- Well thank goodness he doesn't refuse to eat.
- Well thank goodness he sleeps through the night.
- Well thank goodness he doesn't ever say he's bored.
- Well thank goodness he can play on is own.
Saturday, 18 May 2013
Thursday, 16 May 2013
It's Kids Coop. Please link up your child related posts and check out what others have been up to. This week I'm looking the following:
Goblin has started to take a bit of an interest in letters. I think this has come from nursery where they are trying to get the children to recognise the lets of their name. As a result any time he sees a word beginning with the first letter of his name he says "that word says 'Goblin'". He doesn't quite understand that the letters can make different words that aren't his name. But it's a start.
I wanted to do some activities at home that would build on this interest, but Goblin can spot a mile off if I try to ram classic education techniques down his throat. And he just won't engage, its of no interest to him. So I have to find ways of incorporating letters into our normal play.
We do a lot of baking so I decided we could make ginger bread letters. We were going to visit friends and we made biscuits for each of the children in the shape of the letter for their name.
We didn't use biscuit cutters. Instead be cut the letters out with a knife so they were bigger than nornal.
When we got to the friends house I got Goblin to hand them out, thus having to match letter to name off child.
Tuesday, 14 May 2013
(Goblin is 43 months)
With the weather improving we've been doing more outdoor outings. Recently we took Goblin to Duxford Imperial War Museum. It is not a cheap day out. Tickets for adults are £17 each. Having said that I hadn't appreciated how enormous Duxford is. You could easily spend an entire day there with hanger after hanger of amazing planes, land vehicles, radar and radio equipment, and informed volunteers on hand to explain stuff enthusiastically.
For older kids this is a wonderful place to learn a bit about WWII, but Goblin is a bit young to be burdened with that so we stuck to the engineering and science side of the learning.
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Saturday, 11 May 2013
It's the Sunday Parenting Party. Please link up your parenting posts, old or new, anecdote or treasured tips, happy, sad, good or bad. Please don't link kids activities, they can be linked to the kids coop.*****
Goblin has been testing the boundaries recently and I have to admit its probably the hardest period of parenting I've gone through so far. He is utterly delightful as long as he is getting his own way and doing what he wants to do, but the second you ask him to do something - even if its putting his shoes on so you can take him to an activity he has asked to do - he will start screaming "no", throwing himself on the floor, kicking, hitting, bellowing. Well wow! There was me thinking smugly that Goblin's two year old tantrums had been rather mild, when actually they just hadn't fully arrived - he was obviously a late bloomer in the full mega meltdown stakes.
I feel slightly out of my depth as to what to do with him. I've read lots of Positive Parenting books and follow all the blogs. I know the theory and on a good day I can put it into practice.
On a good day I can stay entirely calm while he is having a tantrum, but it doesn't seem to actually make a difference. He still has it and it still lasts a long time. At least I have learnt not to worry about what other people think, so I can quite comfortably sit on the floor in a shop while Goblin screams hysterically and rolls himself about on the floor because I won't buy him yet another Hot Wheels. When I feel the tantrum might be abating I offer a cuddle, which sometimes sends him back to screaming, but sometimes calms him and allows us to move forward. So that's what I do on a good day when I am able to implement my Positive Parenting ideals.
But here is what I did the other day when I entirely failed to use positive parenting techniques.
Goblin had taken over an hour to get his clothes on. I had known it would take a while so I'd got started early. We needed to leave the house at 10am to get to the farm where we were meeting friends. After an hour of him failing to get dressed while messing about down stairs I kinda lost the plot. I grabbed him and carried him under my arm to his room where I threw his clothes in and shut the door yelling "You can come out once you are dressed". I then stomped off to my room where I tried to calm myself down.
To my amazement he got dressed really quickly - which actually only served to irritate me as I'd been trying for an hour to help him. But he then refused to leave the house. He said he didn't want to go to the farm, he wanted to go to the steam trains instead. I agreed to check to see if they were running. When I checked on line they weren't running. I tried to explain this to Goblin and was met with "yes they are".
Well what do I do with that?
"No Goblin I checked, they aren't running, we can go tomorrow" his response "Yes they are running" Scream, shout, hit.
Not knowing what to do I told him to go to his room to calm down. I hate the idea of sending a child to their room. It feels wrong to me on so many levels - first because its where they sleep and I don't want sleep associated with punishment, second because I don't think kids are good at calming down on their own, I feel 'time in' is better than 'time out'. But to be honest I was losing any patience I had. All my knowledge of what positive parenting solutions I should use where out weighed by the fact that I couldn't calm down. It was better for the both of us to be apart.
Goblin went to his room and when I felt I'd calmed down I went to find him to try once again to explain that we couldn't go to the trains but we could go and see his friends at the farm. I knew if we didn't go to the farm he'd ask in the afternoon and then get upset when I told him we'd missed it.
But I was met by more screaming that the trains were open.
I went and sat at the top of the stairs and sobbed. I was out of ideas. I don't want to fight with my child. I don't want to scream and shout but sometimes I get worn down and 8am is not the best time for me even on a good day.
Eventually I decided my only option was to be tough and stop offering choices. I went and picked him up and informed him we were going to the farm. "You are three, you don't get to dictate what we do".
He shouted and fought as I marched to the car.
By the time we were half way to the farm he'd calmed down, I'd calmed down, we'd both said sorry and we had a lovely morning at the farm.
But it didn't last long. The afternoon was pretty much more of the same.
Why does it have to be this hard?
My top five from last week are
And now to the linky
Thursday, 9 May 2013
(Goblin is 42 months)
In the past I would have set to work cutting it up and trying to build an elaborated construction (for examples see here and here and here). It would have taken a lot of time and Goblin would have been frustrated while I was busy with my masterpiece.
1. Try to retain the structural integrity of the box.
In the past I would have cut down the sides to make the shape more "boaty" but the more you break the boxes integrity the less stable it is and the less durable. This limits the length of time that it will remain intact for play. So keep it looking boxy and get your kid to use their imagination instead.
2. Involve your child in the decorating
In the past I would have spent a lot of time trying to build what Goblin had requested but not included him in the process. Now I try and keep it a lot more simple, and get him to give ideas.
3. Embrace paper fasteners
Paper fasteners are my new secret weapon. All kids like moving parts on their creations right? Well paper fasteners are a super simple way of attaching stuff so it can spin around. Thus giving your child something to fiddle with.
As we played with his boat I pointed to some barnacles on the keel. "You need to scrape those off so the boat will go faster. Oh and you'll need to pain the hull". My imaginary play suggestion ignited another idea with Goblin. And he set to work actually painting his boat.
And now to the linky
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Tuesday, 7 May 2013
(Goblin is 43 months)
I'm sharing this with
Sunday, 5 May 2013
Our tadpoles are growing, of the huge batch of frogspawn only 8 tadpoles emerged.
I left a letter and number sorting activity with a letter monster hand puppet as an invitation to play for Goblin.
Goblin liked the sailing boats at Nanny's house
Hublet was excited at the StarWars exhibit at the Mountfitchet Castle toy museum
Hublet and Goblin made a swarm of bees. How many people can say they were delighted to return home and find a swarm of bees in their house?
Our butterflies have formed chrysalis
Goblin enjoyed being a butterfly
Saturday, 4 May 2013
Its time for the Sunday Parenting Party. Please link up your parenting posts and check out what others have been up to this week. Please don't link Kids craft activities, these can be shared at the Kids Coop linky. This week I'm linking the following:
I've debated whether to write this post. I try not to write judgemental posts and this is sure to come across as one, but actually its asking that we mind the language we use with our kids. Some words are so much part of our culture that we use them without really thinking, but as someone who has been hurt by this particular name calling in my youth I felt I needed to share my concerns.
I want to talk about the term "Bossy".
Bossy is a negative word. Its a name we call children when they are "pushy" and tell others how to do things. Its a hurtful term and it damages self esteem. I should know. I was called bossy as a child.
And it occurs to me that 'bossy' is a term that tends to be reserved for girls. Lets face it when did you last hear anyone call a boy or a man bossy? One could argue that maybe its a trait that is only exhibited in girls. But I think we all know that's not true.
"Bossy" children .......
- Know what they want
- They communicate their needs and desires
- They set direction for themselves and others
Often when they are doing this as young children, they don't consider other people's desires, needs or feelings. But that is the same if the child is a boy or a girl so why do we tend to only tell girls off for being bossy?
Other terms that could be applied to bossy children are
And we wonder why we don't have so many women in the board rooms, in politics and in leadership roles. Could it be that every time this natural leadership talent rears its head during childhood, instead of nurturing it we give it a negative label and slap it down?
Of course it grates when a small person is pushy and demanding. But our job is to take the behaviour and show the child how to use the positive attributes of it. How to retain the self confidence and surety but add kindness and consideration. By labeling the whole action with the negative word "bossy", we diminish the child's desire to behave in that way at all. That can make them feel guilty every time they do. It weakens their self-worth.
If we keep calling girls "Bossy", we undermine their desire to be confident, directive and assertive young people. This coudl have serious implications for their role in later life, so please think twice before you call a child bossy.
My five recommendations from last week are
And now to the linky