Monday, December 29, 2014

1 Way I'm Being a Kinder Mama...

I don't know about you, but I am not always a kind mama... I sometimes take my children's behavior quite personally.  Which causes some... dare I say... Mommy tantrums?  The truth is however... that the intention behind my 3 year old's crying/yelling no at the top of her lungs episodes is not to make me rock back and forth in a corner chanting this too shall pass.  It's just her working out her frustrations in her own little immature (shrieking, eardrum splitting) way. 

I've been working on changing my reactions to my children's sometimes less than lovely behavior. (Really they are mostly wonderful little people that I enjoy very much.)  I stumbled upon a little mommy gem that seems to be working well right now for taming those tantrums... both mine and hers.

Filling them up with love...

It started on Christmas Day... in the middle of present opening chaos... after a significantly late night... Delaney was melting.  Because of all the noise and commotion I don't even know what triggered her meltdown.  I had one of those mama moments of genius.  I scooped up my little girl and whisked her away to an empty bedroom.  There in the calm and quiet I whispered in her ears how much I love her: " I love you to the moon and back. I love you a bushel and a peck. I love you soo much." Then I whispered it to her fingers and toes and she giggled. We snuggled and she rubbed my cheeks and said "I just wuv you so much Mama."  A Hallmark moment if I may say so.  Crisis averted we returned to the main event and she knew that I was on her side in all this turmoil.

 I've been doing this for the last little while when I spy a meltdown brewing and it has not failed yet.

Possible reasons why this works...

Hugging reduces stress:
The act of embracing floods our bodies with oxytocin, a "bonding hormone" that makes people feel secure and trusting toward each other, lowers cortisol levels, and reduces stress.

Yelling doesn't work it just makes things worse. The Orange Rhino
Getting upset alongside my child or at my child is not helpful.  It just causes a viscous cycle of hurt, anger and fear, for both of us.  Quiet, gentle words and whispers peppered with deep breaths( mostly mine) Are calming and end the tantrum faster. 

Do unto others...
When I think about how I want the people in my life (who love me) to treat me when I am having an emotional breakdown it doesn't involve the words "That's enough" or "Stop crying".  I long be treated gently and to be taken care of.  I want to be told kind things, comforted and loved.  And if I in all of my adult wisdom can pinpoint that only a jerk would tell me to hurry up and get over it... I better not be exampling jerk behavior for my little ones.


I am not so naive to suggest that I have superior parenting methods to anyone else or that my ways will work for every kid.  (Heck in a week it may no longer work for my kid).  I just wanted to share what's working for us right now in hopes that those who need it will find it. 

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