Life as a pre-schooler can be confusing and frustrating. As little people they are programmed to be demanding, they need to have their needs met for survival. After all, they can't feed themselves nor put themselves to bed. They get tired and hungry, and sometimes they know they're not happy but they don't know what they want. How difficult then for parents to work it out.
Here are a few ideas to try.
1. If you were doing this, what would be the reason?
Your child is from you, they have watched and modelled you since they were able to do so. They have learnt from you how to express their emotions so although physically you may not do the same things as them, their version of your response will be child-like but still discernible as an emotion you express too. When we guess we use our intuition and that is most likely to be correct.
2. Sometimes small children find it easier to project their feelings onto their teddy bear or cuddly, or their pet.
Ask your child what's wrong with their teddy or pet. They will transfer onto them, their own feelings.
3. The fastest way to change a child's state or mood is to get them to change their breathing. Here are a few ways to do that.
- take a deep breath yourself and then breathe calmly and deeply to encourage them to be calm
- put some music on that will create a calm and happy mood
- dance, sing, laugh
- hold them tight so they feel safe and secure, and loved - that can sometimes feel counter-intuitive especially if they seem angry but the flip side of anger is sadness and I used to find it very effective as a way to calm my son down. At first he would struggle and try to fight me off but we're talking small children here. You are stronger than them. Just hold them in a loving embrace so they feel safe and they will relax into you and settle down.
I am just finalising an ebook for pre-school parents and would really appreciate some parents to read through my first draft and give me some feedback. Please get in touch if you'd be willing to do that.