Ways to support whānau who are struggling to keep calm with a toddler.
The best way to help kids learn to manage their emotions is through your own behaviour. Expressing anger in harmful ways hurts our kids and damages relationships.
If a parent mentions they’ve been losing the plot and getting stressed, you might suggest sitting down and looking through this Tākai booklet together:
If you suspect the parents are stressed, you might make some gentle enquiries, such as:
- How are things going?
- Often people find toddlerhood to be quite challenging. How have you found things with your toddler these days?
- Do you have any worries about your relationship with your tamaiti?
- What sort of job do you think you are doing as parents?
- In what ways have you found yourselves worrying about things?
- Has anything happened recently that is affecting your lives as parents or as a whānau?
- What things are you doing to look after yourselves?
You could also ask if they want to look through the booklet 'Staying calm with kids' together. We might find some helpful tips:
- On page 2 it’s suggesting that, when we get angry and act out, we’re teaching our kids that this kind of behaviour is okay.
- On page 3 we’re reminded that when we act angry towards our child, it triggers stress in them.
- We’re also reminded how our children learn from us.
- Have you ever noticed your toddler sounding like you or someone else in the family?
- Sometimes it’s funny – but sometimes it’s not. How did it make you feel when you saw that happening?
- Page 4 explains what happens when we feel anger building up inside.
- Do you recognise these signs?
- What do you do when you’re feeling like this?
- On page 5 there are some ideas of things to do when we start to feel that anger.
- Have you tried any of these strategies? What works for you?
- Which one do you think you might try next time you’re feeling stressed?
- I’ll leave this book with you. You might like to read it on your own and have a think about what you might be able to do. We can talk about it during my next visit.
- I’ll also leave the fridge magnet, which gives a couple of tips about what to do to help keep calm.