cry and rolled over the floor. Why would she? Because she was stopped from exploring something! She was dictated rules. Her mental growth due to this negative response is different from the positive one. Her mentality of exploring things was hindered. Her still growing brain cannot take so much restrictions. Children need to explore things. Let them get messy, let them spill some water and wipe it off with a cloth. Let them play. Let them learn.

You cannot expect a toddler to act, behave, talk and share his emotions just like how the adults do. He is still growing, his mind has not yet developed all the zones required for emotional and behavioural control. He is learning every moment. And, do not forget that he is learning something out of your response towards his tantrum as well! Do you want to aid in his positive learning that will eventually lead to his positive behaviour? Or do you want to portray your negative self when he is upset that will eventually hamper his mental and emotional growth?

You will have to get down to the child's frequency of listening, speak softly, empathize with him, share his emotions, suggest an idea that will cheer him up. You can do all this - speaking softly, empathizing sharing etc, only if you realise your love for him even in his tantrum time. That is when the importance of loving every moment takes its place. Direct your love towards something productive. Do not go by momentary negative feelings and then end the day by saying 'I love you'.