15 June 2011

Playful Parenting

I've noticed that we're all happier when I'm a more playful parent.  This includes being more playful in redirection/correction when the kids are doing something they shouldn't.  I've found that I get less frustrated that way, and of course the children react better.  Charlotte can get really upset when I remove her from the washing machine as she's trying to turn the dial (while it's on), but if I redirect her in a silly way, like asking her to dance with me, it goes much better.  Unfortunately I don't always do this, such as when I'm in the middle of something, but I think I should do this more.  We'll all be saner and happier, I think.

With Kieran the key is to involve him more.  He was getting really upset and screaming earlier, but instead of reacting (like I do all too often), I simply asked him to come and talk to me.  I then asked if he wanted to help me cook dinner.  He immediately calmed down and was only too happy to help make the lasagne noodles and sauce.  After that, he hopped down and played with Charlotte without any problem whatsoever.  He craves one-on-one time with me and also wants to help me with everything.  For him, including him in whatever I'm doing, be it cooking, cleaning, or knitting, fulfills his need for my attention and also means that he's happier.  He's then less likely to throw tantrums, which of course makes me happier.  He's also really good at helping with things.  So the moral of the story:  you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. :-)

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