Magic Words to Calm Your Toddler

I am one grateful mama and have found realizing my dream of motherhood has been everything I ever hoped for…and more. Some days are like living a real fairy tale where everyone is smiling and we all feel like we lived happily ever after. On the other hand, some days are like being trapped in a bell tower with a fire-breathing dragon.

I think sometimes my daughter just wakes up with fire in her belly. This morning was one of those. She was trying to wrap a blanket around herself and wear it like a cape. Only the blanket was far too big and she kept tripping over it or it would fall off her shoulders. It was like she was trying to carry the entire world upon her tiny shoulders instead of a Curious George blanket. Her frustration escalated in mere seconds and there was no time to grab her calm down bottle (see my post on this miraculous invention.)

Meanwhile, I was attempting to make some batter for fresh strawberry muffins. I was also only halfway through my first cup of coffee. Attempting to reason with my little dragon was like trying to explain quantum physics to my dog. So, I let her have her meltdown while I continued slicing strawberries. I figured that the best way to minimize the fuel on the fire would be to ignore her irrational antics.

Magic Words to Calm Your Toddler

Ha! Instead of pouring water on the fire, I added gasoline…or maybe jet fuel. There were two magic words that I wanted my daughter to say and if she did, I would have dropped what I was doing. I wanted her to say “help” and “please”. I want her to recognize when she can complete tasks independently and when she needs help. I also wanted her to say “please” because that it just a magic word in any language. I would have accepted either word orally or in sign language, but that fire was stoked and she was beyond words.

Instead, I tried five magical words on her. “Do you need a hug?” I asked. She stopped crying and simply nodded. It was like spraying my dragon with a fire hose. After we embraced, she asked for help with her “cape”. She even added a “Please, Mama” after I paused and gave her the mom eye. Crisis averted and our muffins were delicious.

Some days it is me who feels like the fire-breathing dragon. When I dreamed of motherhood, I never imagined that it would be easy. Sometimes I just need a little “please” to extinguish my flames of frustration. Sometimes I just need someone to ask me, “Do you need a hug?” Those five words are magical and work upon dragons, both large and small.


Magic Words


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