After having a crappy day myself and shutting myself in the bedroom because I was ready to scream at everyone and throw whatever I could find out the window, I had to write this. So… how many of these can you relate to?
When I’m tired, I get really crabby and snap at people.
When I’m hungry, I get angry and can yell at those I love.
When things aren’t going the way I need them to go (for important things especially), I get angry at those around me (irrationally).
When I’m having a great time, I can be way too loud, regardless of where I am.
When I’m sad, sometimes I need comfort, but sometimes I need to be alone for a bit.
When I’m working on something I love and having fun, I get pissed if I have to stop all of a sudden without warning.
When I’m frustrated, I need some time to calm down before I’m civil again.
When I’m hungry, I am incredibly short-tempered.
When I am working on something and want to succeed myself, even if I’m failing over and over, I get pissed when people try to help without asking.
When I’m tired, I don’t always listen to what other people are saying to me.
When I really want to do something, I will get upset if I can’t do it at that moment and may even cry.
In short, sometimes I’m really no fun to be around, but luckily those around me have learned to give me my space and time to cool off. Or to read the hunger cues and shove food in my face. Or just accept that I’m crabby without giving me grief. I hope you get the same considerations, because not all people do.
I bet you that your toddler can relate to every single item on this list. And far too often we yell at them for the behaviour or get angry with them, making the situation worse.
Your toddler has all these emotions and yet a fraction of the capacity to handle them. Your toddler’s prefrontal cortex is so far from developed (it won’t be fully “mature” for about 20 years) that they require all the help they can get to manage these overwhelming emotions.
Shouldn’t we give them the same consideration we would hope for ourselves when overwhelmed? Shouldn’t we help the identify their feelings, give them the space or support they need, and make sure they don’t feel as if they’re “bad” for being human? Help them manage and learn about their emotions so they can better cope next time? As hard as it can be for us, it’s even harder for them. Please remember that.