This isn't just about behaviors. This is about values. If our children feel appreciated, they will come to be appreciative. If they sense that we are grateful, they will cultivate gratitude. If we can teach these values with our embodied actions, and with no small amount of kindness and humor, we are nurturing the seeds of humility, empathy, and relatedness.
"I don't like my body!" My then-2-year-old screamed.
I'm pretty fearless with her, mind you, and it takes a lot for anything she says or does to faze me. But this one stopped my mind for a moment, and in that moment, I raced into the past and ahead to the future.
The season of giving is upon us, for certain, but the spirit of generosity is alive and well year-round. As parents and caregivers, we can help our children as they experience all kinds of feelings, among them the joy that comes from authentic generosity. When we strengthen their hearts and souls, we strengthen our own in turn.
Here's the best tantrum tip I can offer you, totally free.
Don't spend 40 bucks on toys to distract your child from a normal, healthy part of their development. Period.
Sometimes, appreciating a tasty meal or some fantastic glue is enough to make us feel a little less alone, and to remind us of the time when we were once cared for, sheltered, and held by the very gods themselves.
Difficult conversations are, well, difficult. Well, when intense feelings abound and are calling at us, daring us to steer toward the rocks, the first thing we must do is hold on tight!