If you are currently on the cusp of – or living through – the toddler years, you are going to want to add this phrase to your everyday vocabulary.
Are you ready? It is pretty simple:
It may sound simplistic, but the truth is, toddlers are often just learning to express themselves and according to a speech therapist, the process of uncovering language skills can cause frustration, both for parent and child.
If a toddler or young child is struggling trying to find the word or keeps saying the wrong one (or none at all), they can sense if you are getting impatient or frustrated with them, which can often spur on their own frustration. And this, of course, can end up resulting in tears and tantrums.
And the more you don’t understand what they are trying to say, the more worked up they become.
And so, instead, try asking them to show you.
This, according to the therapist, can work as a tantrum diffuser.
First of all, it’s a statement instead of a question and is a kinder way of putting the onus on them to demonstrate their need when they can’t yet find or express the right words.
Secondly, asking them to show you instead of telling you, it eliminates a back-and-forth that can lead to exasperation. Instead, your little one will (hopefully) be able to point to or simply walk over to the thing in question, and show you what he means.
And sure look – I am not saying it will diffuse every temper tantrum – lord knows there is no magic pill for that. But it might help you in some situations – and as a mum who has lived through the toddler years x 2, I will take that as a win regardless.