Random Childrearing Notes
Random notes on childrearing:
awesome tip: wrap the baby in a blanket (that can get wet) and immerse them in it
great advice on not getting too wrapped up in BLW if your child won't do it...and how to maximize the "try anything" window: http://www.lucieslist.com/year-1/starting-solids/
Advice on how to say sorry from elementary school teacher JoEllen Poon at CuppaCocoa.com:
I'm sorry for...
This is wrong because...
In the future, I will...
Will you forgive me?
Deliberate Parenting - interesting blog, good advice
Toddler Tantrums & Childwise
"On Becoming Childwise: Parenting Your Child from 3-7 Years" was recommended to us by a mom who found it helped her a lot...the book has a somewhat Christian perspective but the key techniques work for people of any (or no) faith
some of the key takeaways:
decide what you're willing to fight for, and what you're not—if it's the latter, let the child have their way
if you make a demand, you need to think of a consequence if they don't do it (privilege taken away, going on time out...e.g. "If you haven't started to put your pants on by the time I count to five, there is no dessert.")
some of the best consequences are "natural consequences" (you don't eat your dinner, you get hungry later—and there are no midnight snacks...or you throw a toy at someone, it gets taken away)
insist on the child giving you eye contact, and saying "Yes Mommy/Daddy"
especially early on, you need to develop a tolerance for your toddler crying—this is their natural response when they don't get what they want (we're hard-wired to respond to cries, but as they grow older many cries are less often for "I need help" and more likely for "I'm not getting what I want"...and anecdotal experience from us & some friends suggests that turning off the cry response is especially hard for moms). Luke says "when he's crying, we're winning".
teach right/wrong through the lens of the Golden Rule (e.g. "You wouldn't like it if I took your food without asking, would you?")
Other discipline advice (some from Reggio Emilia "Positive Guidance"):
when possible, state things in a positive way, not a negative one (e.g. "Use your inside voice please", not "No yelling!")
acknowledge/validate feelings & encourage expressing verbally (not physically)...for example "How are you feeling? You seem angry. You can say 'I am angry at you for taking my toy!'"
give limited choices—it's especially easy for toddlers to get "decision fatigue" so offering one of ~2 choices works better
## Books to check out:
[The Incredible Years --> rec'd by Liz Aab]
[The Montessori Toddler --> check it out...seems less practical, since you can't reason with a toddler in the middle of a tantrum...?]
stuff re: free-range parenting
other books to check out: How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, Bringing Up Bébé
Advice on how to play (once kids can speak): follow your child's lead, accept and build on their offers improv-style http://www.lizaab.com/2018/12/21/how-to-play-with-others/
Timers, "5 minute warnings"
Most adults would find it rude and upsetting if someone ran up to them and said "It's time to go, now! Get going!". We want some time to plan and prepare.
Thus, it's helpful to give a 5-10 minute warning before transitions. We often set timers using our smartphones / smart speakers ("OK Google, set a timer for 5 minutes called time to put on our jackets").
I also found it helpful to say things like "OK Adam, it's time for you to put on your pants. I'm going to count to 5 (or 10, or 20), and if you haven't at least started it, then I'm going to help you." This forced him to avoid procrastinating if he wanted to do it by himself.
Don't rush children
It's a truism that "children have short attention spans", but in reality they often can focus on one thing for a long time
I think children *learn* short attention spans from adults hurrying them along
Obviously some things (e.g. getting ready for school in the morning) need to happen on a schedule, but for many things, we can acknowledge what kids are already focusing on
Don't answer every question
Advice from the Admissions Coordinator at the Reggio Emilia inspired La Scuola: Encourage children to struggle to find their own answers (not every time, but for some questions)
Example: in early 2019, we were walking by the playground after dusk and Adam asked "Why the playground closed?" I was about to talk about how it closes at sunset, but instead I said, "Well, why do you think it's closed?" and Adam thought for a minute and said, "Maybe because it's dark?"
Precious Little Sleep - interesting, mostly CIO blog about sleep