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        Bumbelou Blog — Family

        Practical Tips & Tricks for those Pesky Tantrums

        Practical Tips & Tricks for those Pesky Tantrums

        “Me want”, “Me have”, “NO”


        Every toddler has their own way of letting you know they want, no, need, this one thing, something has to be done a certain way, or they have to do everything themselves. Whatever it is, their perfect little bubble is about to burst.


        At this point, we know we are most likely headed to meltdown city… so what do we do? Can we stop it? Do we just give in? Are these people judging me for my crying kid? Where is my patience level at?


        Having a toddler is no easy task, they are starting to realize they are separate individuals. We are trying to help these tiny humans, who have big emotions, just like us, understand what they are feeling. While this may be an exciting time, full of growth and development; toddlers do not understand logic, they have a tough time with waiting, and a tough time with self-control. They can’t always say, “I’m mad, Susy took my car and I want it back.” Instead they hit, bite, push, scream and then we have more crying. We become upset because Joey hit Susie.


        As a Mama of a 2.5 year old and as someone who has a degree in Early Childhood Education and has worked in plenty of classrooms with gobs of tiny humans… I am here to tell you, unfortunately, there is no easy fix. However, I have learned lots of things to make this time a little more manageable and I want to share them. As life gets busier, we often forget all the little things we could be doing to support, empathize with, and validate our littles BIG feelings.


        • What does your environment look like?
          • Is it crowded, cluttered, or are there an overwhelming amount of toys?
          • Try to have your main play area be more open with fewer toys.
          • Have this area be a YES space.
        • Your mood?
          • Stay calm & confident
          • Get down to their eye level
          • Make physical contact: holding hands, offer a hug, etc.
            • Don’t force it, they will communicate what they need
          • Make direct eye contact, when possible (not easy if your toddler is thrashing on the floor)
        • What to do:
          • Love. Love them unconditionally and validate their feelings.
          • Navigate & Label what you are seeing: 
            • “You are mad because Susy took your toy and you hit her. It is okay to feel mad, but in this house we don’t hit. Our hands are for helping, hugs, etc.”
            • “We have to leave the park now, so we can cook dinner. I know you love the park and you feel sad we have to leave.. Staying at the park is not a choice. But when we get home, you can help me cook. Do you want to walk to the car yourself or do you want me to carry you.”
          • Layout the day/transitions:
            • “We are going to leave soon for Grandma’s. After you finish breakfast, we are going to change your diaper, get dressed, put shoes on, and get in the car”
            • Repeat this several time as a reminder and as you drop something off the list:
              • “Breakfast was yummy, now we are done eating, so we are going to change your diaper, etc.”
            • If they fight or “refuse” the transition
              • “We are having so much fun at the park and Mommy loves pushing you on the swing. But now we are going to go home for a nap. First we are going to take a nap, and then we can play at the park after nap.
              • Make sure you clearly layout “first”, “and then”
            • Follow through, this builds trust:
              • You took such a great nap, I am excited to play at the park again.
          • Read, read, READ! 
            • Littles learn so much through reading and seeing visual representations of what they are going through
          • Acknowledge the good:
            • “I saw you were getting frustrated with your sister because she kept knocking down your tower, I love how you picked up your toys and moved to a new space.”
            • “Wasn’t that such a fun shopping trip, I really liked how you helped me push the cart so nicely.” 
          • Offer choices:
            • “You can walk to your room or Mommy/Daddy can carry you, make a choice.”
            • Make the choice something you are ok following through on.
              • Keep them simple & direct
            • Wait a moment, repeat
              • This is crucial, they need time to process what you are saying
            • Avoid:
              • “If you let Mommy/Daddy change your diaper, we can or Mommy will let you…”
              • “If you listen while we are at the store, you can get a special treat.”
              • We don’t want to bribe
                • This teaches them we will always reward them for good behavior
                • “Good” behavior should just be a natural part of everyday life
            • What can they do - show them other ways to express those big feeling without hurting someone else
              • “When you feel so mad and you really need to calm down, count to 10, go to your room and hit your pillow, make angry scribbles on paper, etc.”

        None of this will stop tantrums, outburst, or the hitting. But, it will hopefully help it happen less frequently, allow them to come down more quickly, and eventually they will start to navigate these many scenarios themselves.


        Here are some helpful resources:

        Books:

        Instagram Accounts to Follow:

        • @transformingtoddlerhood (also offers a course
        • @biglittlefeelings (also offers a course)
        • @sunnyseedco

        Sign Language - How to start and why we love it!

        Sign Language - How to start and why we love it!

        As a Mama of a toddler, I often feel like I am trying to understand a completely different language when trying to communicate with them. One way I found to help with this was the use of basic sign language. We started working with Ellis around 4 months, this is early, but it’s all about repetition! I am not here to brag about how incredibly smart my kiddo is (I may be biased, he’s amazing), rather share all the benefits of using basic sign language at home.


        Did you know, using sign language assists with a wide range of learning styles; verbal linguistics intelligence (a person’s ability to think and express their thoughts using words), kinesthetic intelligence (a person’s ability to process information physically through hand and body movement), and interpersonal intelligence (the ability of a person to relate well with people and manage relationships).


        Babies as young as 6 months can start to remember signs and by 8 months they can begin to sign single words or imitate gestures. As they progress, they can start to sign multiple words, forming a sentence. It allows open communication between baby/toddler and adult as it relates to their basic needs or even feelings. It also starts the “building of the bridge” for the spoken word.


        Not only will you be working on early language and cognitive skills, but it is reported early communication helps build confidence and self-esteem. It creates a sense of “feeling better” about themselves, especially when they can communicate their wants and needs to those around them. As a parent, I can attest to this, I felt more confident I was meeting their needs and not just playing a constant guessing game.


        Now that we’ve discussed the importance of sign language, let's talk about a few tips to keep in mind for a higher success rate:

        • Sign early: it’s never too early to start
        • Sign as needed: choose signs that are important, meaningful or useful to you and your child
        • Follow your baby’s sign: as they learn and start to imitate, you may find they are creating their own (remember their hands don’t quite work the same as ours)
        • Speak & sign at the same time: say the word out loud while signing
        • Consistency: repetition is key, by seeing it over and over they will begin to learn and imitate. Also, the more adults participating the better.
        • Facetime: make direct eye contact and do signs close to your face, they love our faces, this can make it easier for them to notice you are doing something with your hand
        • “Reward”: don’t think of this as truly rewarding them, rather you understand what they are asking for and follow through with it
        • Patience: it may take months before they start to sign back, don’t give up

        Lastly and most importantly, remember every child is different and all learn at their own pace. 



        A few Helpful Resources:

        Videos:

        Books:

        Virtual Class:

        Reading & Diversity

        Reading & Diversity

        Reading & Diversity for children

        Let’s talk books, diversity, and why they are important. First it takes an entire community to make changes in how we think about society, culture, and people. I am sure you’ve heard this a million times, especially recently. I am not here to belabor this message, rather just share a few reasons why we, yes we, should be reading diverse books.


        The first thing to point out is, research shows when children of all abilities, cultures, beliefs, and skin colors see themselves represented positively, it builds their self-esteem. It also allows for the children reading the books to learn a person’s ability, culture, belief, and/or skin color is not what makes them special. There is more to a person than what we see.


        Rudine Sims Bishop, a published children’s author, believes, “Literature transforms the human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection, we can see our own lives and experiences as a part of the larger human experience. Reading, then, becomes a means of self-affirmation”. Why is this so important? Things like home life, school, environment, and the books we read influence us as humans. Our sense of identity, value, and agency are all impacted by the world around us and choosing a book that represents the larger world around us will not only validate the belief in oneself, but it can start to build the connection of what it means to be, a valued member of society.


        As children grow and become more curious, it will allow for visibility or rather a curiosity about current events. Curating positive and very real discussions in a safe space. Giving children the opportunity to learn about differences in age, race or ethnicity, ability or even socioeconomic status. We want to encourage community building and understanding the similarities; kids are kids, no matter how different their backgrounds!


        Here are a few of my favorite books:

         

        ABOUT THE AUTHOR

        Hi I’m Anesih!! I started out as a Bumbelou Customer and fell in love. I have been a part of the Bumbelou team since October and have loved every minute of it. Outside of Bumbelou, I am a Mama to a beautiful 2 year old, Ellis. Literally the day Ellis was born, I told my husband, Jake, we need to move closer to your family and you need to make it happen. 

        As you get to know me more, you will see I have a passion for all things related to children, and have a background in Early Childhood Education. I am excited to be able to share that passion with you, through Bumbelou.



        The Power of Outdoors

        The Power of Outdoors

        I am ashamed to admit that I’ve never been a huge lover of the outdoors. In the summer it’s much easier for me, but during the cold months I’d rather snuggle up inside. I strongly dislike being cold! But this year I’ve quickly learned that getting outside is one thing that the pandemic and its limitations cannot take away from us. With three of my kids currently in a remote learning model, spending an hour or two outside every afternoon has been our saving grace. And guess what? I’ve found that I actually crave that time of day. I want to get outside just as I much as I want to send my kids out! It has been an instant mood lifter and everyone is just happier in the great outdoors. Sometimes we take a walk down the road, sometimes we play on the swing set. Lots of times my kids run off to their creative play and I walk around our property and daydream. Other times we sit (or lay!) and watch the clouds or the birds in the trees. This weekend my kids got a lesson from Dad on how to build a fire and it was so much fun! They even asked to cook dinner over the fire on Sunday night, so that’s what we did!

        I recently bought this book, and it’s given me a huge mind shift! I’m learning a lot, one of the most important being BASE LAYERS! I come from the generation of wearing bread bags on your feet inside of your boots to keep your feet dry. It never occurred to me that I didn’t have to freeze my booty off outside!  This season I’ve been researching and slowly investing in better cold weather gear, and let me just say, the difference is definitely notable! Now, for a family of 6 this can be quite costly, so it’ll take some time. I’m using what we have, and when we NEED something new I an investing in a better option than what we currently have. I’ve also been trying to buy as much gender neutral as I can, as I have two girls and two boys. This stuff should definitely last through a few kids, if not more!

        I encourage you to increase your time outdoors with your kids, and see how it positively impacts your family! I hope you’ll find it just as beneficial as we have!

         

        xo,

        Amy 

        Win the Morning

        Win the Morning

        I've never enjoyed mornings. We don't get along. I get up at 6am. Sometimes 5:45.... sometimes 5:30. I drink the coffee, I read, I write, I run. But I don't know that we will ever be real friends. So I made myself a pretty little printable to hang by my bed to greet me when I forcefully pull myself awake. Feel free to grab it for yourself, print, and enjoy.... or grumpily stare and and wonder if you'll ever be a morning person.