Thursday, March 23, 2017

Sometimes you just gotta hug it out.

(Disclaimer: I am not a professional,psychologist, or a perfect mother with perfect children. I am just sharing with you my opinions, and things that have worked for me and my family - in hopes that I can help other families.)

Being a mother of two very active, and pretty stubborn little boys.. I think I have dealt with just about every single kind of tantrum I could imagine. Every parent is fully aware of how much tantrums occur in just an hour span. You also know one can start by simply giving them the wrong flavored popsicle. Or God forbid you cut the sandwich in 1/2 - like you usually do. You also know that quite possibly this tantrum can last a couple minutes. Maybe twenty minutes if you are lucky. Hearing a tantrum is difficult and finding a way to deal with one is even harder. But if you truly think about it - having one must be the hardest of them all. As adults we have been taught endlessly to use our words. Our tiny human beings are still figuring it all out. As I know, some tantrums occur when a child does not get their way. But most happen through sadness, through confusion, through struggle. It must be tough learning how to voice these feelings.  As an adult, with my shit together (for the most part!) I know that meltdowns should only happen once everyone is sound asleep, with a yummy glass of Chardonnay. Yes - mommies have meltdowns too ! But we understand what is acceptable and what isn't. When my boys have a tantrum I try to remind myself of when I have my own adult tantrums, and think about what would make me feel better : some compassionate words, or better yet a hug. If you look into the health benefits of hugging; experts say hugging releases oxytocin- a "bonding hormone" which also causes a decrease in heart rate, and a drop in the stress hormones. They also say it can effectively help soothe existential fears. Imagine being able to help your child find that comfort when they feel their weakest. A gesture so simple, yet so powerful.

I can honestly say it works in this home. Once I see any signs of a tantrum about to start I pull them in. I can say that it has been 90% effective for us, and my boys are quite stubborn. My youngest is already so used to it that when he feels a tantrum coming on he looks for me with open arms to soothe him and hug it out.

Now I am very aware that sometimes a tantrum has to happen in order for them to understand the situation, learn from the situation, work out the situation. So sometimes it's best to give them their space, until you think it is time to embrace them and let them know they are not in it alone.

As a parent who knows their child - you will know which tantrum is necessary and which tantrum is not necessary. Which tantrum is in need of your attention or just being done out of boredom(Yes boredom!). Feeling feelings is a very important life lesson for humans.

 Communication can be difficult with a toddler, and hugs can build a bridge over it. It's kind of like waiting all night for your significant other to come home, so you can get that reassuring hug for the day, to remind you that you did a great job today.
Sometimes with your communication you can't get through to your child but a hug, or something nonverbal that can help them find relief, and make them feel better.It can feel like an all natural body cleanse. A hug says many things like I trust you,I love you,I believe in you,I confide in you.

So next time you say no to a morning lollipop or you cut their apples asymmetrical and you feel that meltdown coming, just hug it out.

1 comment: