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Validating A 3 Year Old's Feelings

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
So I'm reading "Raising Our Children Raising Ourselves" and the author talks alot about validating the child's feelings. I agree and this seems to help with dd. How do I do that when she is just crying her eyes out? For example she wanted to eat her snack on the floor today and I told her that she needed to eat at the table. (The floors just got washed today and I would like them to stay clean plus I want her at the table to keep ds from coming to take her food) She was so upset and I was trying to talk to her and validate her feelings but she was screaming so loud that i don't think that she could even really hear me. Any ideas?
post #2 of 6
I'm reading the same book! I would just let her scream a little bit to get some of the anger/frustration out and stay as near as she will let you. Sometimes kids need a little emotional release before they can hear anything we say. I think of it as blowing off steam.
post #3 of 6
Sometimes I hold him or sit near him and just talk in a low monotone voice -- repeating back to him phrases he uses "mommy, I'm frustrated. I am so mad at ... " even in the midst of the tornado. "You have very big feelings. It is hard to control them sometimes. You are so mad at ... You are very frustrated." Even if he isn't hearing every word, it seems to be calming to him. And sometimes he'll stop and agree with me -- yes, mommy, I really am mad. And once he lets that calm come in, we can talk about it in more of a dialogue.
post #4 of 6
Sometimes when there is no real way to give her what she wants I just say "I know you're disappointed, because you wanted to do xyz, but...".
post #5 of 6
A few times this has happened with my son and and imitated his temper and stomp my feet and say loudly, "You want to eat off the floor, you want to eat off the floor!!!! You are MAD!" This gets his attention and I can then hug him.... Harvey Karp's book for toddlers outlines this.......the book has a lot of great ideas except it's not strong on cosleeping.......not against it just confuses me since his whole thing is based on kids being little cave kids - and it's not like cave kids slept in another cave!!!!!
post #6 of 6
Have you gotten to the bit yet where Aldort talks about when verbally validating hurts? She points out that you can silently validate a child, just be present for them. You don't necessarily have to provide verbal validation or physical contact. I found that to be very reassuring, because my mid-tantrum 3 y/o will scream at me "NO!! I'm NOT angry!!!" (or frustrated, or sad, or scared, or whatever).

You didn't ask for suggestions about the floor scenario but I thought I'd offer one anyway...do you have a splash mat? My boys often like to "picnic" in the living room and I don't like the mess that usually comes with it, but we can compromise by putting a mat down on the floor, and they eat on that. (Our splash mat is a coated cloth from Mimi the Sardine)
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