Am I the only one with the kid who plays with the toilet brush or eats a poo crumb when you turn away to find a wipe? What about throwing toys across the room, ripping books or secretly feeding their slave cooked meals to the dog, or smearing it into the table? The defiance, the word ‘no’, the beginning of an attitude. Then you get your folks telling you through the phone that it’s pay back! Yup no-one wants to hear that. Added to this complexity is my lack of vision, so I feel like I am saying ‘no’ to everything. Is this just me?
All this has coincided with moving house to a new area. Archer has changed daycare centres, has a new bedroom and is also crying out for independence or a sense of power. I feel like I have been neglecting his needs because I have been sorting out our new house to make it functional for living with low vision, working out new walking routes and navigating a new supermarket, post office and pharmacy. Trying to blog with no wifi has also been time consuming and frustrating. Well last week, I decided enough is enough and something needed to be done before Archer and I killed each other. My aim was to fill his positive power bucket with more one on one time and some TLC. Boy it made adifference.
I am also trying to take a step back and go with the flow a little bit more. Everything can still get done, including more one on one time with Archer, and it doesn’t have to cost a cent.
While we still get the tantrums that sound like a mass murder is going on, I really feel that they are to do with lack of positive attention. I am not perfect, I have yelled and screamed and I probably say ‘no’ too often. I have really thought about some changes I need to make that aren’t too hard.
I really think it is important to be in the moment and to try and see a learning opportunity where possible. This may not work every time, however I have seen a major improvement in his behaviour by me engaging with him in a few fun and playful activities: Here they are below:
Getting Our Hands Dirty
I have been getting my hands and butt dirty with him in the sand pit. We had a ‘That’s Cool’ moment when I showed him how to make a sand castle with a bucket then destroy it with some sound effects.
2. Water, Water, Water
We have had lots of water play. Whether it is running through the sprinkler, filling up the water table, in the sandpit or watering the garden. Nothing beats the Aussie heat more than a bit of water fun.
3. We have read lots of stories
Archer loves a good snuggle and a book. He loves his farm animal book and making noises. See how I read to Archer as a legally blind parent here.
4. WeHave Played Hide and SeekArcher loves it when I run around the house, hide and jump out at him. It is worth it to hear that infectious laugh.
5. He has Joined Me with my Workouts
Why not kill two birds with one stone. Play and a workout or exercise. I use Archer as my weight in squats or presses. He even will get down for a pushup now and will sit on me during sit-ups. I also feel that it will teach him the importance of fitness in years to come and hopefully enjoy it at the same time.
6. We have Gone Exploring
I have had to learn new routes to the supermarket and necessities. Archer has enjoyed riding his trike and stopping off at the park on these expiditions.
Archer enjoys simple puzzles like stackers and shape sorters. He loves when I sit down to help him and there is the bonus of me not having to move off the couch.
It is really hard not to get frustrated with your toddler when you are trying to do some housework and they just go right in and undo it all as you are doing it. This gets under my skin. I have tried to embrace this as a learning opportunity, take a deep breath and be patient. I have started to let him put his plate and bowl in the dishwasher, close the door and push the button (I put it on child lock after this(. Other things I have done is let him pass the washing for me to hang on the line for as long as his short attention span will suffice, or sweep the floor, or hand him a cloth to wipe the table. He loves helping and I hope this continues. We will see.
While these things may sound a little boring, you don’t have to look too far outside your front door to spend some quality one on one time with your children. It doesn’t have to take up too much of your day. It might be 10-20 minutes spurs scattered throughout the day. Your children will thank you for it!
What do you do to spend quality one on one time with your children? Comment below. Please feel free to comment about what your children do that are disgusting or socially innappropiate so I don’t feel like the only parent losing the plot.
Thanks in advance!
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