As it is in most all families…my kids are all very different personalities….which creates a challenge for me when trying to plan out a day that helps each child to feel loved and cared for. Here is my plan of attack for our home. :-)
Child #1: Maggie. 3 years old. I have learned that Maggie needs some one on one time each day. She doesn’t recognize that she needs it and won’t ask for it, but by mid morning I try to make sure that I have had a conversation with her (ONLY HER) where I am asking her questions about her morning/day and focusing on her answers. No distractions, no answering her brother, no running around doing things while she’s talking. I ask her things like how she slept, if she liked her breakfast, what she would like to do that day, if their is a craft she’d like to do, and if their is an outfit she would like to wear that day (assuming she’s not already dressed). The few minutes is takes to talk with her really helps to make a connection with her for the day and consequently is MUCH less likely to act out later in the day when she it tired.
Child #2: Sam. 3 years old. Sam will not let us forget that he is around. He is constantly under my feet wanting to “help”: help cook, help clean, help do laundry, help carry brother, help remind Maggie to flush and wash up, help get the mail, help hang a picture, help carry groceries…you name it- he’s surely qualified to help do it (or at least he thinks he is!). I try to involve him in as much as I can, he feels very important and loved when we let him assist us in the chores of daily life. I think we emotionally scar him when we don’t let him help us. I make an effort each day to have some physical play time with him. Maybe soccer or baseball outside, a tickle match inside, or some good old fashioned grunting and roaring at each other. He’s definitely a boy and I try hard to let him be one….
Child #3: Miles. 7 months old. Miles is a funny little guy. He can sit on my lap for HOURS and not make a peep. He just loves to sit with us and hang out. He’s not a fan of being in a room by himself, so when he is sitting down to play and his siblings run out of the room- he’s going to cry. He wants to be where the action is…although we aren’t too sure that he really wants to be a part of the action….just near it is good enough for him. It’s very easy for me to just tote Miles along with me throughout the day, because he is so content being toted along!! BUT, I have recently made an effort to have a period of time where I just sit and play with Miles and his toys on the floor. It’s been a little difficult to train Sam and Maggie to let me do it, but they are getting more and more used to it each day. It’s good for Miles…and good for them!