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I'm Avital.

You want a present, peaceful and playful family life? I'm here to help you make that a reality.

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Handling Tantrums Like a Pro with Dr. Laura Markham

I LOVE tantrums.

Crazy, right?

Wanna know why?

Because tantrums are kids’ (and often adults’) very clear way of saying:

“STOP THE BUS! I need to get off!”

It’s such a helpful, clear cut reminder that our child’s needs are somehow not being met: their need for food, drink, sleep or connection. When seen in this way, tantrums become our friends.

We can secretly thank the tantrum fairy “Ooooh, thanks for the (crying, screaming, arm flailing) sticky note… I totally get now that my child needs x, y or z. Lucky me that you, dear tantrum fairy, are here to cover my derrière.”

OK, I get it, tantrums are my friend and emotional health co-conspirator… but what about when my 4 year old has cemented herself as a permanent fixture of the Trader Joe’s cereal aisle, and is giving everyone something to look at (or should we say, listen to)?

Watch my Oscar-worthy 3-year-old performance of 2 types of major MELT DOWNS and see how Dr. Laura Markham handles it like the pro that she is! We can all take a few leafs out of her book!

Spoiler alert: she doesn’t do much talking.

This one is a little longer than we usually do but it’s worth watching until the end. You’ll see two different ways of handling a whiny melt down or a full blown tantrum, and you’ll hear Dr. Laura’s helpful insights about fight, flight or freeze mode.

What is your approach to tantrums?

This blog post is sponsored by Peaceful Tantrums – The Parenting Junkie’s Guide to Managing the WORST Tantrums without punishing, yelling, bribing or counting to 3…



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Remember that Messy Zone you "popped up" last week?

Now's the time to take it for a test drive! (First, make sure you're in the "mood" for a Messy Strew - mmkay?)

The idea is to leave out a "play prompt" or invitation - in this case, with some sensory play or some crafting materials.

The Messy Zone provides a place that's contained and easy to clean.

The benefits of this type of tactile exploration are many:

🌈 First of all, children develop their fine motor skills as they apply their hands with dexterity - allowing sand to escape between their fingers, pressing play dough into the shape they desire, or gliding a paintbrush over the paper.

🌈 Sensory play is where children discover chemistry, physics and advance their vocabulary - differentiating between wet and dry, hard and soft, smooth and bumpy.

🌈 And they notice what happens to materials and objects as they're transformed, mixed, squished, and poured.

🌈 Finally, sensory play is highly soothing and usually engages kids for a long time!

Now, go! Put that pop-up messy zone to use and try your hand at inspiring play today with a messy strew.

Fair warning: they might not bite. But that's okay too! This is a light, fun, experiemental activity that you can learn to use to support your unique child - stay curious, watch and notice.

Share a picture of your strew in your stories, tagging @parentingjunkie - I can't wait to see!

#reclaimplay #messyzone #messyplay #messyplayideas #messyplaytime #messyplayathome #sensoryplay #sensoryplayideas #playprompt #strewpro #strewing #strewingforthewin #kitchenstrew #presentplay #playinvitation #playinvitations #playinvite #invitationtoplay #independentplay #playisimportant #playisenough #playistheworkofchildhood #playisfun

Imagine that instead of brushing your kid’s teeth every day, you decided to wait until they’re 16. ⁣

The side effects of this choice would be…⁣
😝 Bad breath⁣
😬 Plaque build-up and discoloration⁣
🦷 Toothaches and cavities… ⁣
and eventually, BIG $$$$$ at the dentist for treatment.⁣

Of course, this is not a good plan!⁣

I'm going to assume you would rather create a small, manageable daily habit that invests in our child’s oral hygiene to last a lifetime.⁣

Because we know: ⁣
It might be a pain to get started and stay consistent, but over the long haul, it will save you so much pain, $$$, and grossness.🤢⁣

And it's the same with, independence.⁣

If you invest a little bit in your child’s independent play right now - taking small, manageable steps every day to maintain and establish healthy habits - you will reap the benefits over time.⁣

A tough-love moment here - it’s not realistic to wait until your child is 16 and then suddenly expect them to be independent enough to drive or get their first job or figure out a plan for the summer.⁣

These are skills you’ve got to build slowly and gradually.⁣

It’s also not desirable to spend the next decade suffering through burnout, exhaustion, clinginess - because you’re not making the little investment that it takes to establish healthy independent play habits (just as it’s not awesome to endure cavities, toothache, and bad breath for years - rather than invest in establishing healthy brushing habits early on).⁣

So I guess my message is: Don’t wait with this. ⁣
When we neglect our child’s need for independence - it gets worse, not better.⁣

But when you take the time to follow along with the small, daily, doable actions that are outlined in the Reclaim Play Challenge - it will pay off in spades years later! ⁣

That’s why you’re here.⁣

You can do this. 💪⁣

It’s SO worth it. The small actions you’re taking now are going to pay back dividends... forever.⁣

Reclaim Play is all unlocked! Link in bio

We're kicking off Week 3 "Inspire" with a set of #StrewPro challenges!

So, what is a strew? It's simply leaving out toys, books, activities, or objects in a new and inviting way. Silently waiting for your kid to "discover" them and maybe - just maybe - to bite into independent play.

Did you know there are a myriad of "toys" in your home, strews waiting to be formed right under your nose?

Today, I want you to head to your KITCHEN and find things that your kid might take interest in...

Nesting bowls
Measuring cups
Wooden spoons

There's literally so many options and combinations to explore!

Try putting them out on a tray or somewhere that is not the kitchen. If you're feeling brave you can get really fancy and add in some water, slime, or dry beans (only do this if you're happy to clean it all up later).

There's really only ONE rule to becoming a Strew Pro:
Don't tell your child to play with it, don't tell them how to, in fact - you might kinda ignore it all together and just watch what happens.

Go! Grab a few items and arrange your first strew... take a 📸 picture of it and share with me @parentingjunkie in your instagram stories!

Welcome to the wonderful world of strewing, my friend!

#reclaimplay #strewpro #strewing #strewingforthewin #kitchenstrew #presentplay #playinvitation #playinvitations #playinvite #invitationtoplay #independentplay #playisimportant #playisenough #playistheworkofchildhood #playisfun

Can your child play independently for 30 minutes in a day?

This week you have done a lot of designing - you created a "pop-up" (a quick and scrappy) Imagination, Messy, Movement, Quiet, and Focus Zone. If you have a little one - you made a YES space for them.

Phew! 😅 Time to give yourself a pat on the back!

☕️Grab your hot drink, 📚your book, and a fluffy pillow because I'll bet my Lego collection you're going to be able to catch 30 minutes of play.

Remember everything you learned in week one:
🌈 Observe without interrupting!
🌈 Practice the "BRB" technique
🌈 Set up little "pop-up zones"

...and I believe you'll be able to catch your child playing for 30 minutes today and 10x the independent play in your home by the end of this week from when you started this challenge.

Now, I know you might be feeling like you're totally not "done" designing your zones - of course not!

Rome wasn't built in a day (or a week!)

In Present Play, we're going to dedicate the entire month of May to perfecting your zones. But this should set you on your way and whet your appetite for more design solutions.

When you catch those 30 mins (or more!) make sure to share it with us! Tag me in your stories @parentingjunkie

★ SIGN UP for the Challenge - link in bio!

#reclaimplay #playzone #playmatters #playspacedesign #independentplay #playistheworkofchildhood #playislearning #independentplaytime #mombreak #reclaimplaychallenge #playspace #intentionalparenting #simplicityparenting #childhooddesign #childdesign #presentplay #presentplaymovement

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One Reply to “TANTRUMS! Need I Say More?”

  1. 6:00 -8:30 Is so my son. He’s 7 years and I don’t know what to do. These things would work a few times only. I’ve tried this, he stops crying, talks to me and then again in 5-10 minutes he starts demanding .

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