As an Aware Parenting instructor I am often in sessions explaining to parents the difference between big feelings and what our mainstream culture calls Tantrums.

This is a word I truly dislike, and I do feel like it does a huge disservice to our beautiful children. In older parenting paradigms a tantrum was used to describe our children as:
– Trying to manipulate you
– They would need to be punished or bribed to get them to stop
– We were told as parents to send them to ‘time out’ and leave them on their own to learn to “self-regulate” their emotions.
– Just ignore them, or it will keep happening repeatedly.

What children who experience any of the above began to release is that if they behave in these ways, the person they love and adore most in the world will take their love away from them. This teaches them not to “regulate” their emotions, but rather to suppress their feelings because they are not safe to share these with their parent.

What if we could instead rename these tantrums and call them a ‘release of big feelings’. That in this moment your baby, toddler, or child is not trying to manipulate you or make your life hard, but is rather releasing their feelings in the most natural way their bodies knows how. Crying is healing.

What if instead we saw these big feelings as:

– A powerful way to move feelings through their bodies and allowing them to come back into balance.
– A natural way to release accumulated stress, feelings, and trauma through the body.
– Crying is the biggest and profound healing tool children have to come back into their centre again.
– Children can’t verbalise and share what they are feeling, and this is a healthy way for them to be able to express this.

By listening to their feelings we can hold space for our children (more on this in future newsletters, so stay tuned!) and they learn that all of their feelings are welcome, that they are loved unconditionally no matter how they show up! The more we can see this new way of viewing our children, the easier it becomes – as they can bring all parts of themselves that need to be heard and held. If you feel you need more guidance with this, or any other Aware and Connected Parenting support – I am available Thursday mornings at Village Birth Wellness for in person sessions.

Blessings on your parenting journey…

Danni Willow – Aware parenting Practitioner & Mother Circle Space Holder