Sunday, February 26, 2012

Parenting trick #3: SLOW DOWN

Slow down!  Make a pretend bed to take a pretend nap in the kitchen!
This is something I have been learning as Bean's mom since the day he was born, and need near-constant reminding of!  It is so easy to get caught up in efficiency and getting things done...sometimes I forget to slow down and help my kids along.  With each increase in Bean's abilities, I catch myself mistakenly thinking that now my efficiency will pick up and I will get more done.  Eventually I realize I am shoving people into their clothes, scooping them up mid-exploration, and getting from point A to point B with a shell-shocked and understandably upset child or two.  Because they really enjoy dilly-dallying (aka exploring the world around them and doing little things repetitively so they can perfect them).

When Bean was under two, I remember getting frustrated that we were running late and apologizing to him for being snippy.  I told him I needed to slow down, and I would stop rushing him in and out of the car.  A couple days later, I was telling him what we were going to do that day and said, "right now we're going to quickly run into the YMCA for just a second.  Mommy has to drop something off."  He responded. "No.  Slooowwwly...."  Point taken, kid.

The timer helps.  I have done 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off on days when I have something time-sensitive to do - Bean is finally to an age where he can entertain himself for a short period of time, especially with the promise of slowwwwwwwing down and hanging out as soon as the timer beeps. 

I have also taken to saying out loud that I am doing one thing, and what it is.  So instead of feeling interrupted 20 kajillion times and saying "no" to every request he makes, I can say "I am washing dishes.  That is all I am doing.  I can do one thing at a time.  When I am done with this, I will be available to do something with you."

The bottom line is that being in a hurry never helps.


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