Like the Beatles said... one of the most important things parents have to learn is when not to step in to the rescue. Tempting as it may be! Try not to rush in and save your child from uncomfortable experiences, whether it be an awkward social interaction at the park, difficulty holding a crayon or figuring out how to use a toy. These experiences provide invaluable learning experiences for your child in seeing that they (and you!) can survive these feelings, and that feelings (even hard ones) come and go. This builds frustration tolerance and an ability to persevere through difficulty. If you’re not sure what to do, try narrating their experience. This can be just the facts, eg. ‘You’re really trying to hold that crayon and it keeps falling down’. Or maybe you notice how they’re feeling eg. ‘you’re really frustrated because you’re trying to hold that crayon and it keeps falling down.’ Your child will feel like you are paying attention, and that you understand. You are helping to give them the tools and introduce them to the all important language of feelings and emotions.
Toddler Tip brought to you by our new Twigtale child development expert Wendy Denham, PhD.
Tuesday Toddler Tip: Let It Be, Knowing When Not To Step In was originally published on February 4, 2014. Modifications to style, arrangement, and linked sources were made on January 11, 2016.