News flash! Tiny humans can’t process emotions like “some” adults can! Imagine that! Our brand new human beings have bad days. They have melt downs. They have big emotions. They, however, cannot process them like you and I can.
On some level we, as adults, expect our tiny humans to process their emotions and behave in a respectable manner just like we do. This is totally and completely utter nonsense. Our children may not be able to communicate what they are feeling: tired, stressed, sick, depressed, overwhelmed, etc. and so they whine and cry and act out. This might also be known to some as “the terrible twos”. I refuse to use that to label my child because he is absolutely not terrible. He simply cannot work through what he is feeling. He doesn’t know how to communicate what he needs in a way to make me understand so he gets frustrated and cries. It would be like an adult, who only speaks English, to try and have a conversation with someone who speaks only mandarin or Arabic or what have you. You would probably get frustrated and cry.
Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
I do my best, and I have said this on many occasions, to get down on my little man’s level, look him in the eye and let him know that I am trying to understand. Yelling at him does nothing to help him. Spanking him for trying to communicate with me does nothing to help him. Asking him what he needs, asking simple questions, offerings love and patience will help him. Some might say this is coddling him or making him soft. I believe this is helping his communication efforts and showing him that I care for him. This may or may not work for every child but it works for mine.
When we as adults have bad days we do whatever we need to do to decompress. I like to just sit on the couch and watch a movie. Other people might need to go shopping, talk to a friend, have a drink, etc. you know what you need to decompress. Our children may not know what they need to decompress so they let their feelings out the best way that they know how and that is usually whining, acting out or crying. Today I had a bad day. I’m exhausted and wanted to do nothing but be a bum. My child was having a bad day too. He needed my complete attention for every little thing he did. As much as I wanted to scream at him to leave me alone I did what he needed in the moment. I played tractors with him. I held his toys. I gave him hugs and watched cartoons. Is it always like this? No! Everyone has bad days.
Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
When your child is going through something do your best to offer them grace in the circumstance. This moment will not last forever. Do not make a bad decision in a negative moment that you will regret for days to come. Be patient and kind and decompress at bed time. Tomorrow is a new day.