Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Recognizing the difference between Tantrums and Fears in Pre-schoolers

It feels nice to call Megha a pre-schooler. Gone are the days when I can refer to her as a baby and then a toddler. It never ceases to amaze me how fast they grow!

Coming to the point, of late I had been noticing that at times Megha tends to push the limits. For example, when I ask her to remove her wet shoes before stepping on the carpet, she would not. If I ask her to remove her jacket, she throws a fit saying that she even wants to wear her mitts, even though I would explained to her at least 10 times that its time for supper. While this behavior isnt often, it is there lurking underneath, threatening to come out at a moments notice. This is what is called terrible-threes.

The major change which had happened since we returned from India is that she refuses to go to bed on her own. Initially I stayed with her but I slowly wanted to get her back in her routine, I started leaving the room assuring her that I would be there if she wants. She continued crying for a few nights until we had a breakthrough when she expressed that she is afraid of the dark. I put the light on dimmer (even though her night-light is on) and that seemed to have taken care of the problem. It broke my heart to see her cry and of course I would put the light on, if she wants it. She really was afraid of the dark. I heard that all they talk in the daycare is about Halloween these days.

While putting the light and trusting her fears worked a few nights, we had a relapse when suddenly one day she switched the light on full and started playing. Anand at that point thought that she is not afraid of the dark after all. Luckily for us, I ended up sleeping along with her in her bed for the next few days until today and that really helped.

Tonight after our bedtime routine, I just kissed her good night (with only night light on) and she is sleeping like a baby without me there!
Kids depend so much on us. It only takes a little trust to trust them when they say something. More often than not, they would not lie.

So, it appears like a full fledged fear of darkness has turned into some naughtiness over a period of time. Had I not trusted her fear of darkness and left her to cry, I would forever think "what f she really was afraid". What if?

It truly helps to just listen and follow the cues given to us by these wee things. 

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