Tag Archives: Tantrums

Learning to be a Respectful Parent

It took 18 months of parenting before I realised I was on a dangerously downward spiralling path with my children, pushing them further away and slowly undermining their sense of confidence in themselves and trust in me. As I read more and more about the RIE philosophy, I made significant changes to my parenting approach to become a more respectful and reflective parent for my children. The changes subsequently seen in our household were instant and considerable. Suddenly parenting made more sense. I began really communicating with the girls and was able to slow down and enjoy so many more moments with them – yep even the hard ones! You can read more about my introduction to RIE here.

I began this blog just over six months ago with the hopes to inspire even just one person to become a more mindful and respectful parent as they take on one of life’s greatest roles. I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams that my little stories would be so well received and that people from all over the world would read them. I have learned so much about myself and my family along the way and feel blessed to be a part of such a supportive community both on the blog and through my Facebook page (Peaceful Parents, Confident Kids) I still continually find such strength and encouragement in talking to people about their own respectful parenting journey through these mediums.

If you are visiting for the first time, thank you for taking the time to pop by. My name is Kate and I am a mother of two beautiful toddlers 13 months apart in age. These two munchkins feature heavily in my posts as they are my inspiration and my guides as I negotiate the twists and turns of the Lucy and Penny roller coaster.

I have put together some of my favourite posts here if you wanted to read a little more about some of our stories.

Caring for Emotions

Intense Emotions - Peaceful Parents, Confident Kids

When Extreme Emotions Take Over a Toddler

I have a Daughter With Intense Emotions

Coping With a Toddler’s Emotional Outbursts

Damage Limitation Following a Parental Meltdown


Emotions ~ Peaceful Parents, Confident Kids

Coping With a Limit Tester

Punitive vs Nurturing Discipline

‘That’s Too Loud, Mummy!’

Could NOT Forcing a Toddler to Share Help With Sharing Conflicts?

The Secrets to Successfully Sportscasting my Children’s Struggles

Confidence and Natural Development

Confidence ~ Peaceful Parents, Confident Kids

Rebuilding a Child’s Confidence

Can Young Children be Better Served by Not Teaching Them?

Allowing Children to Play For Their Age and Stage

The Joy of Natural Development



Changing The Change Table Relationship

How RIE helped Diagnose a Potentially Serious Condition in Our Baby


Play ~ Peaceful Parents, Confident Kids

What’s in a Toy?

Taming the Toys

Our Weekly Play Series (Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7)

Increasing Attention Span in Toddlers Through Purposeful Play

Using Provocations to Extend an Interest

Coping With a Toddler’s Emotional Outbursts: Acknowledging Emotions

I have previously written about the toll that extreme emotion can take on a child and how it seems an insurmountable challenge to bring back a bright, happy toddler once they have been gripped by such emotion. In that post I described sitting patiently with my daughter whilst she screamed seemingly endlessly before finally ridding herself of the emotion that was enveloping her.

Using RIE guiding principles such as acknowledging emotions and sportscasting  we have supported her through countless emotional outbursts. But what I am now realising is that there is a difference between acknowledging emotions in order to make them stop and truly accepting them in order to find true connection; letting a child know they really are being heard and understood.

Coping With an Emotional Child ~ Peaceful parents, Confident Kids Continue reading

When Extreme Emotions Take Over a Toddler

Beyond the newborn stage, Lucy (2) has never been a great sleeper during the day. She gave up her 2nd day sleep well before the age of one and has been fighting her now one day sleep since about 18 months of age. When I do manage to get her to sleep, she sleeps like a log and it is not uncommon for her to have up to three hours of sleep. If her sleep gets cut short; however, Lucy wakes up like a bear with a sore head! Today was one of those days. We had been out to lunch with her cousins and so, after running around like crazy all afternoon, she fell asleep in the car on the way home. We transferred her successfully into her cot where she continued sleeping peacefully.

After about 45 minutes, something woke her up and she immediately started crying. Thus began an afternoon with a very upset toddler. We tried everything to calm her down. I held her for what seemed like an eternity to allow her time to cry and express some much needed emotion. I sat with her  calmly as she would lash out between sobs. I gently asked her to tell me how I could help. It seemed she just could not get it together enough to let me know what was wrong. Fast forward over an hour and Lucy was still extremely fragile. If I said the wrong thing, went to the wrong room, gave her the wrong drink bottle, or tried to move away from where she was, she would lose it. It was getting late and approaching bath and dinner time. My anxiety levels were rising as I knew this was going to be a potentially difficult time for all of us. I knew, though, that I could not let this anxiety show. Lucy needed me to be a rock for her during this tough time. If I could not cope, how could I expect her to cope? I had to stay calm and unphased to show her that even when things hit rock bottom, I would be there for her and love her unconditionally.

Now, when things are going pear shaped with the kids, painting is not normally something I would recommend or indeed try myself but when I asked Lucy what she would like to do, she spotted a paint brush out of the corner of her eye and cried out ‘painting, *sob, sob’. Funnily enough, a friend of mine had sent me a message a week or so ago showing me this great idea for doing painting in the bath tub. So I decided that I would go with it and much to Lucy’s delight I said ‘Yes, lets do some painting’.

Well, you should have seen her little face light up. I think I even heard her exclaim ‘Yippee!’ We collected the paint brushes from the cupboard, found my stash of shaving cream, pulled out the old muffin tin from amongst the baking trays and located all my food colours hiding in the pantry. Lucy could hardly contain her excitement as I carefully filled each muffin hole with shaving foam and then dropped some food colour on top of each one. She called out the colours as I dropped each one in and then watched with amazement as I dropped a little bit of yellow onto the blue dye, making it turn green.


Gone were the dark clouds that had shadowed her afternoon, Lucy was now chomping at the bit to get into her bath. She climbed in with her paintbrush at the ready and engaged in some tongue-out design work all over the bath tub and surrounding tiles. At the end of it, it all easily washed down the drain and I was so surprised at what we had achieved.



In the face of what seemed to be a winless battle, I had held my nerve, stayed present with my little girl when she was in need of help and turned our evening from one of screaming and sobbing to one of joy and laughter. I am once again indebted to Janet Lansbury  and RIE for teaching me that my children look to me for guidance in their times of trouble. Where, in the past I might have carried a screaming child into the bath for a quick bath and then straight to bed; tonight I feel I connected with my daughter at a deep level that only a parent can. Throughout her hours of feeling extreme forms of emotion, I showed her that my love for her is unconditional and that it is ok to feel sad, angry and frustrated at times.

When we finally carried Lucy to bed tonight, she was relaxed and happy and rolled over in her cot after our whisperings of ‘good night, We love you’ and we are now hopeful she will sleep peacefully until morning.

Yes, Kate from An Everyday Story, sometimes good things happen when you say ‘Yes!’