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“I know you really want to that eat ice cream right now, and it’s fair to feel so because you saw it in the freezer but it’s for tonight’s party and we can only eat it then.” Said the parent with her / his calm and loving voice.

This is such a game-changer. This is that magic, if you were looking for one. Even in a situation of meltdown, if this is done first, it’s like applying ice to a burn.

Acknowledge the child’s emotion

If you are in a sticky situation with your baby or your toddler where you both have conflicting needs, take the time, just that one sentence, to acknowledge what the baby/toddler is feeling. Tell them “I know you really don’t want to wash up right now and you must be annoyed that you have to, but it’s time to eat and this must be done.”

This acknowledgement does magic to the child and also to your own mind-set in that moment. Once this is a habit, you automatically take a second to see it from the toddler’s perspective. It’s a much better relationship then on.

After acknowledging the feeling, whether irrational or not, then set the limit or the expectation in clear positively worded manner and you will see that it’s received with much more calm.

Acknowledging and accepting what our toddlers feel is the first thing that lets them know that we are all on the same side!

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