A couple months ago I shared a post on my Instagram (@realtalkandrainbowscounseling – you should follow me!) about bringing my toddler in to my own therapist to help us both deal with his new found desire for shrieking, because therapists need therapists as well! Update, 2.5 months later… it is still his favorite sound.
Two and half months later… I still want to pull my hair out… but I’m handling it a bit better. Here are things I’ve learned in parenting a rambunctious redhead toddler.
Remember they are people too, with big emotions, and not many coping skills
You have those days right? When it feels like everything is going wrong and you don’t know the words to describe the chaos that is in your head. It’s difficult and overwhelming, you just want to break down and cry. I hope it’s not just me! Imagine though… your toddler is going through that too. They are feelings these big emotions for the first time, with no frame of reference that things will work out, and no coping skills to calm themselves down. That’s a terrifying place to be! Slow down… breathe… and let’s tap into that compassion and patience that we want people to have with us when we are going through a rough time.
It’s ok to communicate your feelings
Just because you are being patient doesn’t mean you have to pretend like everything is rainbows and roses. Not only is it ok to say “Mommy is feeling frustrated when you keep screaming. I’m going to need a break soon to stay calm, can you breathe with me?” it is good modeling for them! Communicating difficult emotions in a calm way and then pairing that with a healthy coping mechanism teaches your child so much in how to handle difficult days. The coping skills they see you use every day will be the ones that they pick up and start to use themselves.
Use your team
Hopefully, you have a team of people behind you to help during these rough days! Maybe your team is your partner, your own parents, friends, maybe a family of choice. Whoever it is, communicating with them and asking for help you need is incredibly needed. It may be embarrassing, and we want to act like we have it all together, but let us lean into transparency and vulnerable for a moment… if you have a good team around you, when you express your frustration and ask for help, the result will be further connection and support, not shame or judgement. If it is judgement.. then it is time for a new team!
Realistically, this time won’t last forever. It may feel like it in the moment, but your toddler will not be toddling for very long. They will go from screeching and overreacting to… ok maybe still overreacting but hopefully with a few more coping skills and words!
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with Alyssa or one of our other counselors, please contact us at 832-421-8714.