I have an 18 month old and one of our biggest current struggles is something that I'm not sure ever really goes away.
For me and Wiley Jo, our days kind of look like this: she is "screaming" at me all day to try and communicate what she needs, wants, where she wants to go, what she wants to do and I'm stuck in the hard place of trying to figure it out. She thinks she's communicating clearly and yet, most times I'm in the dark. Most of her words haven't developed and the same thing she says "no" to, she also says "yes". It has been causing a lot of frustration for us both and creating harder days.
Her goal is communicating and my goal is understanding which is really hard to do when you don't "speak the same language" yet. Frustration levels rise and I feel so bad but I'm also upset and most of the time just want to go into another room. But what does that solve? If you've ever been in these situations or if you have similar situations on your horizon with your little one, I have some encouragement.
Bend down, put your hands on their waist, look them in the eyes, and in a soft voice ask, "what can mama help you with? will you show mama what you want? will you take my hand and show me? can you point to the toy you want to play with?". With these small actions, I'm getting on her level, putting everything down to really hear her, and we can both feel the frustration start to subside. I am intentionally connecting with her so I can better understand her and that is what she needs.
Mama, next time you are in a situation where you're feeling the aggravation, frustration, and heart beats rising, I encourage to change the atmosphere to one of connection. Eye contact, physical touch, and a soft controlled voice and you have completely changed the situation around. You are an atmosphere changer, a leader, and a mama with a good heart. I encourage you to choose connection because in the end, it's what us and our babies need.