Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Blogging challenge

So I didn't finish the challenge. But that's ok. My boys have really needed me this past few months. and writing daily just wasn't possible. I'm pleased with as much as I've completed. 
I might finish the rest in time. But more to explore the topics then any real need to finish the challenge. 

R - Respect

Q - Quelling doubts

Often AP's get tons of questions and concerns, even mocking and belittling because they are choosing a much different path then their parents and grandparents did.

Is the EBF (Exclusively Breast Feeding) baby getting enough to eat?
Aren't you gonna suffocate the bedsharing baby?
That baby will never learn to walk of you don't stop wearing him in that sling.
If you don't let me baby sit that child will never learn independence.
If you don't...

It goes on, the constant doubt. The constant challenges.

Honestly how you handle these questions depends on the intent of the questioner, the kind of relationship you have and want to continue to have with that person.

If the intent is to challenge and badger you then simply say "my baby, my way." You can finish with a "I've done my research and talked to her doctor, thank you but I need no other opinions isn't he matter."
If the questioner is truly uneducated, confused, but open to learning then either sit down and educate them, give them a book, send them links.

Most of the time people are just out of the loop, grand parents haven't paid attention in many years about what is going on in baby care currently and simply need to bu updated. Some will never be open to a new way, their kid turned out just fine and you are I silting them by choosing different then they did.

(((Hugs))) it is hard having parents not agree with you, my own parents do not agree with my parenting choices, but we have learned a mutual respect over time. They only comment when they truly want to know. And leave it be when they disagree.

P - Preventative measures.

You've heard me talk about 'setting our kids up for success'.

The way we do this is using preventative measures.

I bring snacks and toys whenever we are out so the boys don't act out from hunger, low blood sugar, or boredom.

I make sure that there is time/place for nap and down time so as to prevent sleepy melt downs.

I make sure to explain what is going on what is expected so there is no fear of the unknown, feeling put on the spot, or confusion melt downs.

The sweets and chocolate cut off is 5 pm or my boys will be up and crazy till late.

I am close by to assist with conflicts before they escalate into brawls.

I do what I can to make sure my boys have every chance to stay in control and can do well. To succeed.

O - Observe

It is surprising how much of parenting is observation.
Watching how our child reacts to strangers, or loud noises, or animals, or new experiences.
Then using those observations to dictate how we expose our child or shield our child in those situations.
We have to observe our child, talk to our child, give our hold undivided attention to know our child well enough to effectively parent and teach that child.

N - Natural Consequence

Gentle parenting focuses on teaching our children through true natural consequence instead is arbitrary consequence.
Ex. Your daughter damages/destroys a friends borrowed book and they are likely to not be willing to let her borrow items again. You don't need to add an extra consequence. However, you might be just as unwilling to allow her to use your own stuff. When she later discovers that reluctance you can then help her understand the reasons and help her brainstorm ways to better take care of others property.

For a younger child this could look like: your toddler keeps standing in the tub. You tell him twice to sit and help him comply. when he persists you wash him an end play time abruptly and remove him.
He is developmentally unable to listen and obey every time because he has almost no impulse control because his brain isn't developed enough for it. So you gain nothing by inflicting arbitrary punitive punishments to gain compliance. Because a young child under 4 is incapable of consistently obeying as the logic center of their brains haven't developed enough to check their emotional center which is so much stronger at this age.

It is better to react kindly and with much patience, teaching so that when they develop self-control they possess the knowledge on where to use that control.

Instead teach them what is safe and what is dangerous through close watching and consistency, teach them what they are feeling and how to safely and respectfully express it. Expect a lot of repeating, a lot of mistakes, and a lot of opportunity to practice patience.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

M - Unspoken Messages

As human beings we are constantly giving and receiving messages in our facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, inflection, choice if words.
We can express pleasure, joy, pride, disappointment, annoyance, anger, disgust, love, hate, etc.

As we parent we need to be just as careful of our unspoken messages as our spoken ones. Both have power.

While it is good to express feelings to our children, don't over do it, limit the severity. Our children feel emotions in a huge overwhelming way, they don't need the added burden of our emotions on top of it.