As much as I’d love to share that my days with Bee are rose-colored and sunshine-filled, the reality is that we each have our good moments and bad. An eternal optimist, I’m quick to focus on our more positive times together, especially when sharing stories and memories of this magical stage of parenting. But at the same time, I understand the need for solidarity between mothers. For support and encouragement and real, practical advice to conjure up when the moments are hard and the tantrums are spirited. So today, I’m sharing my favorite tip to prevent tantrums from escalating (for babies and mamas alike!):
During a peaceful moment in your day, teach your baby the concept of “patience hands” – hands folded together in the child’s lap. Encourage him or her when they master the pose, praising your child for looking – and being – patient!
Continue practicing this pose throughout your day until it becomes a gesture your child has learned and can perform on command.
Then, next time a tantrum begins to form, say “Patience hands!” in a fun manner, encouraging the baby to practice his or her pose. It becomes an immediate distraction for babies, and as they grow into toddlers and children, they learn to center their bodies and calm themselves, rather than relying on the tense motions of kicking, screaming and stomping that can often escalate tantrums.
Bee responds extremely well to this practice and I’ve found that she’s slowly learning to use “patience hands” as a preventative measure before the tantrums even begin: in grocery carts, at the post office, in her high chair. It’s become an incredibly useful tool for this stage!
I’d love to hear from you mamas – what tips do you rely on throughout your day? Any practices you’ve learned alongside of your baby that have helped curb tantrums and embrace patience? Please share in the comments below; I’ll be waiting with “patience hands” of my own!
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