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Focus On The Family /
Posted 1 year ago

“My youngest, Aviel, has recently been experiencing difficult emotions as a growing toddler. She gets frustrated easily over her own inability to complete certain tasks she wants to do on her own. For instance, she may try to put on her pants by herself but if she fails, a tantrum often ensues. If her sisters are playing around her, she would hit them and scream at them. We explained to our older children that Aviel was learning how to express her independence. We also shared with them how their empathy towards her might help in future incidents. When they got hit after that, they did not cry. Instead, they would encourage her to calm down and try again, or offer their help or a hug. We also explained to Aviel that such behaviour hurts her sisters, showing her better ways to express her anger. She is still young and has lots to learn, but we see glimpses of her progress. For example, she might still raise her hands, wanting to hit someone. But often, we see her stopping herself mid-air and turning to us for assurances and help to cope with her big emotions. I was recently reminded by a friend of how important it is to spend time with the children, while giving them enough space to grow as individuals. I’ve come to realise that every child is different; their needs are different and the way they process their thoughts are also different. So I always try to understand the child first before deciding what would work best for her. What has been helpful in our parenting journey is that we have an open and genuine relationship with our children. We admit our own mistakes before them, and seek their help to remind us - just like how we are here to remind them of the right things to do. We share our experiences at the end of each day and pray together at bedtime. We respect them as individuals with their own preferences and opinions. We seek to understand the reasons why they choose to do certain things, and also provide them reasons for our preferences. This open communication has helped to create an intimate relationship, where they can share their thoughts and feelings openly. This is something I cherish a lot, and I hope that this closeness we have will continue to serve us well even as our children go through the different seasons of their lives.” - Hwei Ting, mum of 3 children

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