Whining is one of the most irritating things that young children do, and it can push any parent to their absolute breaking point. Kids whine for a variety of reasons: they could be tired, hungry, sick, frustrated, or looking for attention. If parents give in to whining (think, toy or candy bar at the store), then kids learn that whining gets them what they want. The key to overcoming this habit begins in the calm moments where we as parents can come up with a plan to address our children’s whining in positive, non-shaming ways.
Parenting a toddler is a lot like being a hostage negotiator: it takes planning, strategy, and some out of the box thinking. When we ask a toddler to do something, 90% of the time the reaction is a Big. Fat. NO. Eating dinner, getting strapped into the car, taking a bath, going to bed; almost any daily task can turn into a battle of wills when it comes to toddlers. At times, toddlers are so committed to saying “no” that they say “no” even when they mean “yes.” For example:
Parent: “Do you want your eggs?”
Parent: (takes eggs away)
Toddler: (crying) “I want my eggs!!”
Transitions, or moving from one place, person or activity to the next, can be so difficult for young children. During transitions is when we start to see small children have big behaviors, and it’s because moving from one thing to another can be scary and unpredictable. Change feels overwhelming to them, especially when they don’t have any tools to cope.
Imagine that you are in the middle of watching your favorite TV show, enjoying a glass of wine and some chocolate. Your spouse approaches you and asks you to stop what you are doing immediately and take care of the dishes. This is likely how your child feels every time you ask them to stop playing, leave the park, or come to the dinner table. Had you known ahead of time that you would need to take care of the dishes, it might not be quite as difficult to get up and do it. But there’s no avoiding it, transitions are a natural and necessary part of life. The key is equipping our children with the tools and strategies they need in order to make these transitions more predictable, and therefore, more tolerable.
I’ve seen it time and time again, and I’m sure you have too… A child darts past another child, knocking over their block structure, yelling an un-empathetic “Sorry!” over their shoulder as they run off to continue their play. Young children are being taught to say “sorry” long before they are actually developmentally capable of feeling sorry for their actions. The act of saying sorry appeases adults because it’s the polite thing to do, but teaching children to say sorry is not the same as teaching our children to be empathetic towards others, and here’s why:
The age of preschool is an emotionally confusing time for young children. Between the ages of 3 and 5 years old, children are working through a lot of insecurities and fears that they do not yet have the language skills to articulate.
These common worries tend to surface in their every day lives through sadness and tantrums, and it can be difficult to differentiate the causes of the outbursts. In an effort to better understand our sweet little ones, here are 3 common fears that your preschooler isn’t yet able to tell you:
As a special ed preschool teacher, and mother to a rambunctious toddler, I am literally caring for small children every waking hour of the day. Through the haze of circle times, centers, wiping noses, and play-time, I hear myself spewing out line after line of praise to my students, almost like a broken record…
We’ve all seen the toddler meltdown. It’s that “end of the world,” sobbing tantrum over something so small you may not have even known what it was. A lot of the time, they don’t even know what it was. Toddlerhood is a unique time in childhood in which the child wants so desperately to be in control, to be “big,” and yet he is still so little. The desire for independence comes out through power struggles that make no sense, and parents are simply riding this roller coaster of toddler emotions.