Dealing with a Stressed Out Toddler

It was one of the tiring days when my A turned out to be another challenge for me to handle at the end of a tiring day. It took some good amount of deep breathe for me to stay intact and deal with her. It is often very tending to get frustrated and show it on people around you.

It was dinner time. First, she refused to eat, then she had some, then she played with the rice, then she transferred the rice between two bowls. Yelling and crying in bits. Clearly, it is understood that she is not very keen on eating the remaining portion. I bent down to her ear and asked her if she wanted to try eating with her hand or a spoon when she picked up the spoon and had yet some amount of rice. Then, reverted to play. Again, whispered to her, saying if she doesn't want to eat it, she could tell me and I would clean her. I asked her if she wanted to eat or not. A got back to eating with her hand now. During this time, I cleaned up a bit of mess she had made by then. When she told me she was done eating, I finally cleaned her up and the messy floor.

It was a tough time, not as easy as using some words and writing my experience. Much more than it.

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During all this struggle, there were two moments, when I was already tired and thought the mess was a bit too much to handle. It is human tendency to immediately react with a raised voice or slight spank. Thanks to my conscience for pulling me back and asking me to rethink the reason for my child's behaviour. I was silent for a moment and got back talking to my daughter in a curious way to catch her attention towards the food.

Key points to note when the child shows irritation in her actions:

  1. It is you who has to stay in control, forget about controlling your child.

  2. Your child is an independent being and has feelings.

  3. Just because she cannot express them verbally, her tiredness impacts her behaviour and it is the way she conveys that she is stressed.

  4. The child learns a lot of behavioural aspects from a self-controlled parent.

  5. It is easy to get your voice out and give a big shout at your child's behaviour, but, is there anything that she learns out of this?

  6. It is even more easy to get that hand go spanking on a spur of the moment. Again, will she immediately calm down due to this? Does she learn something out of this? In fact, she tries to desert herself from the person who's violently troubling her!!

The child becomes even more frustrated. Because, her sole source of comfort from the moment her soul entered the mother's womb, seized to provide support in the time of need. This is something similar to betrayal.

Though the child is not aware of all the feelings and terms that are given to the feelings, all that she has realised out of this scenario is:

  • I am tired.

  • I need some warmth from my primary care-taker.

  • And here she is, yelling at me for sharing my distress with her instead of acknowledging my stress and soothing me.

  • And lo! Your child has lost her trust on you during a dire situation.

The important point I would like to convey out of this experience is that, dear mom, when the child is stressed and her behaviour stresses you even more, please don't lose your self control. Take a deep breathe. Give it a thought. Come up with something quirky to cheer up your little hero.

Your child's nervous system is still developing. She behaves in a specific manner only because her nervous system has developed only to a specific stage. What goes on in the nervous system is displayed as behaviour to the physical world around. So, who is at fault? No one!!

There is a beautiful soul residing within your little child that has to be nurtured lovingly. Children are wonderful creatures. It requires a warm heart to deal with those growing up little beings.

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