Things have been a little crazy around these parts of late. There've been holiday classes to attend, Little Lady's regular classes to go to, errands to run, other holiday activities to go to, Christmas tree to decorate, some packing to do, naps to take.... So we've been out and about quite a bit, and often on a schedule (especially for the classes).
Although I do my best to ensure that they're home for their afternoon nap most days, the children have not been the most cooperative, especially when I'm running errands. As a result, Little Man has been getting rather frustrated. This manifests in his being demanding, impatient and uncooperative.
The other day, I had an errand to run downtown. Instead of bringing both kids along with me (!) or leaving them both with grandparents, who help me to keep an eye on them on a weekly basis, I decided to bring Little Man along with me. To make it more fun for him, we took the train. He had been asking when we could take the train downtown to see the skyscrapers ever since we drove by on the way to lunch with the grandparents one weekend. Since we were actually going downtown, and parking there is usually horrendous and astronomical, I thought, why not.
Although it took longer than if I had driven, it was a good decision. We had to switch trains, which he absolutely enjoyed. Also, taking the train forced *me* to slow down. I could neither control the speed of the train, nor the route it took. I did not have to focus on traffic and therefore be 'distracted' from more pressing matters by Little Man and his stories. Although it took me a while to settle down, I did after a few minutes and thoroughly enjoyed my son's company.
Without the distraction of more 'pressing matters', I could now give my fullest attention to what was most important - my son. He shared his observations with me, told me stories and was most pleased that he had my 100% attention. It was a good time connecting with him. I really must make it a point to just go out on dates with him, doing things on his agenda, rather than on mine. Or to at least merge our agendas, as we did with the train ride to town. He was very patient and cooperative as I ran my errand, and we had another good trip back.
As a bonus, he has been much better behaved after that. It is a good reminder that when childn misbehave, it is a sign that they need us to reconnect with them.
Has your child been out of sorts and difficult to handle lately? Slow down and connect.
Little Man: 4 years 6 months
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