The Mini-Saurus "C" and I have been spending more time trying to
do some preschool-like activities together while her older sister "E" is away at school.
I've found that I have fewer discipline issues with her when I keep her actively engaged
and actually sit down with her and "play" in a connected and present way.
When she acts up, it is usually because she doesn't have my attention.
I'm not saying that we need to spend 24 hours a day waiting on our kids hand and foot
with our undivided attention, nothing would ever get done around here if I did that.
But, I am realizing that because she's an easy kid I forget to really just sit down and play with her
like I used to do when I only had one child (when her big sister was this age!)
Sometimes, it can be hard as a parent to remember to stay connected
and in the moment with our kids... our minds wander, laundry piles call,
email and facebook updates sing their time-wasting siren songs.
A simple, organized game thrown into the mix with the spontaneous
activities like walks around the neighborhood,
(playing in the sand table, playdoh, puzzles, polly pockets)
helps to break up the day and keeps my mind from wandering.
We dumped out our bin of tiny animals and found matching pairs of two.
They don't have to be identical, just two of the same kind of animal.
Then I put some in a bowl and gave her an empty egg carton.
She enjoyed searching and sorting,
we called it "Mamas and Babies"
and paired up the mamas with their babies complete with tiny conversations
in little voices for each set of critters.
After the first round, she started pairing up two animals per opening in the egg carton
to make more families fit inside!
What kind of games do you play to stay engaged with your preschooler?
One of my favorite blogs, the Parenting Passageway has written some great posts lately
about parenting exhaustion for parents of toddlers
and sibling fighting and discipline issues for those of us
with toddlers and older siblings in the 7-8 year old range!