“I want the Walkie Talkie!”
The cry was a heart-broken plea, at a deafening volume.
My 4-year-old mindee was flat out on the floor beside me, where I had sat down to explain it was time to tidy up before I took her home. She was sad, cross, indignant, and desperate for the toy. She had been playing with the walkie talkie on and off all day, and loving it. But at the time when I reminded her we had to tidy the toys, she had merely grabbed it off the floor in an attempt to prolong the playtime and hold off tidying up.
Crying and tantrums are my bread and butter as a childminder, and I used to consider it the negative side of working with children. Whilst I don’t relish it, I now see it as the most important part of my job.
Helping children when emotions overwhelm them, partnering with them when things feel hard. It now feels like an honour to listen to them and hold in my heart that they are good and that they are doing what they need to do to be able to think, learn, cooperate and love.
The deep crying had begun when I placed my hand over the walkie talkie and said again, we were to tidy up. She cried and cried, and I listened, occasionally reminding her she could play with the walkie talkie when we’d finished tidying upstairs. And then I listened some more. After 5 minutes of crying she started giggling as she pretended to reach clumsily for the walkie talkie, and we played a clownish game as she clambered over me. Then we finished tidying together.
Knowing what is happening when a child has a tantrum is so helpful. Knowing that the tools you are using are benefiting your child is so helpful and making space to explore what is going on for us when our child is crying or tantruming is invaluable.
When we got downstairs, having tidied away, I lightly said “Here’s the walkie talkie Darling, you can play whilst I get ready to take you home” I lay the toys on the floor, where they remained, untouched, as she cheerfully chose something else to occupy her.
When we got to her house she affectionately gave me a cuddle and said goodbye. Our connection still good, our bond strengthened.
If you are unsure what to do when your child cries or has a tantrum and would like to feel more confident in how you respond to them, or you would like support around the feelings that come up for you when your child is upset the Tears and Tantrum 3-week class might help.
Myself and Tom Anderson would love to have you with us.
Starting Monday 19th April @ 8pm (GMT) or Friday 23rd April 10am (GMT)
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details and to book your place.