It is ok to stop entertaining your child & just Step Away From Your Child. Let’s talk about our incessant need to entertain and fill our kids’ days with crafts, toys, and educational learning experiences. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter and follow along on Facebook so you don’t miss a single post in the 31 Days & 31 Ways To Be A Better Mom series!
A Routine Day With My First Born
I kid you not, this was a typical day in my first-born’s day as a toddler. Wake up at 5:30 am (EEK!). Nurse her. Hold her. Read to her. Play blocks with her. Feed her breakfast. Get myself dressed very quickly. Head out for a walk (READ: Fun educational experience as I talked to her nonstop about the leaves, the weather, the pond, the geese). Grab a snack and head to the park (a new one of course). Go down the slide with her, push her in the swings, explore all the bugs. Come home for a quick lunch. Head upstairs to play babies, do a craft, color. Go outside to walk, pick flowers, color with chalk. Dinner, Bath and Bed. Whew!!
Now I know parenting is an exhausting job, but I felt mentally drained at the end of each day because I was CONSTANTLY looking for ways to entertain and keep my little girl occupied. The thought of her laying in a swing seemed horrid! (So much so that I didn’t even own a swing, an exersaucer or pretty much anything like that with her!)
I equated my full-time gig as entertainer of HER year to showing her I loved her. Wrong!
It took me until I had my second little girl to realize that I needed to step awwaaayyy from my kids. That kids playing alone (supervised) is a REALLY good thing. Not just for me but for them.
Why Boredom is a GOOD Thing!
It is only when a child is “bored” that they truly learn to use their imagination. That creativity and resourcefulness can be discovered. Boredom allows a child to figure out how to entertain himself in the midst of rainy days, summer vacation, snow, and when their best friends are out of town.
When a child is bored but figures out how to play anyway, they indirectly are learning about what truly interests them. What their passions are. What they are naturally drawn to and what they aren’t. What they excel in. This is the foundation for ultimately answering that big question later in life…What Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up?
How can a child who is constantly given activities OR who is so scheduled in dance, soccer, football ever really figure these questions out?
The answer is they can’t.
After Hazel, my 2nd, was born, I realized it was not only unhealthy for me to be her constant source of entertainment, it also was not even attainable. I had a baby who exclusively nursed (could not take a bottle) and needed a great deal of attention. Hannah had to learn to figure out how to play basically.
And you know what? She did!
And because of her and my change in parenting, Hazel learned it early on. In fact, at the age of 3, she can easily get lost in a world of taking care of her babies for over an hour!
The Change Was Good For Both Me AND My Girls
Hello home cooked meals and daily showers! Because once I let my kids be bored and figure things out on their own, I actually had some time. Because in letting go, I was actually becoming a better mom. I was helping my kids to grow and I wasn’t so exhausted. We were all a lot happier to be honest!
p.s. – I bought an amazing swing and exersaucer for my 2nd!
If you have missed any in the series 31 Days & 31 Ways To Be A Better Mom, catch up here:
INTRO TO SERIES:
DAY 1: OUR BEFORE SCHOOL RULE
DAY 2: UNPLUG AND PLUG IN
DAY 3: STEP AWAY FROM YOUR CHILD
DAY 4: EMBRACE YOUR CRAZY
DAY 5: BE A REBEL
DAY 6: DO AS I SAY
DAY 7: FIND YOUR VILLAGE
DAY 8: DIVIDE & CONQUER
DAY 9: ONE SMART COOKIE
DAY 11: STOP COMPARING YOUR CHILD
DAY 12: TAKE CARE OF #1
DAY 13: DATE YOUR CHILD
DAY 17: PUT YOURSELF IN THEIR SHOES
DAY 18: QUIT BEATING YOURSELF UP
DAY 22: FAMILY DINNER SHMINNER
DAY 23: REBELLION IS A CRAZY THING
DAY 24: TELL THEM IT WILL GET BETTER
DAY 26: IT’S OKAY TO WISH TODAY WAS OVER
DAY 27: BE A GOOD DAUGHTER
DAY 28: QUIT TRYING TO BE THAT OTHER MOM
DAY 29: YOU CAN’T BUY THEIR HAPPINESS
DAY 30: TELL YOUR KIDS YOU ARE A FAILURE
DAY 31: LEARNING TO LET GO
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