I would describe Sprog as a happy, enjoyable and entertaining little boy. As his mother I am lucky enough to be able to say that he sleeps well, eats reasonably well and plays/interactions nicely with people when he’s awake. Our relatives are always keen to tell us how lovely he is but that when we think about expanding further and having another baby, they will not be the same as we’ve been so lucky this time.
Happy, smiley boy!
I am sure that a lot of this is luck, I know that some of my closest friends have done similar things with their babies and they are not so easy to manage. I know that we’ve probably ‘messed up’ along the way according to different theories of parenting. I also know that we are very conscious of trying to do the ‘right’ thing in our minds by him.
I’ve been struggling for a while with the concept of development come your baby’s 1st birthday. It felt to me like up to that point, we had a checklist of things they were meant to achieve and then there was very little guidance about what developmental milestones were to be hit and when.
What I’m sure all parents realise is that somewhere between 12 and 24 months, the baby becomes a toddler, and the toddler (can) become very, VERY loud and maybe, just maybe throw the odd tantrum. Who am I kidding?! Even my pleasant natured, happy little man can throw the mother of all screaming hissy fits should he desire. The kind where there’s the silent scream, mouth wide open, eyes screwed closed and then… the tears!
Remember this one, when all he wanted was the slipper that he’d just put on my foot?!
We are lucky enough to have a pretty supportive ‘gentle’ or ‘attachment’ parenting network in our local area although my involvement has been limited to the cyber world as they tend to meet when I’m at work. I started this whole parenting lark with no clue what I was doing and over time, I have found myself influencing, sometimes unknowingly, by the ideas of these schools of thought.
What could be wrong with just loving your child and supporting them through their changes in a natural and loving way?!
I attended a ToddlerCalm session in Brighton recently and I have found it so helpful to planning our way forward. I was starting to feel lost with regards to a strategy, a plan for helping Sprog go from lovely happy toddler, to a mature, considerate and kind teen! I know that his teen’s are a long way off but I teach them… I know that what happens in their first few years, shape who they become and that it can be very difficult to change their behaviours later on.
I won’t share too many of their secrets but the session was held in a lovely little meeting room complete with snacks provided by Anna who ran the session. We talked through our hopes and dreams for our small people and then the science behind how their brains actually work.
We talked about the feelings and frustrations of the toddler and what they need from us as parents. We discussed the ToddlerCalm way, if there is such a thing, of planning to avoid trigger situations and then handling the tantrum when it rears it’s ugly head.
I now feel much more confident as a Mama again.
This cheeky boy is my reason for being and I feel like I can be more for him now.
The strategies that I’ve come away with may not be the complete answer, but they’ve definitely made me feel like I can forge forward and help to mould my Sprog to be the best man that he can be.
Here’s the key things that I’m going to use and implement in our little world;
1 – Praising and noticing the effort behind a task rather than the outcome so that Sprog knows that it is important to try his best.
2 – Creating a visual timetable for his bedroom wall to avoid one of his triggers for tantrums which is his change in routine. Not necessarily daily rhythms that are disrupted but when we have changes like me going back to work after the school holidays – we had problems with that this time around.
3 – Giving more control to Sprog by giving him choices… these will be as simple as which socks does he want to wear, does he want a Satsuma or a kiwi, or which pattern of pants (in our cloth bums) does he want to wear.
I shall, of course, update you on how these changes are going but I think it’s safe to say that hubby and I both feel like we have more direction now and are more sure of the decisions that we are making.
*I was able to participate in the class in return for my honest review of the session. All opinions are my own*
I have also previously written about the 4 week BabyCalm course that we attended when Sprog was brand new and that has definitely shaped the parents we are, I don’t know that I would have started babywearing were it not for this course and that is something that Sprog and I still both enjoy a lot!