Monday, June 21, 2010

helping a toddler cope with stress

The past year has been full of transitions for Luca and I’ve picked up on a pattern of dealing with stressful things which leads me to wonder about how to best help him when he is undergoing something difficult in his life. Here is a list of the events that led me to identify the pattern:

- Andre was born: Luca did not recognize his existence for at least 6 months

- Pre-school started: Luca did not talk about what he did in school, nor answer our questions about it, not during the entire school year

- Alain went on a two week trip: Luca did not ask about him

- Luca’s grandmother passed away: Luca has not asked about her. Further, when I point to her picture he does not name her

- Luca’s pre-school assistant was replaced: same as above

Hmmm, this sounds like someone I know very well and that person is me. I tend not to talk about the most stressful things in my life but can talk freely about normal stress. How do I support his transitions, and help him to cope and process his feelings? It sounds like I need to do a little work on myself, and also lean on Alain to help on this one.

Moms, do you have strategies you can share?


  1. A friend shared that she sometimes will write a short story and put a few pictures in it to create a story to read at bed time. I hope this helps!

  2. Just talking about things with him, even if he does not talk back or it seems like he's not listening, works really well. They DO listen!

  3. Kids are sponges aren't they? I notice that my youngest daughter is so much like me when it comes to stressful situations. I agree with the above commenter - talking really helps, especially after something traumatic like the loss of a loved one. We always talk with our kids about everything, whether they want to or not. It really does make a big difference in how children cope and adjust to situations and stress. Just make it age appropriate, that's what we do at home. We never hide things from our children, and do our best to express things with them on a level that they will understand.

    Peace. :)

  4. Thank you for these helpful suggestions. I'll be sure to work on this.

  5. I would choose books to read that discussed the issues you want discussed - via the books. One of my sons is a "stuffer" - he stuffs his emotions (he's really the nicest of the bunch) - but when he was 11, we said it was the year he was to make his feeling and needs known - and we talked about how to do that. Sometimes our children need coaching to bring other things out. When my FIL died - no talked my sons talked about it, but we talked about it around them. Whenever I'm really unsure about my children's behavior, I go to Psalm 139, read it about my child - and put it in God's hands because God put it in them! It is hard to be patient with the first child - but there are beautiful things within your children that grow and bloom at different times - and sometimes being patient about who they are is the most beautiful gift of all:)

  6. Thank you bluecottonmemory. Your words are so helpful. I went online and ordered a couple of books that are age appropriate. Your children are lucky to have you!

  7. I have a 2 year old son who is learning to deal with the stress of divorce and his dad not being in his life much anymore. I don't have any experience in helping a child through this and it's been a learning experience for me too. I agree with bluecottonmemory - Psalm 139 is very special to us too. That and Psalm 91 - resting in the Shelter of the Most High.

    Found your blog through LBS - new follower!