Mindfulness For Toddler Tantrums

I knew about the terrible two’s, way before my son turned two. I was prepared for what was yet to come. He turned two and honestly, it was not so bad. We had some tough moments, but redirecting worked for the most part. I was keen to practice my children’s yoga and mindfulness training on him. Though, at times I felt he was too young to really understand much of what I communicated. Like monkey see monkey do, he loved doing yoga with me. Even if his attention spanned kept him on his dinosaur yoga mat for a whole10 minutes.

Just amazing how much six months can make a difference. Around two and a half, my husband and I began to experience full out screaming, yelling, and crying tantrums. It felt like walking on eggshells most days, not sure of what small thing could trigger him to get upset. Maybe it was the way I colored with him during creative time. Maybe he did not enjoy the way I served his lunch.

Terrible Three’s?

I thought two was so and so hard. Though, when I speak to other parents it sounds like three is actually the difficult age. More like terrible three’s? I can see why. By three, toddlers establish their sense of independence and really want to exert it. I want to put on my clothes, I want to put on my shoes, I want to pick my dinner.

In a few weeks he turns three years old. Many mornings before school, I feel conflicted if I need to wake him up or let him sleep in another 15 minutes. On wonderful days, he happily uses the potty and, gets ready with the clothes he picked out the night before. On other days, getting him out of bed or to even open his mouth to brush his teeth feels so daunting.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is being aware, conscious and acknowledging what is happening in that moment. This could be within you and outside of you. I see mindfulness, as a state of being where we can use this awareness to make better decisions for ourselves and those around us. It is being fully present, in the here and now.

Time Constraints

In a perfect world, I can allow my son to wake up whenever he wants on school days and wear even his pajamas to school. Unfortunately, there are time constraints. In my case, I make sure to get both my toddler and infant into the car by a certain time on school days. Before I had the little one, who is almost 9 months old, I had lots of room time wise for him change as many pairs of shoes as his heart desired. On most days, we did not rush to school by a certain time. Now, I have to hurry back to make the little one’s food and get him settled down by a certain time. Otherwise, if he gets super cranky then it is downhill from there.

With the Corona virus numbers still ebbing and flowing, my husband is also working from home. In our house, I handle ALL of the cooking, because I enjoy applying Ayurveda principles into our food. Also, because he can barely microwave. This means, I try my best to make sure he has something nourishing for breakfast as opposed to dry cereal, which makes me cringe.

Let Go

Before I had my second son, the to do list was smaller, lesser responsibilities. It was a gazillion times easier to pause, reflect, check in and be aware of myself and actions. These days, I accept there is time constraints. However, to be mindful is also important for our kids as well as ourselves. Personally, when I am mindful, I tend to make better choices or rather more aligned choices. Last week, I was so frazzled by the time we left for school, that I had an inner voice saying to take a different route and I ignored it. Turns out, I sat in traffic for an extra 15 minutes because a tree fell on our usual route. In this scenario, my frazzled energy after battling with my son’s early morning tantrum carried on with me.

In The Flow

Apart from being mindful, I like to put into perspective that it is beyond being present or adhering to time constraints. What if there is a higher reason why on that particular day and that time, your kid decides to throw a tantrum. The acting out behavior is actually for their own good and yours, perhaps? That 15 minute delay may prevent you from getting into an accident or helped realize you need to walk into the house again to grab your wallet . The issue is we are so hyper focused with tasks and time constraints that sometimes we don’t think or rather know how and why it was the best thing.

Reflection

On days where I can get some me time to practice yoga and/or meditate, I feel like the day moves with ease. Children especially the young ones are so connected to us that they do pick up on our energies and become that. They are a reflection of how and what we project to them. We see this more clearly with infants, when they still relatively new outside of the womb. However, it extends beyond infant years well into toddler years, too.

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