Have you noticed how beautiful a family portrait appears with a baby beaming away at the lens? Those are memories for keeps.

But boy, do we know how much the photographer had to dig into his bag of tricks to get the baby to give the cutest grin ever for the shot! If luck has your back, they are naturally exhibiting a cheerful disposition and the photographer has it easy. But we all know they get cranky at some point for no particular reason.

Children, especially toddlers, cannot be blamed. It is simply their inability to express what’s going on with them.

On the other end of the spectrum, it’s just how continually excited they might be, while you’ve probably had a long day and cannot match up to their energy and enthusiasm. And that is precisely when anger sets in.

Here are a few tips that can help you along the way.

Self Care – Know that you need to be in the best of your health and this includes self-care. Remember the safety instructions on a flight when the oxygen levels dip? “Wear your mask first before you fix it on your child”.

Turn off the Wi-fi. Find time in a day to relax, meditate, exercise, read a few lines from your favourite book, quieten the mind. Ensure your food has enough nutrition and you do not feel depleted. Schedule a health check-up at regular intervals.

A strong and quiet mind is focused and takes up challenges effortlessly. A healthy body develops the ability to execute tasks with ease and precision.

Who is your team?

The famous African proverb is a fine recollection at this point.

“It takes a village to raise a child”

A loving community is important for your baby to blossom. Let’s look at this square in the eye – who comprises your team? Here are a few people to consider. your spouse or a nanny. It does not matter if you are a homemaker, a working parent, single parent, or a parent living in a nuclear or joint family. You need to have a couple of hours in a day for yourself, with nothing to do but relax. Self-care cannot happen if you do not entrust your child to a responsible adult while you take that breather. Your pediatrician or nurse, a relative who chips in with love and attention, a school teacher who is helping your toddler discover the world are all part of a growing team. Make sure they are the positive influencers you can count on and the way you ensure that is by taking care of this team as well. You don’t have to go out of your way to do that, small acts of care or concern go a long way.

Are you still a child yourself?

A child’s formative years are the most influential in who they become as adults. A big part of this lies in decision making. If you are a stubborn child hiding behind the façade of an adult, you’ll see yourself pouncing into everything that requires space and reflection. Observe your child to understand where she’s coming from. Build reasoning from a very tiny age.

Children are more capable than we think. Engage them and provide enough information for clarity and decision-making. Sometimes it works and sometimes it may not and that’s perfectly fine.

Surprise the doctor with some flowers or the nanny with a bonus and some chocolates for a job well done.

Do you catch yourself saying ‘no’ too often? Is it because you’ve had a tough day at work or its easier to silence than deal with the situation at hand, too tired? There are a plethora of reasons you can give. But remember that the child has no idea how your day went or how tough your adult life is. The umbrella is tiny, requiring focus to protect from the showers, be it rain or anger and impatience.

If you’re unable to deal with reason, love and understanding, you’ve let the stubborn child within take the reins.

Keep anger at bay and engage the child creatively instead. Try useful ways to distract from the obvious problem at hand. If you ever run out of inspiration, visualise a bountiful tree that grows from a sapling, with careful love and nurture. Need we say more? Happy parenting!

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