Thursday, 5 February 2015

I have NO Time to Play

Once, while visiting my grandmother, she asked my little boy, “Why don’t you come here often to play?” The little one replied, “I have no time to play!” He then listed out a series of activities; he had to do in a day: waking up, getting dressed and off to school, freshening up after school, eat, study and sleep. Yes, his day is full of activities but I try to get him some quality time to play as well. Maybe this wasn’t enough.
As a parent I want to give the best care to my kids so do you. But we are stuck up in certain situations, those little parenting worries that aren’t little to us at all. Those times, when we are not sure, what impact our words or actions will have on our dear little kids.
I did my research on the internet. Much to my relief, I discovered Janet Lansbury's blog, a blog that gives much perspective on parenting troubles and their solutions.
The first post I read in her blog had my antennas beeping. I couldn't brush it off, I had to read more. She says very simple and basic things to follow respect your kids, treat them with respect; talk to them when there are “troubles” (varies with the nature of the troubles). She encourages self directed play even in new borns. You can understand them very easily, but implementing them takes time (read: lots and lots of patience). Especially, if both you and your kids are used to the warring zones more often than you desire.
She calls her philosophy RIE parenting developed by Magda Gerber. The parenting philosophy starts from the day the baby is born. She is an expert on this not me, so you can as well visit her site to know more.  To start with the basics this is a good  one  She assures that this parenting philosophy will make your child more secure and confident. This is what I was looking for.
Parenting with respect also calls for acknowledging your child’s feelings. A scenario where a one-year old cries out for something would have the mom trying to calm him, soothe him or at least distract him. Janet asks not for hushing those cries, but acknowledging them. It would sound something like this “You do not want to play here, you are really having trouble…” The words could be re-phrased based on the context. This would probably sound weird. It did for me and I had trouble putting it into action. The time calls for small beginnings and when these get integrated into the routine, the results will convince you, they were worth the efforts. Definitely the relation between mom and son changed for the better.
Then again the actions and practices were not flawless. With a very angry son, you cannot really blame the mother when she slips. Yet, the blame lies on the mother's response more than the child's behaviour.  Some slips were followed with not too brilliant results. I needed a kindred soul. Lucy is a child with intense emotions and her mom blogs about it here  I Have a Daughter with Intense EmotionsLucy gave me patience and hope. I am inspired. It does not have to be difficult every day. By happily putting in greater efforts the anger too is coming down by small steps and greater leaps.  I don't label my son as angry, any more.

There are days when the kids worry me with little tantrums and I strictly follow RIE word by word. It takes time akin to homoeopathy but both the son and the mother are happy in the end. Then there are those times, when all I want to do is scream my lungs out and I make a whimper or a shout; this spoils the game. I remember Janet and I say sorry, it ends well after that. I have been  trying to adhere to the rules. You could even say that RIE is more of a lifestyle. The changes are visible. In those days when I scream there are now days when he come and say sorry and I follow suit. It makes me feel like a wonderful mom. 

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