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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Replacing Timeout with Playtime

If you’ve ever stood in a busy grocery store with a child in the midst of a full on meltdown, you know one universal truth: Children will act out, usually at the most embarrassing moment for you. When you can step back and understand that they are seeking your attention and validation, you can prevent and manage these moments with grace.

Think of all the hours in each day when you expect your children to cooperate and participate in your activities. From house chores and errands to remaining silent while you talk on the phone, and even dining out in restaurants. Are you matching each of these minutes with true connection with them in their world? Playtime is a child’s way of including you on their level and asking you to include them on yours. They don’t know how to negotiate this world as an adult, but they would like to show you what the world looks like to them.

Try the 30/30 rule. For every 30 minutes you need to accomplish something in the grown-up arena, spend 30 minutes on your child’s level playing, talking, reading and connecting. Keep it even and let your child lead the playtime. I promise you will have fewer meltdowns if you can stick with this one rule. (For toddlers, try 10/10. They may not have the attention span to entertain themselves for 30 minutes.)

O. Fred Donaldson, a world-famous specialist in the use of play as an alternative to aggression, violence and abuse, posted this morning on API Speaks on what we don’t understand about playtime with children. A five-year-old boy once told him, “Fred, you know play is when we don’t know that we are different from each other.” I invite you to read this short post Coming Out to Play, where Fred reveals the three patterns of play that he observed in children all over the world. (Here’s a hint: enrolling your child in soccer does not count as playtime.)

Grace and Peace.

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2011 in From Toddlers to Teens

 

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More Confessions of a Disorganized Mom

(This post originally ran 2 years ago, but it is visited so frequently that I updated and added to it today. Enjoy!)

When my oldest daughter (now age 9) was a baby, my friend asked me what time she normally took a nap. I was clueless. “Whenever she falls asleep,” was my likely answer.

Clients and associates often assume I am the queen of organization. As the creator of such a detailed time-management system like the Baby Love Carebook, how could I be anything but a type-A, Martha Stewart-like mother with all her ducks in a very straight row?

The truth is, I’ve always hated routines.

I’ve always been very laid back and flexible. I like to do things when I feel like it. I’ve never had a designated “laundry day” or “grocery day.” My professional life has always revolved around deadlines and details. I’ve developed my own method of paying attention to the smallest detail in an organized fashion, but waiting until the last minute to get anything accomplished.

Imagine my anxiety as a new mom when I realized that babies don’t enjoy such a leisurely approach to living. In fact, babies can be downright crabby when they are expected to eat at 10 a.m. one day, and 10:30 a.m. the next. Try to put them down for a nap at 1 p.m. some days, 2 p.m. on others and they cry … a lot!

Now that I’m raising three children, I know better. I firmly believe that children are happier with a consistent routine. However, I also know that all children are unique. My oldest daughter loves a big breakfast, my middle girl prefers to wait a few hours in the morning before she will eat anything. It’s up to you as parents to discover and nurture the best routines for your children. If you’re interested in a little research on the subject, read Mom, Could You Pencil Me in for a Nap?

Routines did not come naturally to me, that’s why the Baby Love Carebook was invented. I found it was the only way to keep myself on track. Writing down my baby’s ideal routine gave me more incentive to stick to it. I’m also a visual learner and need to see something in order to remember it. Telling me that the baby ate two hours ago will go in one ear and out the other. Writing down the time will ensure that I retain the information.

And keeping all our information in one place made me more likely to reach out to others for help when I needed a break. You may not think taking a break is all that important, especially if you left your day job to take care of your little ones. Here’s a quick link about the importance of sharing the love of others with your children:Another Attachment: Let Others Bond with Your Children.

Finally, if you’re reading this today on October 2, 2011 (my birthday!) you will be interested to know that Babysteals.com is offering the Baby Love Carebook organizer and Doctor Diary pages for only $19.99. The sale lasts only until 11pm eastern time so steal one quickly!

Grace and Peace.

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2011 in From Toddlers to Teens

 

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