Tuesday, 13 September 2011

On being a more playful parent



Welcome to the September Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Through Play

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how challenging discipline situations can be met with play. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

***


I swear I was a more patient mother  before I had two children. Looking after a two year old was easier. Then we had a new baby and my daughter turned three. Don't blame the terrible twos yet, wait until they are three!
Looking after a toddler and a young baby is not always easy. Caring for your new born makes you feel exhausted and three year olds can be tricky. As they want to  become more independent, they can be tiring.
This sometimes made me angry. I found myself yelling at my child. As the months passed, it wasn't getting any better.
One day I came across a book: Playful Parenting by Larry Cohen. I wrote about this book here and here.
Thanks to this book, I am more patient and better at keeping my cool.
I have learned to remember that I am the adult and I can change the direction of things. I have learned to remember that however disappointing my child's behaviour is, she is only 4 years old and has good intentions.
A few weeks ago, my daughter got angry with me. I can't remember why but she started sulking. So I looked at her and started making silly faces. She started to smile. I said "No, you shouldn't laugh, you are cross at mummy!". She started to laugh and as I repeated it we were both laughing and the tension was gone. We were ready to reconnect.
I cannot say I am there yet but being playful has definitely made a positive impact on our relationship. I don't find it easy to be playful every time such a situation rises, but it is getting better.





***
Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:






16 comments :

  1. I had the same experience with 2 years old vs. 3! So far, 4 is ok. :) I've found Playful Parenting to help me a lot, too. I really need to reread it so I have more tools at hand.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I definitely need to pick up that book! (and make my other caregivers for baby read it...) I'm starting to dread the 2's, 3's, and 4's. Hopefully all of this wisdom will stick with me to make it easier : )

    Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh I feel you with the toddler and baby. My son is 2 and 3 months and my daughter is 3 months. It's hard!
    We go through this every now and then too. Almost like when my son is trying to test his limits. But just like you it always turns out so much better when I'm more relaxed ad playful.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am right there in that tough 3yo boat with you mama, and playful parenting has been so much more difficult for me than it was when Kieran was 2yo. It's all a journey, though, you're on the right path for simply being conscious of the need to connect instead of powering over your daughter. Good luck as you progress!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I had a two year old and a new born, too, and it can be hard and exhausting.
    When my older one get mad or sulky, she used to like to sit and hug with me, which I would gladly do as I was able. When I'm not in the position to play or hug her out of that mood, I send or walk her to the bedroom or play area. I let her know that it's ok to feel angry, but it's not ok to hurt (which was an issue for a while), and it's ok to play or read until she feels better and wants to rejoin us. It usually doesn't take her long, and it usually ends with hugs.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I really have to read Playful Parenting! I'm going to request it from the library now.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I need to check out that book as well! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Aww, that's adorable! Okay, really need to read that book now :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have heard so much about this book lately. I need to request it from our library.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Me too - 3 year old + newborn = an eye poppingly crazy year! But the Playful Parenting book helped me massively too. I need to re-read it I think because this carnival is helping me remember how much easier it is to loosen up and play :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I really need to get that book!! I can only imagine having a baby when my daughter was 3... I had no idea about the "3's" Oh Boy!
    I caught myself becoming a cranky mommy with just one child.
    You're still trying and it sounds like you have some great ideas.

    ReplyDelete
  12. That book is on my must read list- so many people have recommended it!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I've heard that kids get harder at 3, so I can only imagine how it is for you with a little one as well! Playful Parenting has been on my Must Read Now list for way too long...

    ReplyDelete
  14. My daughter is nearly 3, and our little son is 5 months old. . . I am so tired of loosing my cool with Abbey. I've GOT to finally read Cohen's book. Just like the other commenters, Playful parenting has been on my To-read list for way too long! Thanks for the reminder!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I absolutely agree. I have had to change my expectations on how I parent since having more than one. Even still, without play (and that book has been a boon to me as well) I would be so far removed from the parent I strive to be. I enjoyed your insights in your other two posts, as well.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I found your blog through the carnival, and what you say rings so true! I felt like I had all the patience in the world once I had one child, and then when I had two, everything changed. There was so much guilt... for not having enough time for the newborn, and for not giving my undivided attention to my 2 year old. Playful parenting is such a great way to take all that pressure off of ourselves, though isn't it?

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for taking your time and leaving a comment!