Now I thought all that practise would make parenting a doddle! In fact my eldest was pretty easy going on the whole, and she has so far survived to see 16, not taken drugs, had a boyfriend or become a smoking obsessed alcoholic! YAY! (huge win) So when it came to child number 2 I thought, 'hey man, I totally got this!'
OMG how wrong was I!
Well on the plus side not only has number 2 reached 5 years old and started school in one piece but we also went on to have a number 3!
Now I don't want to go into too many details, but to say that the last few years with number 2 has been very difficult for me is a little bit of an understatment. I've had to deal with impressive tantrums and child who is so stubborn she will deny herself things she is desperate for just so she can be in charge or right!
As parents it is so easy to blame yourself for being a bad parent, that we did something wrong. This isn't true! At least I know this isn't true but I find I blame myself for so much. We have been on a few different courses and spoken to several professionals to help us be the best we can, but still things have been a bit off.
All my other crafty parenting posts have been as a result of these courses. I had been trying to create environments for my young ones that promotes praise and pride in their achievements as well as a way to express emotions and explore their world. Now generally these things have been positive and we still utalise a few, especially the wow wall (although this has had a make over, so more about that another time!)
Today though I felt I really had to share my latest idea. I realised earlier this week that when little 2 has a tantrum and hits out she really isn't happy about it, in fact she is in such torment with her emotions that a tantrum is exhausting and traumatic for her. I've tried many different systems and theories to help her but nothing really seems to work. So thinking cap on, this is what I did!
The calm spot
Yesterday I bought lots of exciting goodies which I popped in a new bag. The bag contained items I felt might help her feel calm, safe and distract her. There was a squeezy ball, a fidget spinner and a fidget ring, a bendy snake thing, a mirror (not glass) and a really soft owl. I didn't get anything that was either easy to break or would cause damage if thrown)
I introduced the bag to her by taking her to a little corner in my wardrobe and telling her that when we send her to time out it isn't because we are cross with her but to help her calm down. I followed by telling her that I could see how upsetting her being cross was for her and thought maybe, instead of a time out she could have a clam down place, somewhere special for her to hide and calm herself down.
So, keen on this idea she helped me decorate the space and get it all ready. She has cushions and a blanket to lie on, fairy lights on the ceiling and we hung the mirror up so she can see her face and check if she looks calm or not.
I also thought I would get her some ear muffs as sound sometimes bothers her as well as something to blow. I wondered about the traditional whoopy cushions but they are full of foam now and self inflate! (why? well taking deep breaths is a good way to try to calm down and I thought by inflating a whoopy cushion she would need deep breaths and then there is a payoff of sitting on it and making a funny noise!)
Well so far she has been to her calm spot twice and I have to say she has enjoyed her space. Fingers crossed it helps her. Will keep you up to date!
Do you have any tantrum related good tips?
Next post will be something crafty but really wanted to share this with you. If you got to the end congratulations... sorry it was a bit wordier than usual!