Children are a gift from God and as parents it is our job to make sure we are good stewards of what God entrusted us with. When a child is happy, it is most likely that the entire household beams with joy. Yes, there will be downtimes but they should never overshadow the good times.
A thriving child will grow up to be an adult one day. We need to be mindful of what seeds we plant in their early childhood to ensure an emotionally stable adult in the future.
Today I want to focus on toddlers/pre-schoolers specifically. Their minds are under tremendous development and still needs a lot of stimulation and guidance. Let’s talk about the latter for a moment…
Our little ones often have tantrums when they are not allowed certain things e.g standing on the table. To them it is enjoyable and they love the adrenalin rush they get when they look down. But, their brain has not made a connection to safe/dangerous. They don’t know that they can get hurt by doing that. So, what do we do? Take them off and they cry.
How do we handle those emotional outbursts:
- Validate their feelings
- Give an alternative to what they want (distraction)
- Let them know they are loved
Understanding how our children’s emotions work and supporting them accordingly will ensure that they are happy and deal with their emotions the right way.
It is our job to keep them safe and help them understand life.
One other thing that I believe is to allow children to play “carefree”. Let them make those mudcakes, let them smear the paint all over them, let they explore the garden. See their creativeness come out in various ways. They use this carefree play to express their emotions or just give an outlet of what is going on in their little brain. This way, things are not cropped up in their little hearts. It also gives them a sense of being in control.
To add to my last statement, children also want to be in control. It makes them feel important which is vital in their development. Allow them to be in control sometimes. Let them choose the colour cup they would like or a fruit of their choice. This way they also learn to make their own decisions, be creative and become less dependent on you.
When your child is happy and understand how to navigate their emotions accordingly, they will trust you enough to let you into their space and the “not so pretty moments”. A child, who has a safe place, is a thriving child.
Let us be their refuge and safe place, let’s raise thriving kids.