Our household is emerging from two weeks of my four-year-old having almost daily meltdowns and defying every single thing we say. It all came to a head on Saturday night when I felt on the verge of roaring in my daughter’s face like a wild beast. I removed myself from the situation so that that didn’t happen (although I did yell at her on a previous occasion), but it all felt awful. I was tired and done with the lot of it.

The following day I bought the book How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen: A survival guide to life with children ages 2–7 by Joanna Faber & Julie King.

I haven’t even made it through the first chapter yet (I’m only taking on tiny bits at a time because I need to read some fiction afterwards for my before bed escape into other worlds), but the very first thing in that chapter told me I’m reading exactly what I need to right now:

‘… we can’t “behave” right when we don’t “feel” right. And kids can’t behave right when they don’t feel right. If we don’t take care of their feelings first, we have little chance of engaging their cooperation’ — Joanna Faber

I might write more on this at a later stage, but for now this is the perfect reminder that the way kids behave is based on how they feel. They’re not trying to make our lives difficult or miserable just because.

Writer and editor. Writing about parenting, writing and life. Working on YA novel. Tea drinker. Book lover. Wife. Mother. https://melissajane.substack.com/

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