I've been thinking and praying about starting a series highlighting some of the things I've learned/am learning about this season of my life:
---PARENTING YOUNG CHILDREN WITH A PURPOSE---
I will be honest and say that I'm incredibly nervous to begin, simply because I KNOW I'm no expert, and I certainly don't want it to seem like I think I "know it all" with regards to parenting. I don't. But I do know that I adore my children, that I'm seeking to fully and completely embrace this beautiful, somewhat-fleeting season of my life that the Lord has placed me in. I don't want to forget the things I've found to be so very helpful during this time. I want to remember the details of daily life at this stage, so that someday, when a younger mother says "What did you do for such-and-such?" I'll actually REMEMBER what we did and be able to share and encourage her.
So, after much thought.....I've decided to stop laying awake at night, writing posts in my head, and just jump head-first into the water :)
TODDLER TIP # 1
is actually pretty simple (remember, I'm nervous to get too deep just yet! LOL), but oh-so-useful:
When you know you're going to be busy with something, occupy your children FIRST so as to not be frustrated at their childishness later.
Not earth-shattering, I know. But if you truly think about it, how many times have you gotten on the phone, sat down to work on paperwork, or gotten half-way through making dinner, just to find your little ones are either making huge messes in other parts of the house, or needing a constant referree due to ungodly play?
I've found that if I remember to PLAN AHEAD and get each little one involved in a task (think PROACTIVE PARENTING here!), my frustration level is sooo much lower, because I know what they're doing---and THEY know what they're supposed to be doing as well!
I thought it'd be fun to share some photos of this playing out in our home the other evening. It was the most difficult hour of many days---the hour before dinner was on the table! I let each child pick a special "activity" from our homeschool shelf, and had them STAY IN THEIR CHAIRS at the kitchen table while they "worked" and I cooked.
Happy, well-occupied children, happy Momma! (And a wonderful opportunity to work on obedience, if need be, since I did not allow them to get up and run off to something else.)
Each child chose something to work on.....
Noah and Eliana, busy at work on puzzles....
What better to share in my first "parenting advise" post than a picture of my 21 month old POUTING. Momma told him to stop "eating the puzzle pieces" :) Then we dealt with the little attitude, lol.
Gabbey isn't old enough to "choose", so Momma put her in the play area (more on this idea in another post!) to play with her toys. I seriously can't get enough of her sweet smiles. Sigh.....
The end result of all of this? A hot dinner on the table when Daddy got home and a lovely family time!