Some days can be harder than others... Guess we all know that. There's those days that we just. Can't. Cope! When everything is too much and nothing works out the way we want it to. Of course those sweet little ones seem to pick up on that and act up even more; or maybe it's just our strung-out nerves that are more sensitive and can't handle behaviour that might otherwise even be dealt with swiftly. Whatever the case, being frustrated or angry is not a good place to be for positive parenting (remember: everything you portray, they learn - not that I want to stress you out even more ;) ) So I decided to try and make up a list of things that might help you - either on the short or the long run - overcome and maybe even prevent this frustration. These are things I actually practice, and they have helped me (most days) so far.
1) Plan nothing - or as little as possible - take everything as it comes. When you are not expecting anything, you are more likely to enjoy what is thrown in your path. To give you an example: the days I set off thinking I have to write this or that post, and sit my behind down in front of the computer, is inevitably the day that little one is going to come pull my skirt, try to climb up my chair and scream for my attention. But when I don't plan on blogging, there's always a few minutes that can be stolen away (when she's sleeping or playing quietly, or goes for a walk with our cook)
2) Scrap NO from your vocabulary, or at least keep it for special - read dangerous - occasions. There are other ways to get your little one to stop doing what you want them to stop doing. Distracting them might help - calling them over for a drink, a snack or with a fun toy. Or you might go and play with the things you would like him/her to play with, without paying any attention to your little one. Diversion also works: like saying: 'instead of throwing knives at your sister, why don't you throw stones at the tree? LOL
3) For your own sanity, don't place that Ming vase where they can knock it down! That's just making it hard on yourself. Just don't put anything irreplaceable in their path of destruction (because destroyed it will be!)
4) It's just an object... It's just an object... It's just an object (just keep saying that to yourself!)
5) VENT! If nothing's working, get out of there! Go for a walk, if possible. If that's not possible, call someone you can scream at until you feel good enough to care for your child again.
6) Get some You-time every once in a while, get a nanny, babysitter, pin down the grandmother, or dump them on your husband.
7) Take them outside (or do some other activity they really like), even if it doesn't fit YOUR schedule, it might be the quickest way to get them (and eventually you too) to calm down.
8) Try not to scream or spank them... ever. It's hurtful, harmful, and it won't fix anything.
9) If you give them your full attention for a short while, both you and your kid will profit more than with your half-spanned attention half a day. After just a little time, they often just go play on their own again.
As a quick side-note, I have been so busy lately it took me five days to write this post!!! And I have a list of other topics I still have to write out... Let's hope next week will bring a bit more serenity (but I'm afraid not).
This post is part of the 2010 API Principles of Parenting blog carnival, a series of monthly parenting blog carnivals, hosted by API Speaks. Learn more about attachment parenting by visiting the API website.