7 POSITIVE things you should be saying "to your child"

Toddlers and preschoolers can sometimes be balls of emotions. They need to connect with caregivers in so many ways, on so many levels that it can be frustrating and overwhelming. As a parent of 4 kids, I can't think of one way to make it all better, when it comes to meltdowns, and tantrums, I know of some "safe" words that will more often than not, calm rattled nerves and help kids know and understand that you are there - no matter what.
1. I love you (you are special)
It's so easy to say these words when kids are small and cuddly, but these are words that a child (no matter the age) likes to hear. If you are a parent of more than one child, it is also important your child knows what (qualities or characteristics) makes her special.

2. You can do it!
Children can feel shy or pressured in various activities or situations. Helping your child gain confidence starts early, so use these words as much as possible. Telling your child that she will get hurt, or speaking for her in certain situations can make her feel helpless and over-powered.

3. It's okay to be scared
Anticipating your child's needs is one of the first things you mastered. Think about his hungry or soiled diaper cry. As your child grows he will become anxious and scared in certain situations. When your child encounters situations that upsets him, tell him that it is okay to be afraid, and reassure him that he will be okay.

4. I am here
Sometimes your child gets upset when you leave the room, or if you are in a crowded room (think playgroups or family gatherings). It's okay to allow your child a bit of independence (in settings that are familiar to her) by allowing her to wander. Keeping a safe distance, and reassuring your child that you are "here" is key.
5. Please try (...just once)
Getting a child to try something for the first time is difficult; this includes meeting new friends, eating new foods, or testing her skills. It helps to remain calm when reassuring a child that no matter what the situation, you are there to help her try it...just once.

6. I will/can help you (...if you need it)
Sometimes little ones get frustrated or confused about their abilities. They need to be reminded and reassured that you are always there to help. Asking your child if he needs help can be a sign of empowerment on his part. By doing this you are allowing him to assess his skills/abilities, and in turn ask or agree to having your assistance.

7. We will do this again (after nap time...after eating)
Pulling a child away from an activity can be painful for you and your child. Keep reminding him that you will come back to the game or activity and if possible, give him a time-frame or something he can  identify with coming back to said activity (like after nap-time etc).

Building great relationships with children is the best way to gain trust.You don't have to use these phrases only when your toddler learns to speak, they understand more than you realize. Also know that your child will pick up on your anxieties, so try to always have a positive outlook.
Start today!

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marie at: June 9, 2015 at 2:28 AM said...

Very helpful Salma. Some days I feel like I am loosing complete control of the situation. Your words are powerful. I'll keep them close. Thank you

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“A hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in the bank…but the world may be a better place because I made a difference in the life of a child.”
~ Forest Witcraft

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