Parenting Catch-all

Can anyone recommend a tool to help toddlers (ours just turned 4) process their feelings/emotions?

We are getting many more instances where she will just scream when she doesn't like something or doesn't want to do something we've asked.

We have been listening to Like You, a mindfulness podcast for kids, and I'm happy to have found this and that we listen together fairly regularly for the last month plus. (Big thumbs up from me.) And it's given us a few tools, and I can often get her to take a few deep breaths, but she is often still frustrated or angry.

Last night she first screamed at us (dessert wasn't as big as she wanted) but she then went into her room to scream some more. Which from my point of view is great progress. She came out a few minutes later and was now upset that we had been talking "too loud" while she was in her room, but we soon had her relaxing and engaged in conversation again.

I'm drifting away from my point, so to drift back, I'm looking for something she can use to help identify her emotions and some healthy outlets for them.
Going to her room to scream is one good option (better than in our faces), but it would sure help to have more options, and a resource to turn to for a variety of emotions.

I've seen some flip style books that often have positive reviews, but then I'll read a thoughtful critique that points out e.g. it doesn't really present many ways to process emotion X, or what they present is repetitive with a prior example.

In short, it's hard to tell what's an actual good resource vs something that looks good on the surface.

E.g. This looks good, but I don't know.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/3982142830...

Tonic wrote:

Can anyone recommend a tool to help toddlers (ours just turned 4) process their feelings/emotions?

We are getting many more instances where she will just scream when she doesn't like something or doesn't want to do something we've asked.

We have been listening to Like You, a mindfulness podcast for kids, and I'm happy to have found this and that we listen together fairly regularly for the last month plus. (Big thumbs up from me.) And it's given us a few tools, and I can often get her to take a few deep breaths, but she is often still frustrated or angry.

Last night she first screamed at us (dessert wasn't as big as she wanted) but she then went into her room to scream some more. Which from my point of view is great progress. She came out a few minutes later and was now upset that we had been talking "too loud" while she was in her room, but we soon had her relaxing and engaged in conversation again.

I'm drifting away from my point, so to drift back, I'm looking for something she can use to help identify her emotions and some healthy outlets for them.
Going to her room to scream is one good option (better than in our faces), but it would sure help to have more options, and a resource to turn to for a variety of emotions.

I've seen some flip style books that often have positive reviews, but then I'll read a thoughtful critique that points out e.g. it doesn't really present many ways to process emotion X, or what they present is repetitive with a prior example.

In short, it's hard to tell what's an actual good resource vs something that looks good on the surface.

E.g. This looks good, but I don't know.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/3982142830...

I would take advice for the same, but for a 10yo.

Can't help but ask - are you giving in to her demands when she screams at you? If so, she's gonna keep screaming cos it's getting her what she wants.

I realize that's sidestepping the question about processing emotions, but it's something we've had to deal with here and there, and this one-two punch kind of taught her emotional regulation out of efficacy in achieving her goals:
1: simply heading in the opposite direction from want she wants when she screams. Dessert too small? Well guess what, screamers don't get ANY dessert.
2: follow up with a conversation (once the screaming has subsided) about how screaming at parents isn't an appropriate response to [insert thing here], and how she could better have navigated her displeasure and still gotten what she wanted.

Concur. That sometimes feels like half the conversations my wife and I each have with kid.

Nope, we are not giving in to the demands or screaming. My own recent journey into mindfulness has helped me maintain calm in those situations. We've also been saying calmly that we understand thats she's angry/upset/frustrated, but that screaming is not okay.

What we are looking for are alternatives to turn to other than/in addition to "take a few deep breaths." Preferably something she could learn to look at and refer to (with or without assistance) so she can develop skill identifying and regulating her emotions.

Instead of constantly saying No Dont Do That, it would be more helpful to offer an alternative, e.g. When you are feeling emotion X, instead of doing A B C (screaming, throwing, etc...) which are not okay, try Q R S instead.

It's not happening every single meal or every day (thankfully), and we know it's a fairly common issue around this age as kids start grappling with emotions and don't really have the means to articulate what they are feeling (which makes it hard to ask for help). We're looking to for ways to stay ahead of it and provide some structured guidance instead of constantly improvising.

We like the How to talk so kids will listen... series of books, there's a book for younger kids specifically. Having the presence of mind to follow some of the tools and suggestions in a heated moment is not always going to be a success. With kids there are lots more chances to try to get it right/better. Daniel Tiger does lots of emotional coping lessons.

carrotpanic wrote:

We like the How to talk so kids will listen... series of books, there's a book for younger kids specifically. Having the presence of mind to follow some of the tools and suggestions in a heated moment is not always going to be a success. With kids there are lots more chances to try to get it right/better. Daniel Tiger does lots of emotional coping lessons.

+1 for Daniel Tiger
I also remember a bunch of good Sesame Street shorts about emotions on YouTube.

"When you feel so mad that you wanna roar..."
"I KNOW DAD! BUT IT'S HARD TO COUNT WHEN I'M MAD!!"
"Would you like your hug now or when you feel better?"
...
"NOW!"
3 times out of 10. The other times I am scrambling for other tools as well.

Rezzy makes a great point here. When my son was a toddler and would flip out and start screaming and throwing tantrums, we found it was surprisingly effective to simply ask, "Do you need a hug?" More often than not, the answer was yes. These little guys and gals get so frustrated and don't know how to express themselves properly - which makes them even more frustrated. Comforting them can defuse the situation swiftly.

Tasty Pudding wrote:

Rezzy makes a great point here. When my son was a toddler and would flip out and start screaming and throwing tantrums, we found it was surprisingly effective to simply ask, "Do you need a hug?" More often than not, the answer was yes. These little guys and gals get so frustrated and don't know how to express themselves properly - which makes them even more frustrated. Comforting them can defuse the situation swiftly.

Hell that still works on my 10yo and even me. Hugs FTW!

Boss/BrokenNocturne is getting prepped for c-section. Number 2 should arrive imminently! Glad I don't have to catch.

Congrats! C-sections rock.... (Caveat: that's all we have experience with and my wife is amazing with recovery and paint tolerance... so your mileage may vary.)

Tonic wrote:

What we are looking for are alternatives to turn to other than/in addition to "take a few deep breaths."

This is a good conversation to have with your pediatrician, if you haven't already. If it's a simple thing that reading a couple of books can fix, then they can probably help recommend some good ones.
Therapy can be really helpful as well, if that's an option available to you. Our oldest started therapy for her anxiety when she was 7 or 8. I was unsure at first if it was really necessary, but most of that was my own hangups surrounding mental health care.
She's responded incredibly well, and we're happy she meets (now over zoom) every week to learn tools and strategies to communicate with us and help herself.

Mini-Mix number 2 born at 6am local time. Everyone is healthy and happy, and our neighbor is having fun with our toddler.

YAY

More goodjers in the world is always a good thing.

manta173 wrote:

Congrats! C-sections rock....

No, they really don't. Recovery is longer and there are more complications. The soaring C-section rate is actually a MAJOR public health concern.

Welcome to Mini-Mix 2!! Hope everyone is well.

Mixolyde wrote:

Mini-Mix number 2 born at 6am local time. Everyone is healthy and happy, and our neighbor is having fun with our toddler.

Congratulations!

Also, PICS or it didn't happen...

Eleima wrote:
manta173 wrote:

Congrats! C-sections rock....

No, they really don't. Recovery is longer and there are more complications. The soaring C-section rate is actually a MAJOR public health concern.

Welcome to Mini-Mix 2!! Hope everyone is well.

Hence my caveats... It was meant as a "Don't worry about it" tongue in cheek kinda thing....

Mini-manta v 1.0 hit 5 recently and due to the pandemic precautions... hasn't really been sick in a long time.

****Gross stuff warning****
Poor dude got hit pretty good with a 24 hour bug the Mrs and I had last week. 11PM he calmly walks in to our room covered in vomit dripping down his nose and everything.

He was obviously upset, but was just calmly telling us what happened while we rushed to clean him and his room up. Kid was a real trooper. Happened two more times and he even apologized for missing the bucket we had set for him so he could just roll over. We had some good discussion about how it's no big deal and happens to everyone and we just need to try to get some rest and feel better.
*****************

Love that kid to death don't know what we did to get such a good kid. V 2.0 seems on track to be similar but different but at 6 months it's kinda hard to tell. He really like tickles though....