I wanted to write about this particular experience that I had with calming Zayd’s tantrum recently. He was having an epic tantrum as he usually had when he woke up after Asr’ or near Maghrib. When he is in this mood, every little things can set him off. And normally, by the end of the day – I too have lost most of my energy and became impatient with him. But that day I decided to do things differently.
I watched as his little body shook and tremble with his tantrum. I realised that he is not in control of himself and he might actually be afraid of the intensity of his emotion. So instead of normally getting impatient and asking him to stop – I just sit down and be there for him while verbalising what I thought is happening to him.
“Zayd can’t stop crying is it..”
“You want to stop but you can’t..”
“I know it’s hard sometimes to stop crying when we are in the middle of it..”
And I picked him up and do the distraction technique by trying to count how many taxi are zooming by in front of the house. We managed to count until 10 and he seems to calm down after a bit.
And then I want to do the normal thing I did which is to ask him to take his bath, but he refused and he started to cry again. At this point, normally I will be impatient again. But that day I decided to just sit and be with him. So I said, “Ok Zayd, just sit down calmly with mummy first and when you are ready you can tell mummy when you are ready to mandi”
He calmed down again, and nodded quietly while hugging me.
After a while, I can sense that he became calmer and he said ‘Ok, mummy Zayd dah ready nak mandi”
And his mood completely changed and he became so much happier and calmer.
It made me realised that sometimes all it takes is for me to be a little bit more patient, understanding and empathetic with him. I realised his emotions are getting stronger as he grow up and I am sure sometimes it’s hard for him to control it. Even us as adults had trouble controlling our emotion sometimes, and we had years and years of practice! I realised in his toddler years I need to be more of a guidance and mentor to him in learning and managing his emotions. I need also to let him know that it is safe for him to express his emotions with me.
I also learnt that sometimes we parents forget that as little as they are – they are a person and they had their own wishes and wants. And when we honour and acknowledge that they became more secure in their relationship with us.
I am grateful for this learning experience that Allah gave me. My years with Zayd is getting more and more interesting! 🙂