In the house I grew up in, tattling was not allowed or tolerated. But, I am going to tattle on myself.
Yesterday, Mama needed a time out. Badly.
So, Mama took a much needed time out. I sentenced myself to five minutes on the front porch, during a major rain/thunder/lightening storm, with my daily cup of coffee. At about 8:00 PM.
With a pair of fresh eyes on the situation today, I think the time out was warranted. Yesterday was, quite simply, a Monday. Whatever could go off course did go off course.
My almost-4 year old wakes up every single morning in a good mood, ready to start the day. He and his sister wake up bright-eyed, bushy tailed, and ready to really get down to business of playing and getting their hands on everything and anything within their reaches. Even yesterday’s start to the day was unplanned, off course, and rough.
In the last few weeks, I have truly come to understand the adage,
Negative attention is better than no attention at all!
We start the day off on the right foot – playing together and usually singing some sort of songs together. Then, as the day progresses, we stop doing things together. I start focusing on getting things done around the house, M starts focusing on his toys, and slowly, throughout the day, attention that is lavished at the beginning of the day, begins to wane.
I am not a mom who enforces a lot of structure. Some children need a highly regimented schedule in order to thrive; my children, on the other hand, have always been easy going, and don’t actually seem to show any preference for structured versus unstructured days. However, what I am beginning to realize as I settle in to this new dwelling place of ours, is that mama needs structure.
I need to have a daily plan – not necessarily a daily structure, but I need to have a plan to tackle attention. Perhaps that means sucking up my dislike of playing toys, and agreeing to play Paw Patrol, or Legos, or cars and trains. Perhaps it means starting to do some sort of organized set of learning activities, with some glue, some tiny pieces of paper, crayons, and letters/numbers. Perhaps it means prioritizing park outings multiple times a week – instead of penciling it in, I should be filling in the calendar with penned-in dates.
I need to figure out a daily way of showering my oldest child with the attention he needs, craves, and quite frankly, deserves during the day.
Otherwise, this mama is going to have her hands even fuller as M tries to get attention through whining and acting out. And, that would mean, this mama is going to need more time outs.
I’d love for my readers to contribute to a think tank of ideas – what are, or were, some of your inexpensive ways to lavish positive attention on your little one/s? If you don’t have children, what ways do you most remember receiving positive attention from your parents?