Often times we as adults operate on our own timelines oblivious to our children’s internal clocks. We are fixated on what comes next in our schedule. Sometimes, we end up disregarding where our children are at. For instance asking them to abruptly get up and finish their meal while they are busy building Legos or watching their favorite TV show can often lead to an outburst of emotions. Such quick changes in activities can be very disruptive for them. Things can get escalated to a power struggle if we hold our ground in that very moment.
Letting children transition smoothly between activities by setting timers and giving them reminders helps them wean themselves from the task at hand and switch focus to the next activity. If uprooted abruptly from their current task, children react just the way we adults would if it were to happen to us. What really helps me understand my toddler’s emotional reactions is asking myself how I would feel if the same was done or said to me. This makes me more mindful of everyone’s feelings without undermining them.