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How much focus time (your full attention) with 2 year old? - Page 2

post #21 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnolaS View Post

One more thought~ there are several things I wish my own parents had done differently raising me, and "being more present with me as a toddler" is not even in the running. And I was a toddler in the playpen era (also the leave the kids in the car while you go grocery shopping era!). Thinking about that helps me with the guilt, too.



This is so true! I never even thought of that.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by t2009 View Post



Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by blizzard_babe View Post

Honestly, We've kind of made it a point NOT to entertain him or do kid-focused stuff with him all the time. Sure, I'll get down and play trains for a while when I have some spare time, but then get up and do something and leave him to his own devices. Similarly, he'll come join us in whatever we're doing (he has a dish washing fascination) if the mood strikes him. We talk and interact while he does his thing and we do ours. "Quality time," in my opinion, isn't necessarily "adult focused solely on kiddie activities" time. Just existing in the same space and interacting naturally is pretty much how kids learn. I'm not saying we ignore DS1 when he wants to play, not at all. But saying, "I'm tired of playing with airplanes, I'm going to go start the laundry. Do you want to stay and play by yourself or do you want to come with me and help?" or stuff like that. 


Also this ^^!! I read somewhere (in those early days of reading a lot about children's development) about child-centered vs. continuum concept and the idea of not being child-centered and just existing with your child and sharing your space and world with him really appealed to me. I admit that this is hard to remember when culturally I feel pushed to spend "quality" time playing with him when we're together. But blizzard_babe's response is a good reminder that more child-centered activities isn't necessarily a good thing.



Oh, that's good to know.

post #22 of 27

6hrs?  Shoot, my GOAL is 1 hr with my 2 yr old.  I have WAY too much to do to spend more time than that totally focused on just my 2 yr old not doing chores or anything else.  And not just housework-I have a 3  month old to nurse and change her diapers, a teen to run all over, errands like dropping things at the post office, or grocery shopping, cooking, etc etc etc.  And some days, I don't even get that hour.

 

As for what we do-make snacks together (I find baking something unnecessary is easier with a 2 year old than allowing her to "help" make real dinner, it's less stressful for me, making it easier to focus my attention on her) I made playdough with her and then just kinda set her on it.  We play legos or dance to music.  Sometimes just a meal or snack together at the table. 

post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post

6hrs?  Shoot, my GOAL is 1 hr with my 2 yr old.  I have WAY too much to do to spend more time than that totally focused on just my 2 yr old not doing chores or anything else.  And not just housework-I have a 3  month old to nurse and change her diapers, a teen to run all over, errands like dropping things at the post office, or grocery shopping, cooking, etc etc etc.  And some days, I don't even get that hour.

For the record, we had a rough day today, and I would say pretty much NONE of it was child-centered. So my 6hr estimate may have been a bit high. ;)

post #24 of 27

Great thread. I was just talking about this with my own mom. My mom was here this weekend and she and I spent the day running around together and left my 22 month old home with daddy from 10:30 until 6:30. She fell asleep in his arms while they were dancing around 6:15 or 6:30, she was sooo worn out. She didn't nap so that was part of it...but I told my mom that DH probably played with her every minute of the day. He always plays with her when he's home. I don't feel like I play with her all that much compared to him. But I have a household to run while he is at work. And my mom reminded me that I'm not daddy, I'm mommy and she said that moms can't play with their little ones all day or nothing would get accomplished. I know this. But it helped to hear it.

 

That said, I do think I can find more time to play. But I am much happier when we do things out of the house like the park or play spaces or the library. We are out a lot of time running errands. When we are home I am usually cleaning or it is meal time or nap time. I do sit and read books with her a lot. At least 1/2 hour or hour is spent doing that each day. And she is very interested in being involved with cooking and cleaning now. So she is usually by my side while I do most things - it's just not me building a tower with her for the 408th time this week.

 

Cindy

post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by blizzard_babe View Post

It was shortly after that age (DS1 is now 2 1/2) that we started being able to just do things with him playing next to us, or watching, or participating. Like I can sit on the couch and knit while he plays cars. He craves a little bit of connection, so I call him over at the end of every row/round to press the button on the knitting row-counter app on my iPod Touch, and then tell him to go back and play, and he DOES. We can sort of exist together, doing separate things, like separate human beings (he also does this with DH, who's home with him during the day).

 

Honestly, We've kind of made it a point NOT to entertain him or do kid-focused stuff with him all the time. Sure, I'll get down and play trains for a while when I have some spare time, but then get up and do something and leave him to his own devices. Similarly, he'll come join us in whatever we're doing (he has a dish washing fascination) if the mood strikes him. We talk and interact while he does his thing and we do ours. "Quality time," in my opinion, isn't necessarily "adult focused solely on kiddie activities" time. Just existing in the same space and interacting naturally is pretty much how kids learn. I'm not saying we ignore DS1 when he wants to play, not at all. But saying, "I'm tired of playing with airplanes, I'm going to go start the laundry. Do you want to stay and play by yourself or do you want to come with me and help?" or stuff like that. 


This is what we're noticing now too. We can be doing our own thing nearby (reading, knitting etc.) and she'll play, or bring a book up onto the couch next to me. I also invite DD (26 months) to help with any chore I'm doing but she's starting to choose to play alone instead of following me down to the laundry room every time. Also, DD just started saying, "Mama, I need you" when it really has been too long since she had my attention. I think that is such a great way to communicate clearly and so of course I stop what I'm doing right away to play with her.

post #26 of 27

i have no idea.. when they need something they come to me and we do games and stuff together through the day but i never really sit down for X amount of time

post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 

These are all great responses. I think it's great that so many of you just basically listen to your child tells you, in terms of how much attention they need. If they need you, and you can play with them at that moment, great! If not they can wait a bit and then play. That's awesome too.

 

I think the "existing together and sharing a space" idea is very interesting. And I'm happy it works for some families. :)

 

Personally, my opinion has changed a little since I started this thread. I'm determined to spend more time with not just my son, but my husband as well. In my family I think quality time is a way to show love that I may have been slacking on. Of course every family is different and you know what your family needs, to feel loved. But when I see the joy on DS face when I just merely sit in his new play tunnel/tent thing he got for christmas, it feels so right. For a moment, everything else can wait. (and the tent really helps me block out those distractions!!)

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