Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Connecting with your Babas:

I found this link on Pinterest (thanks @Lindsey Bresee for pinning!) and the timing is perfect, so thank you very much Alissa  at http://creativewithkids.com/ for the great inspiration.
Pinned Image
It is all about showing your children how much you care about them and enjoy spending time with them- really reconnecting with them.

As I mentioned in my previous post, Little Man is moving away from breastfeeding. Yesterday was the first time, in the evening after a long day at crèche, that before bed, when offered a feed, he said “I don’t want any”. Oh my heart strings! This is crazy for him, he was never one of those babies or toddlers who cut down to one or two feeds a day, oh no, my little man would often feed all day if you let him. And when he got mobile and a bit busy during the day, he feed slightly less during the day, but feed all night.
There were many tough nights, I probably should have wanted to stop feeding him, for my sanity, but I just loved the bond feeding offered. All could be falling down around us, chaos, stress, maybe tears, but then when LM would latch on and we’d look into each others eyes, all would be right in the world. I’d stroke his face, and sometimes he’d stroke mine, or my hair, nice and gently. And we would instantly reconnect, and the Oxytocin (the love hormone) would flow. I would feel myself melt, calming down, as would LM.
And as this amazing reconnecting/ bonding activity may be slipping away from us, as babywearing did before (see Baby Wearing Post), I am very conscious of needing to keep up that connection and touch with LM in other ways.
So this post from Alissa  at http://creativewithkids.com/ was very timely indeed and has given me lots to think about. We already do practice a lot of them, some not so often as we should.

Some of my favourites (my comments in green) (there are so many to choose from (100!) and such good ideas, so have a look) that we don’t do or need to remember to do more of!
Tell to your child:
  • If I could pick any 2 year old in the whole wide world, I’d pick you. Ahhh!!
Tell them:
  • A story about how their grandparents met. Want to do this one, will be nice. I have told LM a story about his Granny falling from a horse, and he loves recapping it.
  • That when you’re holding hands and you give three squeezes, it’s a secret code that means, “I love you”.  This is so cute, will definitely do this, so we can have a special quite “I love you” moment when out and about.
  • To get enough sleep. Stop staying up late, Remember your little man does not sleep consistently, so stop living a lie!!
  • Dancing in the kitchen. We already do this and love it- see Alternative Music Therapy post
  • A book of silly poems. Or read some Roald Dahl- good for funny unusual words.
  • A book and then act it out. (Like “I’m going on a Bear Hunt”) We previously did a great bear hunt around the house; need to do some more of this type of play.
  • For that question that indicates your child really needs your input.
  • One second longer than you think you have patience for.
  • For the feelings behind your child’s words. All very Important and easy to forget to do!

  • Your child how to do something instead of banning them from it. Too easy to just say NO, need to try this a lot more.
  • Affection to your spouse. I really hope my LM grows up knowing that his mama and dada loved each other very much and that he can see this. Something that always stuck with me from a not great move “In the Nick of Time” with Johnny Depp (yum) was a sad scene where a child sees two people kissing passionately and comments. And it comes out some way or another (was years ago that I saw it) that she didn’t remember ever seeing her mum and dad kissing like that (the Mum had passed away). I thought this was so sad and poignant.
  • That taking care of yourself is important. Cleaning teeth, face, washing hands, showers/ baths, cleaning hands before and after eating.
  • That you are the right parent for your child.
  • That you are enough. True True, but easily to forget/ doubt on a bad day.
Some of my suggestions:
  • Tell them about your wedding song.
I sang “Happy Together” to my bump all through my pregnancy, and we sing it as a lullaby to LM to calm him, or get him to sleep. He has known all the words off by heart since he was about 26 months, through osmosis. So he now sings it to us.
Recently he asked was he at our wedding, and we said no, he asked where he was, and we told him he was waiting up in the sky until it was time to come into my belly.
So now he gets us to dance together and sing “Happy Together” and he waits up in the “sky”. Then near the end he runs over arms open for a huge hug and joins in our dance. It is so cute, amazing how their little minds work.
  • Ask them what they dreamt about, and tell them your dreams.
  • Visit an art gallery with them and discuss the paintings and ask them what they think is happening, what they see. Funny book about an art gallery visit: Anthony Brown “The Shape Game”.

The Shape Game
The Shape Game

  • Show them how to give butterfly kisses- put your eyelashes up to their cheek and flutter them, and Eskimo kisses- rub noises with each other.
  • Snuggle Huggle Bell- set the oven timer and when the bell goes off hug!
  • Cloud watch- Lie on the ground (on a nice spring summer day) and stare up at the sky (obviously in the opposite direction to the sun!) and say what you see in the clouds. A great book for this is Eric Carle “Little Cloud”

Little Cloud
Eic Carle Little Cloud

  • Create a special handshake, for just your family.
  • Give you baba a foot massage.
  • Ask them what they want to be when they grow up- and act it out.

What do you do to reconnect with your little ones?

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