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3 Mindfulness Techniques Work-at-Home Dads Can Use to Decrease Toddler Tantrums and Get More Done
Lessons from my experience with twin toddlers
Lessons from my experience with twin toddlers
There are certain things you’d expect a work-at-home dad to get more of than the rest of us: time with the kids, time alone, time away from the office and even time on their own. But one thing work-at-home dad’s face more than anything else is the threat of a tantrum.
We’ve all been there. A toddler is whining and screaming, and you’re getting nothing done, except for a laundry list of “why don’t they just shut up already?!” thoughts. If you’re a work-at-home dad who is dealing with a screaming toddler, then you know exactly how hard it can be to be productive when your kid is acting up. But there are simple mindfulness techniques you can use to reduce your stress, deal with tantrums, and still get work done.
Mindfulness is about being aware of what is happening in the moment. It means noticing what you are experiencing and then being kind to yourself and taking care of yourself, even as you are dealing with upset toddlers.
A lot of parents experience moments of anger and frustration when their children are young. But the problem with being angry at your kid is that you can’t communicate with them. That is the whole point of the tantrum. A kid will throw a fit because they want you to interact with them. So how do you get out of a tantrum without losing your cool? Stop what you are doing and be present with them. If you lose your temper, it will not work out. Instead, you need to take a deep breath and try to calm yourself down.
It is important for you to be present with your kids throughout the day… not just when they are having a tantrum. This will help you be present instead of reacting in anger when they do act up. Being present doesn’t mean you have to smile and be nice all the time. But you can still set boundaries. For example, you can say, “Daddy is busy right now. Can you go play with your toys?” Take a deep breath and try to calm yourself down before you react to your kid. If they have a tantrum, they cannot hear you if you are too angry. So try to take a deep breath and remain calm, even though you may feel like you want to give them a piece of your mind.
Help Them Focus on What They Enjoy Doing
As a parent, you may find yourself frustrated when your toddler throws a tantrum over something as simple as a snack. Instead of focusing on what the toddler is doing wrong, focus on what the toddler enjoys doing. Instead of yelling at the child to stop crying and acting up, offer the child the opportunity to do the thing they enjoy. Help them make a good decision. As a parent, you should never forget that the purpose of your parenting is to prepare them for a successful life. It’s not just about teaching them how to be good people and to obey rules, it’s also about teaching them how to think logically and how to make wise decisions.
One way you can help your kids learn these important lessons is by teaching them to focus on what they enjoy doing instead of focusing on something negative. You can do this by giving them a choice. When your child throws a tantrum, you can offer him or her a choice of two things. You can give them a choice between playing outside or listening to music. Instead of yelling at your child to stop acting up, you can say to your child: “I know that you want to watch TV all day, but that’s not on the agenda. You can play outside or listen to music.” This way, you will be teaching your child how to make good decisions.
Look in The Mirror
Be aware of your own emotions. Many parents know that ignoring their children when they have a tantrum won’t work. What they rarely realize is that they could use their own emotional response to understand their child’s tantrum to make a better parenting decision. Emotional awareness can help you spot your child’s emotional cues, respond appropriately, and ultimately help your child be less disruptive. By improving how you emotionally react to your child’s tantrums, you’ll not only be more likely to calm your child, but also have fewer tantrums.
The thing about helping your toddler be mindful is that you have to be mindful yourself. Ironically, the more you try to get things done when your toddler is having tantrums, the less you’ll actually get done. Some parents have tantrums themselves when they are overwhelmed with the responsibilities of being a parent. Sometimes, we just need to take a break from our children when he or she is having a tantrum.
I’ve been through this with my children, so I know how to deal with it. When they are having a tantrum, I will sit down next to them and put my arm around them. I will give them a hug and tell them, “It’s OK. I am here for you.” You need to be calm and patient in order to do this. If you are too stressed out, you won’t be able to help your child. You have to be calm, so you can listen to your child and understand what he or she needs.
In the end, you need to teach kids to be mindful outside of their tantrums. If you are so busy trying to keep your toddlers’ attention by offering interesting toys or entertaining activities, it’s likely you will lose the opportunity to teach them mindful living. The key is to be present and pay attention to your toddler’s emotions, needs, and feelings. It is in these moments that they learn how to cope with their experiences and become more able to handle new ones.
Remember to teach your toddler mindfulness through play and interaction, as well as through verbal communication, and to do it consistently. Don’t wait for a tantrum to come.
Children need to be taught to be mindful from the moment they are born. They learn to use their minds to solve problems. It’s important that they learn to control their emotions and respond appropriately to situations. It’s also important that they learn to control their impulses. If you’re teaching your toddler mindful living, the key is to remember that there’s no better teacher than yourself.