Learnings, mindfulness, Motherhood

4 Easy Ways to Mindfully Address Emotional Toddlers

By Sharon Silver.

Toddlers. They’re a mix of hugs, kisses, love, screams, messes, resisting, and fun, fun, fun!
They are something else, too. Developmentally, toddlers think, and act, much more like babies than kids.

Many parents think toddlers are capable of Stopping. It. Right. This. Minute. They aren’t. And when a toddler doesn’t respond the way a parent wants them to, the parent reacts, and the toddler reveals just how young (s)he really is by falling into puddle of tears on the floor.
Toddlers are also a walking bundle of conflicts, contradictions, and frustrations. Let me explain.

Your toddler sees his favorite toy across the room and begins walking toward it. Then he looks up and sees you, his beloved parent.
He stops.
He wants his toy, and he wants his parent.

Since toddlers live in the moment, and see life through literal eyes, he believes he must choose between his beloved toy or his beloved parent. He’s conflicted.
He wonders, “Should I pick up my toy, or get a hug from my parent?” His mind races between both options, parent or toy, toy or parent? Since he doesn’t know how to decide, he plops down and begins to tantrum or cry.
A version of this happens all day long, in situation after situation. It’s frustrating for the toddler, and can cause a parent to react and demand that a child stop the fuss Right. This. Minute.

All parents want to stop reacting and parent more mindfully. Here are four steps to mindfully address emotional toddlers.

Step 1- Triggers

Since reactions are motivated by triggers, then the first thing wise parents do is ask themselves, “Why am I reacting the way I am?” “What belief do I hold that is motivating my reaction?” Where did I learn to believe that?” Most often you’ll find the answers to those questions in the way your parents handled your intense emotions as a child.

Step 2- Feelings

Most parents hold the belief that the best way to stop emotional toddlers is to stop the feelings or control the situation. Since newly-verbal toddlers can’t fully reveal what’s upsetting them, trying to control or shut down the feelings only makes things worse.
A more mindful approach is to let your child experience whatever they’re feeling. Do not abandon your child. Stand or sit near them or pull them on your lap, if they’ll let you, as long as they don’t hurt you or themselves. Do not try and talk to them when they’re fully emotional. If you have a child who needs to hear your voice, simple repeat, “You’re okay,” over and over again, until the child begins to calm down.
Doing this teaches a toddler that feelings don’t stay this intense forever, they do subside. It also models for a child that my parents can remain calm, even when I can’t, so that must be the way to handle big emotions, calmly.

Step 3- Connecting

As soon as your child has released their rage, then anger, then mad, and moved on to sadness, it’s time to connect. Toddlers are a bit too young to grasp the full concept of deep breathing, however, you can, as they get older, teach them to take a few deep breaths to calm down.
This is also the time when you want to be empathetic and supportive by mirroring and putting into words what they’ve just experienced. You might say, “You wanted the toy, and you wanted me to hug you. You didn’t know what to choose first. That was hard, so you cried. I understand. You’re okay now. Would you like a hug?”

Step 4- Using a Mindful Teaching Authority™

You might be wondering, “When do I teach her not to do that again?” First, let me say, this will happen again, it’s age appropriate. Toddlers are just learning about life and need repeated experiences in order to learn all the details about situations. Parents need to accept the fact that teaching something once is not realistic.
Using a mindful teaching authority means using age appropriate ways to teach kids what you want them to do next time.
Since toddlers live in the now, they need to be taught what to do instead as soon as they calm down, so the details about what happened, and how to do it differently next time, can be connected in their mind.
You do that by asking them to repeat the situation that frustrated them in the first place. You might say, “Sweetie, are you ready to try getting the toy again? Go pick up your teddy and bring him with you as you come get a hug from mom.” This shows him/her that you can have both things at the same time.

Looking for more mindful concepts to help you with the toddler years? Check out When Development is Dressed as Misbehavior. This audio/video shares little known insights into the rapid, often intense, development that occurs between 18 months to age 5.


Sharon Silver is a mom, parent educator and public speaker and founder of Proactive Parenting. She is also the author of Stop Reacting and Start Responding: 108 Ways to Transform behavior into Learning Moments

Career, Learnings, Life

How To Learn Super Fast For New Hires

Fact: when you’re new, you’re going to be overwhelmed. That happened to me. Twice.

You see, I was an accounting graduate. I had my internship at an audit firm. I even requested to rotate between audit & tax departments during my 6 months internship. I was doing fine in both departments. The audit partner offered me to work there after I finished my internship. I liked what I was doing. But somehow, I wanted a challenge. To tap into a job & industry that my fellow course mates wouldn’t naturally choose. So I joined the management trainee programme of an international retail company. No, not in finance department, though they offered me when I applied. I joined the Commercial department.

You thought it’s easy to join Commercial department when you have a degree in accounting? You thought wrong! The reporting was a whole lot different. I remembered I know nothing about merchandise planning when I joined. Total clueless.

And then i changed job. In a manufacturing industry, supplying metal stamping parts. And i was in the supply chain department, in charge of the material ordering. Again, clueless. I have never looked at any production plan before, let alone understanding it & using it to purchase raw material.

So what did I do?

1. Study the business

Yes, you hear me right. Study. Just because you already have a degree, doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t need to study for your career.

Before i went for my job (and interview) in the retail industry in the commercial department, I bought a very good book on retail buying & merchandise planning. I studied every single thing about the industry, and the position that i was applying. It was a great investment.

When i moved to manufacturing industry, I bought a book on operations management, relating to production planning & forecasting. During my first week at the company, I took the time to study every single report that can be found in the server. I even studied the formulas, even for reports that were prepared by other people. And then i started to understand bit by bit.

2. Ask questions – even the basic ones

You see, I have never felt ashamed to ask questions. But of course, I try to search for the answers myself, first, before I ask the questions. It’s called an effort, and employers love effort.

If you don’t understand anything, just be honest and say you don’t understand. For instance, when I first joined manufacturing industry, I have no idea what is Bill of Material, Weld On, CBU, etc. I can’t differentiate between In House Stamping & In House Assembly. Wait, I didn’t even know what is stamping & assembly!

So I set a time with people to learn on the terms & reporting. I went direct to the people who prepared the reports. I waited for them to be free. Then I asked all the questions that was listed in my notebook. What a great insight I managed to get from them!

3. Get organised

Invest in a good organiser. Take notes. Make every meeting a new learning. Compile all of your notes in one book. You’ll never know when it comes handy.

Those are the three key things to learn fast for a new hire. Hope it helps in your career!