Right now, we are smack in-the-middle-of-the-twos...except that my daughter is about to turn 18 months. Loads of tantrums. Loads of frustration. CONSTANTLY.
One thing I have been really working on with my kiddo is teaching her how to stop and take a few breaths when she is upset.
A month ago, I started by calmly walking over to her when she had thrown herself on ground and started thrashing and screaming. I would kneel down by her and gently place my hands on her chest and say, "take a deep breath, my Love, take a deep breath." I would then take 4 or 5 deep breaths to show her how it was done. It would take 10 seconds or so for her to listen, take some deep breaths and to calm down. I did this "every time she had a tantrum" (which some mornings was like once every 10 minutes).
It didn't take long for her to grasp the concept. Now, when I see a tantrum about to erupt, I say, "okay, take some deep breaths." And, she does immediately. Frequently, we are able to nip that tantrum in the bud. She is able to remain calm and communicate with me what is frustrating her.
It's awe-inspiring seeing this little person take control of her feelings and learn how to find a little Inner Calmness.
I have also found that I am having more patience throughout the day - because I am pausing and taking more deep breaths.....when I am about to have my own melt-down. It's so simple, yet, so easy to forget to do.
When I am about to lose it, I tell her, "Mommy, is very frustrated right now and needs to sit down and take some deep breaths." Knowing she is watching my every move makes me more committed to staying calm and focusing on my breath.
Our days are much more peaceful (for now). And, I am very, very grateful.