Toddlers and Development
Read about being a mother of 12 as our resident 'Supermom' shares her wise parenting advice.
Along for the ride: Toddlers
Navigating the toddler months and years can be a daunting task. The sheer negativity of a 2 year old, for instance, can defeat a mom in nothing flat, if she's the type who takes things to heart. It's hard to remember that inside that monster screaming "NO!" is the adorable infant that was, and the mature adult to be. I went through the terrible twos 12 times, or rather, my 12 kids went through the terrible twos and I came along for the ride.
With my first child, I had an idea that I could make a book about her emotions and this might help her deal with her fears and negativity. I looked for photos of my daughter depicting a variety of emotions: happy, sad, mad, confusion, worry, love, fear, jealousy, surprise, and embarrassment. I placed one photo on each page and spelled out the emotion it represented in big block letters. I kept my book small because I felt the story would have more impact this way. It didn't take long for me to put together the book. I kept it very simple, using a hole puncher, and stringing the cardboard pages together with colorful yarn. It was time to see how my daughter liked her book.
That night, I took my daughter on my lap and I read her book to her. She was very excited to see herself in a book, and I think she was pleased to think I'd taken so much trouble on her behalf. As she pointed to the photos, I named the emotions they portrayed. Soon we finished reading the book and I let her leaf through it on her own.
When emotions are out of control
The next day, I referred to the book as much as possible. If my daughter were happy, for instance, I'd ask her to show me the happy picture from her book. The idea was to find a way to help my daughter identify her feelings when her emotions were out of control. While my daughter was experiencing a tantrum, I'd say, "Go find your book and show me what you're feeling now."
This always had the effect of calming her down, and I found this to be a useful way to help my other children as well. If you're like me, you take an awful lot of photos of your children. You can put them to good use by making your child an emotion book.