**This is a guest post from Ariadne Brill of Positive Parenting Connection**
“I do it ME self!”
“I wanted to do it!”
“Me. Me. Go Way. ME DO IT!”
“I starting again, to do it MY way mama.”
There is a phase in the toddler years where children are intensely interested in doing things for themselves, in a specific way and on
their own time table, it’s an incredibly wonderful time for children,
sometimes frustrating, but full of learning. Often this phase can be
incredibly frustrating for parents and caregivers as well. The desire to jump in and show the “right way” or to just “get things done” and move along can inadvertently create a whole lot of disconnect and power struggles between parents and children.
So how do we find a balance between welcoming independence, encouraging the curious and determined toddler and meeting the needs of the whole family?
It’s a simple fact that children need security in order to thrive. The most important aspect of this is providing them with a strong and confident role model in their lives, in the form of a loving parent. Children need to be able to rely on us to take care of them, lead them, and guide them, and as such it is vital that we know how to hold our own and remain strong when things seem to be spiralling out of control.
You know that moment when you ask your child not to do something and they look right at you and do it anyway?
When you know they are testing you, but not sure how to deal with the situation?
I woke up and before I even opened my eyes I felt furious. I sighed as I realised “the rage” was still with me. For two days now I had been feeling out of control and snapping at my family. I took several deep breaths before opening my eyes to see my toddler sleeping peacefully beside me, looking like an angel. Determined not to let this dark mood take hold of me for the second day running I took a few more deep breaths in the hope of shaking it.
As the day went on, everything annoyed me. I felt angry about tiny things and found myself directing my son, saying “No” over and over again, and feeling more terrible each time I said it.
Children can really benefit from getting involved in household tasks and taking on some responsibility in tidying up their things. However, tidy up time can easily become a struggle between parent and child, with the child firmly refusing to lift a finger and the parent getting stressed and frustrated. Here are my top tips for creating harmony and serenity during tidy up time.