When I was teacher who supported student teachers to learn about child development I often watched how the new teachers would interact with the children.
Overtime, I noticed a pattern in teachers that would be able to have their students have less tantrums more often then others and I watched to see the difference.
What I noticed is that teachers who were *with* the children, in play and in their struggles often had less tantrums and kids needed less redirecting. But teachers who were just there observing’s kids often needed more support.
What I learned from this is that it is not enough to just “be there” as a caregiver. You must be with the child.
What being with looks like is: Tracking their child led play, participating in play, being silly, asking questions, challenging them, enjoying playing, enjoying learning with them.
What being there may look like: watching kids play but not engaging
not following child led play
not active listening to their ideas
So I dare you this week to be a lil silly, try to get on your child’s level and straight up play like you were 5 again. Be the full on sparkle mermaid and go all in. You will feel more connected with your child and you will be able to better anticipate a challenge to help work through it without a tantrum!