Raising a smart mouth preschooler is like managing a teenager on orange soda and pop rocks. After the sugar high. Ok bad analogy?
It never fails, a few smart remarks can so quickly turn into a full blown meltdown with tears in the middle of spiritual services, play dates at the park, or any other public place.
Confession time. I was the single giving side-eye to a parent struggling with their young one. Having a first-born that was more calm I would also inwardly gloat when another parent having a more spirited child struggled to get compliance.
Shame on me!! Experience has taught me many things.
You've seen this scenario…
MOM: Sweetie we need to leave in 10 minutes
CHILD: Yes Mom.
MOM: Ok sweetie 5 more minutes
CHILD: Uh, huh….
MOM: Ok let's go home now.
CHILD: NO! I don't want to go.
MOM: We had fun, we will be back tomorrow.
CHILD: I don't want to. (Giving Mom stank face and folding arms)
Sad to say the above has been me and Little Miss. Now that Little Miss is 4 years old, I have found her to be even more determined and self-directed. Oh and that temper, red hot at times. We have been having these interactions for about 2 weeks now. Needless to say I am slowly nipping it in the bud.
With Transitional Kinder a few weeks away, helping Little Miss manage her emotions is priority #1. I am sensitive to this developmental stage it is still important to provide guidance and redirection. Part of my challenge has been raising a moody teen and now preschooler in tandem. It's clear some of my first born ways have influenced his baby sister.
Though Little Miss has her own idiosyncrasies, she feeds and soaks in certain mannerisms of my teen son. I realize it is normal for Little Miss to be struggling with controlling her emotions. In order to combat her high energy and emotional overwhelm I make a point to not yell or mirror the intensity of the meltdown.
On a weekly basis you can hear me giving the "be an example" and "show respect" lecture to my teen. I know nagging is to be avoided by all means necessary, been there and tried that.
Nowadays I talk. A lot!
Using a calm even tone voice putting emphasis where needed to zero in on the importance of the lesson helps to get my point across. In our home I work to provide an emotionally stable and nurturing environment. This helps Little Miss sassy pants not be on edge. We make efforts to make sure she feels comforted and heard. This alleviates the need to be guarded or go overboard when needing to get her needs met. MOST days this works for us.
When scheduling our daily activities I am VERY careful to not overdo it. For instance errands often take us a bit longer. I make a point to take a park break or stop for a vanilla cone to help break up the schedule. Thanks to McDonald's the $1.00 vanilla cone is the BEST deal in town!!
Little Miss responds well to yummy snacks. I call this "busy food" and try to never leave home without it or find budget friendly options while out and about.
We are well on our way though I hope this phase passes.
Patience is a virtue. – Anonymous