Big Little Feelings Parenting Technique Isn’t Realistic For Me

I am a mother of a toddler who tests me every day. I want to take the Big Little Feelings approach to parenting, but sometimes I find it so hard. I’d love to be the parent who stays calm during stressful times, but I’m just not. Loading Something is loading.

Shouting “I said NO!” on your toddler is definitely wrong, according to the über-popular Instagram account Big Little Feelings. In a recent post, the account featured an image that instead advised saying, “I took it to keep you safe. It’s okay to be mad or sad at me.”

I immediately shared the post with my mom friends when I first saw it. It makes me feel good – like I’m a great mom who can be calm and composed in any situation. But the truth is, it’s all a lot of virtue signaling.

In reality, I find it impossible to keep my cool in tense parenting situations as founders Deena and Kristin advise with their soothing voices. While I wish I could follow my son’s great feelings and lead him through the world more calmly, it’s just an unrealistic approach for me.

I often find myself saying ‘no’

When my toddler reaches for my coffee cup, I yell “NO!” because I don’t want to pick shattered china from his bleeding foot during the morning rush. If he touches the cat gently and suddenly pulls his tail, I yell “NO!” because I don’t want him to get hurt if our cat decides to defend itself. If my toddler looks over the edge of the highest part of the playground, instead of going down the slide where I’m waiting for him, I yell “NO!” because a misstep could make him fall long before I can get to him.

I’m not against my son learning the natural consequences of his actions, but I also don’t want him to get hurt, which is why it’s so hard to stay calm in these situations.

I recently remembered the In The Heat of the Moment episode of the “Hidden Brain” podcast, which explained why we can make rational decisions and plans when we’re feeling “cool” but will do the opposite when we’re in the midst of it. a fear or anger – also known as a “hot” state. This episode sums up why I might read the advice on Big Little Feelings’ Instagram account and think, “Yeah, that’s a great idea. I’ll keep calm and say that next time,” but end up panicking and screaming : “NO!” at the moment.

Mind you, I like their advice.

I wish I could follow their advice

I’d like to be the kind of parent who can follow all the best advice on the internet, who can stay calm when my toddler does something he shouldn’t. I would like to be someone who can take their advice to acknowledge what he is doing, then calmly set a boundary and then validate his feelings about it.

Some days I’m that parent. But most days their advice is just unrealistic.

I don’t know about other parents, but if I see my toddler doing something unsafe, I quickly jump in and prevent him from hurting himself. I don’t know if it’s a mother bear instinct or just proof that I’m too reactionary for my own good, but I don’t recall ever being able to give him a warning and then create a “quick, calm frontier.”

There is often simply not enough time between noticing the uh-oh activity and taking action to prevent unavoidable disasters.

Remembering that I am the “calm, confident leader” of my house is the last thing on my mind in these stressful moments.

I don’t think this makes me a bad mother. Like any parent trying to keep up with their rambunctious toddlers while living in a global pandemic, I’m doing my best. And some days it’s best to say “NO!” shout. instead of following unrealistic advice I found on the internet.

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