Hello, Gorgeous Soul.

When The Boss gets tired and clocks out, your inner toddler is free to run amok. That’s when she is most dangerous. So let’s talk about it. In this episode, I teach you how to recognize The Toddler, when and why she shows up, and what to do when your Toddler is on her rampage.

If you’ve ever had a toddler or been around a toddler, you have a pretty good idea about how this toddler brain shows up.

“I don’t waaaaaaaaannnnnaaaa do it”

“It’s too haaaaaaaaard”

“I just want a cookieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee”

The toddler often sounds whiny.

The toddler’s battle cry is WAHHHHHHHHH.

When I ask my clients a question or give them coaching and their response back is a little whiny or a little defiant, I know the toddler brain has taken the wheel.

The Toddler shows up because she’s TIRED. She’s TIRED of trying so hard to be good. Trying to be perfect. She’s tired of trying to do the right thing and not get in trouble by the boss. She can’t take it anymore. So she throws a tantrum.

And because the BOSS, like any boss, grows tired of being hyper vigilant all the time, the toddler takes control….the boss falls asleep (or maybe the toddler locks her in a room) and the toddler goes wild.

The toddler brain often does the things that are against the boss’s rules. Your boss is trying to vigilantly ENFORCE the rules keep you safe from criticism, judgement, being rejected, feeling embarrassed or shame or whatever, by giving you all the rules.

If the boss is the enforcer, then the TODDLER is the rule breaker. When you’re tired of doing the right thing, being good, what do you do?

Here’s how it often shows up:
Explosive emotions
Binge eating or emotional over eating.
Over drinking.
Shopping.
Starting fights
Doing things out of the ordinary…things you normally wouldn’t do
Acting childish

And for most people there is this constant back and forth between the boss and the toddler:

Be good then be bad.
Hold back then go wild.
Hold in then explode.

The boss tells you that you can’t eat carbs and you listen to that as long as you can until the toddler takes over and goes STRAIGHT for the cookies and bread.

The boss tells you that you have to hold in your anger and you do that as long as you can until the toddler takes over and you LOSE YOUR EVER LOVING SHIT over something small, like someone drinking your last Topo Chico.

It’s VERY much like a real toddler; that’s how you can easily recognize it.

Now next week I’ll talk about the teenager because the toddler and teenager are VERY similar, but a great way of telling the difference is by, when you’re having a bit of a tantrum, ask yourself “How old do I feel right now?”

Alright, so let’s talk about how to MANAGE your toddler brain.

First things first, you’re gonna want to breathe.

3 deep breaths will ALWAYS be the first thing I suggest.

And I’ve said this at least 845 times but the reason why is because when you are feeling triggered you are NOT accessing the part of your brain that will help you feel better. Your nervous system is on high alert whenever the toddler, the boss, the lizard, the teenager are driving. So first, breathe.

Next, you’re gonna zoom out. Zoom out to your HIGHER level thinking.

Zoom out to your Calm AF Self. Your calm AF self will be able to OBSERVE the whole scene.

There’s the boss, sound asleep on the couch.

The teenager is over it.

The lizard is watching….ready to act.

And the toddler is having a FULL ON TANTRUM.

So we have some rules for the toddler. Because just like an actual toddler, there is no reasoning happening. The first rule of dealing with your toddler brain is WE DO NOT NEGOTIATE WITH TODDLERS. ALL parents have learned this rule the hard way.

You’re at a restaurant , the tired toddler is throwing a tantrum…first, we mistakenly try discipline…you need to stop, this is not ok, you’re making a bad choice, whatever….it’s not working…the toddler is getting louder. Then desperation kicks in and you’re trying snacks, candy, whatever the toddler thinks she wants: that instant gratification.

And the toddler wins. And the toddler LEARNS.

Rule #1 we do not negotiate with our toddler brain. The toddler is SO incapable of understanding reason because the toddler is simply feeling overwhelming emotion. Your toddler brain is feeling overwhelmed with emotions. Your calm AF self just needs to SIT and let the toddler feel. All the way through.

I remember when my kids were little, when they were having emotion meltdowns, I would just let them. I would sit in the room with them to make sure they didn’t hurt themselves, but I didn’t try to stop them, I didn’t try to even HELP them.

I just acknowledged them: You are feeling SO SO MAD right now. It’s okay. It’s okay to feel mad. OMGSOH you are SAD because we had to turn off the show. I know. That’s HARD.
It’s okay to feel sad.

This, by the way, only happened when I zoomed out to become my calm AF self. A LOT of the times I met their toddler brain with my OWN toddler brain. And that’s ok too.

But when you notice YOUR toddler brain having a tantrum, eating all the foods, exploding at the kids….

Zoom out to your Calm AF self.

Observe the toddler.

SIT with the toddler.

Narrate what’s happening.

You’re feeling overwhelmed. Of COURSE you are. You have a lot going on. Of COURSE you’re upset that your husband just said that to you….it’s totally okay to just feel upset.

SIT with that toddler with love and compassion.

Because eventually, the feelings will be felt.

Eventually, my kids would wear themselves out, cry themselves out, scream themselves out and THEN they just needed their mama. NOT to be mad at them for having those big feelings.

Loving them.

Your toddler brain doesn’t need to be disciplined for having feelings, for exploding, for binging, for rebelling….

That just repeats the pattern of boss, toddler, boss, toddler.

Enforce the rules. BE GOOD.

Break the rules. BE BAD.

In order to break this pattern, the toddler needs to feel SAFE to just feel.

In order to break the all or nothing, give 100% or give 0%, you’ve GOT to recognize that the toddler will ALWAYS take over when she’s tired of trying to be perfect.

So, let’s recap:

We breathe.
We zoom out and observe and GET ALIGNED with our calm AF energy.
we LOVE our toddler brain.
We allow the toddler to feel the feelings.
We use VERY LITTLE WORDS…more feeling LESS talking.
And we never negotiate with toddlers.

Next week…the teenager.

Y’all.

I’ve got two of them. I’ve become an EXPERT on teenage brains.

Love you so much!

See you next time!

In this foundational episode, you will learn that:

  1. Calm is a feeling. Calm AF is a way of being
  2. Calm AF isn’t a new thing to learn because it’s already there, wired into you
  3. Becoming calm AF is a return to trusting yourself, believing in yourself, and loving yourself deeply

Grab some coffee and give it a listen. You got this. And I got you.

– Kristen

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And if you want to dig deeper and work with a coach who’s GOT YOU, contact me to set up a free consult. I love working with people who are hard on themselves, the over-thinkers, people pleasers, perfectionists, and overachievers. Any of this ringing your bell? I’d love to hear from you!