Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Moving to the next stage

It's so hard seeing my baby cry, but she's solidly into toddlerhood now and we're trying to shift our habits a bit from responding to baby needs to sometimes delaying and saying no to a toddler. Like when she was a wee baby, we tried to focus not just on her, but on living our adult (er, ya know, aspiring to adult) lives, and letting her observe. But we've had to keep more of an eye on her as she got more and more mobile, in this crazy modern world. So it's a good time to renew our commitment to "life-centered" living, now that she really has a good sense of herself and her world.

I've been rolling these thoughts around in my mind lately: how do we transition from that baby phase where she only had needs to a new phase where sometimes we have to delay or say no? We don't want to tell her that her needs are not important, but we also want her to get a sense of how things work for the whole family. I think she got a lot of this while at Nonna's home child care while we were visiting, when she had to wait for beloved Nonna to finish work, and play with lots of other children. I also know kids tend to act needier with Mommy than others; she's been a trooper while I've been sick, that's for sure! Anyway, as I'm rambling on here... I enjoyed skimming (in my sick stupor) these two articles today. I didn't love the woo-woo metaphor of blockage in the first one, but I like the idea. And the second one speaks to my strong impulse to be active with the toddler either learning by my side or playing on her own. That's hard when she's really on her own; I wish we had kids to call right over from next door for her to play with at the drop of a hat! Or a sibling! ;) Anyway, this is all ideal, but speaking to other moms I get the sense that we're on the right track. It really has just been a matter of building new habits.

Cry for Connection: A Fresh Approach to Tantrums

Who's in Control?

1 comment:

Brynn's Mama said...

Yep, it is hard to make that transition! It's funny that you mention this now though because I just had an epiphany this week that I don't always have to try to make Brynn stop crying when she's upset. It was very liberating to realize that sometimes *she is sad* and she just needs to cry. I don't have to distract her, or try to change it, or appease her or anything...just be there.

I read the Who's In Control article a few months ago (I think it's part of the book Continuum Concept, maybe?) and while I don't agree with all of it, I did really like the perspective that a child-centered life is kind of unnatrual. I think about that during our day, quite a bit really, and how VERY unnatural it is that we don't live in a village-type situation where everyone would just be doing there thing while the kids were basically doing their thing! So yes, a sibling would be helpful for that. :)

OK, I'm rambling. But what helps for us is, "Yes, you want to XYZ. You are frustrated that we can't do that right now. We can do that after I finish doing the dishes." Etc. Validation really helps.