Google+ Authentic Parenting: Respect The Natural Rythmn Of The Child

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Respect The Natural Rythmn Of The Child

Our modern society strains us. Parents and grandparents alike have to work hard and long hours and are hardly ever home. It is difficult to overcome the feeling of guilt about leaving the children behind when we are out all day and we'd rather be with the little ones.
If you're a parent who has to work late, or a grandparent who rarely gets to see his grandchild, you're probably thinking about that child throughout the day. You might feel like you're neglecting the child. Like you don't get enough time together.

I've seen this many times and the obvious reaction is to come home to that child and 'make the best of the time you do have'. So parents or grandparents come home at late hours and engage the child in play... Maybe try an exciting game like hide and seek or tickling... Because you think that's what the child would like to do with you, right?

But if you come home at that late hour, is the child really interested in active play? Are you listening to the cues he is giving you? Aren't you just trying to work through YOUR guilty feeling? Do you act upon request or upon personal emotion?

Image: bandita on Flickr
It is completely understandable that you have missed that child and have longed to be together, to play together, but if the child is tired or otherwise engaged, we should respect that.
We can't expect the child to play on our cue. Especially because late at night, the child would benefit more from quiet activities or reading a book. Maybe just cuddling.
Maybe late at night the child just wants to watch some TV or stick to his mommy.
If that is the case, don't go imposing your wants and needs on that child, because then you're just acting out of selfishness.

Respect their natural rhythm, respect their wishes and desires. if the child does not want to play now, he might be up for it some other time. Your presence alone is enough.



  1. The sad thing about our busy lifestyles these days is that there is so much judgment and guilt over the imbalance between work, responsibilities, and children.

    I think the most important thing is simply to pay attention to those things our children are telling us, whether they use words or not. This way, they know they're heard and they feel validated and worthwhile.


  2. I am one of those guilty mothers, but I do try to do with my Toddler wants to do. If then only sits next to me, it's fine :-)

  3. This is so true! I wish more people could understand that babies and children are people too. When I'm tired I don't want to interact with anyone so why should a baby/child want to?

    I understand it is hard to be 100% in sync with your child's rhythm but just being aware of it can help tremendously in making sure quality time is smiles all round!

  4. This is such a great post! I am very in tune with my toddler and her rhythm and it drives me bonkers when I see moms forcing their children to interact with them in ways that they (the child) does not want to. We need to respect that children have their own daily patterns and know when they need some time to breath and relax and when they want to play! Personally, I think that cuddling, reading a story, having a hug session, etc... is so much more worthwhile when it somes to reconnecting after a long day apart or even after a long day together. Thanks for this great post!


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