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Filling up your child's emotional cup

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hi there,

so I'm starting to read the term "fill up your child's emotional cup" each morning/day from various sites or articles that have caught my interest. I think it's a term coined by Dr Laura Markham actually.

Anyway... my son has just turned 22 months and my goodness is it an intense time. Totally normal I know, but intense. I'm a SAHM, we breastfeed, my son is pretty much an all night nurser. It's intense to say the least. He's very attached to me and/or "my babas" (his words), but honestly I LOVE this time of my life with him and I try to cherish the good in every day.

Some moments however .... when my son is really high need ... I wonder if perhaps I could fill up his "emotional cup" better so that he feels more secure in himself.... I don't know ....

I was wondering if any of you take active steps to fill up your child's emotional cup each morning and explicitly what does this involve / look like?

Thanks :-D
post #2 of 3
Filling up my child's emotional cup, to me, means making sure he feels a balance of security and connection with me so he feels free to explore and learn independently. I do this providing him with a consistent daily routine and within that routine, allowing at least 20 minutes each day in which he has time to play without interruption and my role is to quietly observe. I'm providing him the attention he needs, on his terms, without directing him in his play or offering praise ("good job"'s can change his play time from independent exploration into performing to gain my approval). If he invites me to play with him, I do so by following his lead and not being "in charge". I only intervene when he does something that could be harmful. And often he'll let me know that he's had enough attention from me be getting totally absorbed in his own play, and at that point I let him know I'm going to step away, but I'll be there if he needs me.

He has a routine with me that he can rely on without feeling like he's on a schedule...we don't rush through the day, I'm careful to only plan one errand-run a day so he doesn't get overwhelmed, and I always give him a heads up if we need to transition to a new activity (I.e. Meal times or diaper changes) to give him a chance to prepare himself.

At the end of the day we have a bed time routine that always ends with cuddling in my bed while we read a few books...then when it's time for him to lie down, I list for him all of our family members, who love him, and I remind him that I love him every minute of every day.

I feel like by providing him with consistency and enough of my attention during his play sessions, he gets the confidence to not only be independent, but also to trust me as his parent (gentle leader), so when I do have to enforce a rule or intervene , he may not like it, but his unhappy feeling (and sometimes intense expression of those feelings) about it doesn't last long.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Fair play aluara! Thanks for responding. I'm taking notes :-D best wishes to you and yours.
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