As your child becomes more aware of what she can do, she also becomes more aware of what she can’t do. She wants to crawl forwards but her body goes backwards. She wants to walk but she falls down. Where once she was easily distracted, she may now grip on to objects she shouldn’t have as though her life depend on it, and shouts at every attempt to untangle her fingers.
Growing up is often confusing and frustrating for a child who begins to realize she can’t control the world, other people or sometimes even herself.
How soon this phase begins can also take parents by surprise – you may see tears of frustration or flashes of steely will and determination even in children under one year. Now is the time to discipline but to understand:
Never underestimate the intensity or integrity of your child’s feelings.
Little children experience powerful and passionate emotions. What may seem fickle, farcical or „put on” to an adult is a child’s very real and fluid emotion, whether it be frustration, rage or joy. To her, at that moment, dropping her toy may be The Worst Thing.
Understand the emotional seesaw.
She will swing dramatically from wanting to be with you to wanting to strike out for independence. She is not being „naughty” or „difficult”, but simply hasn’t a clue what she wants most so ends up wanting both with equal passion- hence the child who doesn’t want to be picked up but doesn’t want to be put down.
Provide comfort and reassurance when she needs it.
The reassurance she needs is a reflection of the bond between you and the security she feels in your presence – all the things she’ll need to become confident and increasingly independent.
Perfect the art of distraction.
Tempt her with a favorite game, your watch, how you can touch the end of your nose with your tongue. Consciously shift the focus of your attention and your child is much more likely to shift hers.
And remember: much of the child behavior parents worry about most is perfectly normal.
Take this moment to book a Parent Coaching Session HERE.
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