Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Peaceful Parenting : A call to intentional living

Lately the theme of my life is about intentionality.  Being intentional about my actions.  This means being more conscious of what I am doing and how it affects my Self and others.  

A few weeks ago, I went to a seminar called "Terrific Toddlers" at a Prenatal to parenting place in Ladner, BC.  I was late but then the class was small so I didn't feel too uncomfortable.  It was a hectic weekend; we did church, grabbed lunch, and then I set hubby and the kids up and took off with only written directions because the GPS battery died and we STILL don't have the replacement. 

The seminar was specifically addressing issues of discipline, and strategies for when they have a tantrum.  My daughter is the queen of tantrums, whereas my son is mellow like his dad.  Ah yes, this is the irony, when we found out that we were having twins, we joked that the boy would have dad's mellow, laid back disposition, and the girl mine.  Yep! You guessed it.  So that should mean that I would know how to deal with her right?  Wrong. They are 21 months now and still don't talk a lot, but they sure are able to communicate.  It is hard to deal with at suppertime; I know what they don't want to eat, but it would be nice if they would agree to try something new.

So I have joined the Peaceful Parenting Challenge for 10 weeks.  This was the long weekend and the challenge was "how are we going to have fun"?  While it was Canada Day with various celebrations throughout the city, we did not partake of any of it.  We did drive by Bear Creek Park to see if the spray parks were on, as they were not when we went on Saturday morning.  Due to the holiday, the park was crowded.  We have learned from Sunday morning in the church nursery, that the children, in particular my daughter, do not do well when it is very crowded. In fact, she gets even more clingy than normal.  Instead of the park, we went to our backyard and filled the kiddie pool with warm water from the kitchen sink and let them play with some toys that I had bought earlier in the day.  My children enjoyed sitting the pool and throwing a ball out of the pool, and trying to figure out what the sponges were for.  

It has been a challenge for me to get my husband to engage the children on a regular basis.  I have been reading a book called "Playful Parenting" that was given me by my sister as a gift when the children were first born.  I wasn't really able to get into it until lately.  One comment in the book is about the fact that fathers typically work while the moms are the stay at home or constant face that the children see.  While the children greet dad when he returns home, he often feels left out when the children choose mom over dad.  I have used some of the information in the book to help my husband engage them more.  "But sometimes they don't want to play with me, they want to ...(do something else).. so I give up and leave them to what they are watching/playing."  I have had to tell him that it happens to me as well.  It takes a lot of energy to engage the children on a constant basis.  The fact that I have twins may require more intentionality than from a singleton, I don't know.  It is also hard to engage your children when you are ill, or tired, or just plain run down.  

We are also experiencing a heat wave this week; a welcome appearance after a full week of cloud and rain.  Previously, I had taken them to the park around 10 a.m. on nice mornings, but now I prefer to let them explore the backyard.  My son likes to climb in and out of a toy car, while my daughter roams the yard to pick up any rock or dirty stick she can find.  Very different personae are visible already. It is easier to put them in the yard than the park as they tend to go in opposite directions and hate using the leash.  Mind you I have used the leash once, to my son's strong objection, so that lasted all of 10 minutes.  Hence I prefer weekends when hubby is home to go to the park with us as we often end up in opposite ends of the playground.  

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