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Playful Parenting (thread 2) - Page 4

post #61 of 138
Embee I'm really sorry to hear about your Tuesday night. Did you feel dissappointed that you lost your temper? I understand that feeling of "You should be in bed, and I should be on the couch enjoying me time." It is pretty hard to be calm about it especially when you haven't had a moment to yourself and you are tired after a long day.

I was amazed at the progress your ds and you made after it. Congrats to you

I just wanted to say something comforting because you were really helpful the last time I made my dramatic post about dd. We all lose our tempers sometime. I think keeping our cups filled is important especially when we do things that we don't like. We all have needs that have to be filled. It sounds like you work really hard to meet your son's needs don't forget to meet yours.

I'm worried that I sound judgemental. I guess I'm just trying to say be good to yourself .
post #62 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by MangoMamma
Did you feel dissappointed that you lost your temper?
And how. I think there is no more intense critic then ourselves, no?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MangoMamma
I just wanted to say something comforting because you were really helpful the last time I made my dramatic post about dd. We all lose our tempers sometime. I think keeping our cups filled is important especially when we do things that we don't like. We all have needs that have to be filled.
Thank you so much for this. Its the same thing I would say to anyone else, but somehow I'm harder on myself. Having someone else say it to me really does help and its a good and NECESSARY reminder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MangoMamma
I'm worried that I sound judgemental. I guess I'm just trying to say be good to yourself .
Not at all. I appreciate your kind, supportive and reassuring words. In a place that is filled with super hard working mammas trying their darndist to be gentle all the time, I mostly very sheepish about admitting such a terrible offense to my own standards of parenting. When another mamma (s!) step up and to be supportive and understanding, it truly does help me to recover, treat myself better, be better with DS and move on.

Thank you,
Em
post #63 of 138
Today I am grouch mama. Dh canceled DS's day with Grandma because Dh was able to stay home today. "I want to spend the day with Ds." Turns out that means Dh will make pickled peppers in the kitchen with the radio on, and I will try to get my "grandma day" agenda accomplished with Ds hanging on me and whining. Dh has no idea why I am upset about this.

OK, that was my vent that has nothing to do with playfulness...sorry. About PP, I am all burned out again--I play with ds, and then when I try to do something that is more satisfying to me he whines and clings and whines and clings. I get really fed up and snap at him and push him away. I am feeling drained and not replenished, everybody wanting something from me, and extremely resentful, especially when dh seems clueless. Especially when ds is whining mainly because he refuses to poop and feels bad. It is really hard to play anything silly when I am drained and resentful.... If it weren't for feminism I would think I am just insane.

So what was it I was JUST telling you, embee...? I guess the whole nurturing yourself part is actually in the PP book, so we don't always have to just talk about our kids' play, do we. I am really getting the guilt thing about time for myself, which is part of why I let DH decide this thing about no-grandma-today--it sounds so bad to say "well YOU may want to spend the day with ds, but I have had enough days with ds and I don't want another one right now." I mean, jeez. He's my kid, I'm his mom, I am supposed to want to be with him every adorable minute, right?

Grrr. Thanks for letting me carry on. Of course you can't exactly stop me....
post #64 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denise K
Today I am grouch mama. Dh canceled DS's day with Grandma because Dh was able to stay home today. "I want to spend the day with Ds." Turns out that means Dh will make pickled peppers in the kitchen with the radio on, and I will try to get my "grandma day" agenda accomplished with Ds hanging on me and whining. Dh has no idea why I am upset about this.
Oh, I've so been there, mama! My DH is usually pretty good but there have been times when I've actually had to say to him something along the lines of: "I don't think you understand. I'm walking a thin line. I was counting on having some down time. I'm going to be a much better mom to DS if I get some down time. I need a break." And then if he gives me the, "ok, ok" line, I just try hard to look past my own guilt and take what I need. While it might be a little inconvenient to DH up front, he'll realize just how important it is/was once I come back in the foor feeling like I can face the world again. My feeling is, if you were counting on a day to recharge and your DH changed the plan because HE wanted to be with DS, then that's great--let THEM have a day together. Its still perfectly acceptable for YOU to get out of the house, by yourself for a good long spell. This is when I pack the car with a book, some munchies and take off. Do whatever, go wherever... take a walk and not come back for several hours. The thing is, if I'd been honest and up front with DH about him leaving last Tuesday for the whole day, I could have avoided the horrible "scene." "Sucking it up" can only go so far for me. At some point I'm gonna blow.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Denise K
OK, that was my vent that has nothing to do with playfulness...sorry. About PP, I am all burned out again--I play with ds, and then when I try to do something that is more satisfying to me he whines and clings and whines and clings. I get really fed up and snap at him and push him away. I am feeling drained and not replenished, everybody wanting something from me, and extremely resentful, especially when dh seems clueless. Especially when ds is whining mainly because he refuses to poop and feels bad. It is really hard to play anything silly when I am drained and resentful.... If it weren't for feminism I would think I am just insane.
Well, we all know where *I'VE* been lately so suffice to say, I can totally relate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denise K
So what was it I was JUST telling you, embee...? I guess the whole nurturing yourself part is actually in the PP book, so we don't always have to just talk about our kids' play, do we. I am really getting the guilt thing about time for myself, which is part of why I let DH decide this thing about no-grandma-today--it sounds so bad to say "well YOU may want to spend the day with ds, but I have had enough days with ds and I don't want another one right now." I mean, jeez. He's my kid, I'm his mom, I am supposed to want to be with him every adorable minute, right?
Indeed! I think there is much discussion to be had for what makes a good PP atmosphere and let's face it, it starts with us, we make the weather. As MangoMamma told me not so very long ago, we have needs to and if they aren't met, we also have a tendency to meltdown. It's a predictable outcome, but somehow unavoidable at times. I wish I could offer you something here Denise, some great words of wisdom. The only thing I can say, is just to be very calmly up front about your needs with DH. If he's clueless, clue him in. Oh my DH's best days, he totally sees where I'm coming from. When I've perhaps inconvenience him with my needs, he always comes around later when he's had a chance to see things from my pov. A well repeated line for me is, "If I don't take care of myself, I can't take care of anyone else, period." Its not an attempt to manipulate, but a pure and simple fact.

Hang in there and I hope you find some time to relax today. That said, I've been known to lock myself in the bathroom avec EAR PLUGS and hop in the tub.

The best,
Em
post #65 of 138
I am having technical problems with this thread, so please excuse the test post.
post #66 of 138
I have a whole new computer, so hopefully this will work....

Just wanted to say PP has been a challenge and a blessing lately. Ds hit a friend with a stick in the face, narrowly missing her eye, and play helped then reconnect. I have been feeling tired and uncreative, and haivng a hard time even wanting to play. Today ds tried to kick his other buddy's baby sister in the head...by evening I had recovered my balance somewhat, and instead of lecturing him some more I got out the dolls and we played babies. Some of the babies got eaten by a sea turtle, and some got cared for sweetly, and one got loved and attacked alternately....it was a strange game, but it seemed to work for ds, who obviously is having some intense feelings.
post #67 of 138
Thanks for posting DeniseK. Today I am losing the TV war with my dd and I started to let it take over. Reading your post has inspired me to turn off this machine and get off the computer and try and play regardless how I would like to surf on my own.
post #68 of 138
Thanks for posting DeniseK. Today I am losing the TV war with my dd and I started to let it take over. Reading your post has inspired me to turn off this machine and get off the computer and try and play regardless how I would like to take care of things in the house by myself. I realize from your story playing with the dolls how important it is to play and connect. Thanks.
post #69 of 138
Hey all,

Good to "connect" with you. In many ways, I regard this as my "home thread" and I'm happy to see if when someone has checked in.

Denise, I hear you. We've surely talked about it before, but it is definitely the thing I come up against the most: my inability to play. In fact, my sincere desire NOT to play. The hardest days are when things are rough and I have seemingly no ability to bring to the situation the right frame of mind, the willingness to sit down, play and forget about all else. My internal dialog is key here. I'm getting better (well, mostly) at convincing myself that not only is it the best thing to do, its the only way to truly right the situation. Indeed, what I want to do is hide in the kitchen, read my book, get some chores done, start dinner and then, will DS to play on his own. BUT... the more I try to fade into the woodwork, the longer the connection is severed, the more the relationship suffers, and the worse things get.

I applaud our continued efforts to see it through even on those days where we just don't "wanna." It helps to know there are people out there feeling the same things, and working through things and somedays, having the darnest time doing so! MangoMamma, I hope your day got better yesteday!

Things here are going well. The other day, DS and his buddy became doctors with a rather "ill" bedside manner. I was the "patient" but of course. Their delight in giving me nothing but shots and bad tasting "medicine" was incredibly symbolic and my overly-dramatic reactions and cries to be "released from the hospital" were met with so much delight and giggles, I could see right there how very empowering it was for the two of them. Nothing makes me happier as when I can see by simply playing at losing my dignity helps them to feel better about those times when everything they seemingly do is at odds with what the world wants for them to do. Seriously theraputic!

The best,
Em
post #70 of 138
You know, those days when I am having trouble playing, often wht turns me around is just letting myself respond in a goofy way to ds--who is always offering me opportunities. So, maybe I haven't been willing to sit down on the floor and focus, and life is cranky, and I keep explaining to him why it would be good to just go poop instead of making himself miserable....(this is yesterday) and I am trying to get him to get up and run around because I know that will make him go, but he won't do it for the smae reason... This is our big challenge right now (along with aggression toward other kids and babies, which is fueled by this problem).

and then as I'm coming out of the bathroom he runs up and says ferociously "if you don't read me a book, I will squeak this frog at you!" squeak squeak. For a moment I thought of being boring, and then I ran away screaming oh no! And he chased me all over the house, giggling his head off. It was so much fun. And then of course he had to poop, and he also had that charged-up powerful connected feeling that gave him the courage he needed.

I love seeing that feeling in him. I keep forgetting that it's play that does it--because often play isn't what does it for ME. This time, though, it was good for me too. Sometimes I just can't stand to play cars. It's good to remember that running around squawking is also an option.
post #71 of 138
DeniseK whenever I read stories like those I have tears in my eyes. I'm glad people keep posting with their successes or failures because they remind me to keep PP.

Yesterday, I had a similar example with my nephew. He's been having a hard time in grade 1. We started playing silly games with some toy bats and pokeman chips. It wasn't even a conscious decision to play. His brother just came up to me with a little bat and said"I'm a bat." and about 30 minutes of silly fun ensued. I couldn't believe it was me(because I hate playing) and I couldn't believe that there was no fighting with me and my two nephews who were playing. And for a bonus everyone was so happy afterward.
post #72 of 138
I've posted before here just to thank everyone for this thread. I don't even own Playful Parenting yet, but I've learned so much from all of you. Denise-I love your post and you've reminded me again of all those opportunities I've missed to be as playful and loving as I can be. Thank you!
post #73 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denise K
You know, those days when I am having trouble playing, often wht turns me around is just letting myself respond in a goofy way to ds--who is always offering me opportunities.
This is good. Sometimes just how I verbalize a response can help...

When things are getting "on the edge" around here, just responding in a silly voice or accent can quickly reconnect our communication gap--though lately, DS and I both have fallen into this valley girl voice thing which drives DH nutz, "Um DS, Like Hello! I told you I would get you a snack AFTER I totally pee." (yelled from the bathroom while DS is DEMANDING something to eat for the third time from the living room) Of course, I had to point out that at a time when things could have hit the fan (i.e., when I really wanted to tell DS to get it his own d*mn self!), valley girl saved the day. He couldn't argue and now when DH wants to yell, he tends to respond with "karate guy" voice: "AI-YA!"

The funny thing is that DS can tell when I'm getting cranky, and he's taken to using valley girl voice on ME when I'm getting pushy, bossy and short. And you know what? It works in reverse as well.

The best,
Em
post #74 of 138
That's a great idea...I'm going to try using the valley girl voice next time my dd does this with me. Thanks!

Since my dd turned 3.5 things have been difficult for her. She's had her first meltdown/tantrums. She knows how to talk...and I listen and give her plenty of attention...but sometimes she'll get so worked up there is no reasoning or comforting her. She's phasing out her naps even though she is tired. Also, she seems to be going through some transition. Some times she insists she is a baby and won't feed herself at all, won't even walk, talk, etc. And it goes on and on. Then she'll flip and want to do everything independently- again to the extreme.
All of a sudden, bedtime is a problem now too. She says she not tired and doesn't want to sleep. She is tired and very FUSSY. No matter what I do she wants more...sing songs, rub her back, etc. I think she's pushing me to see how far I'll let her push...but I don't want her crying to sleep either. Yikes.
post #75 of 138
Do you find it difficult to switch gears? Sometimes I get so embroiled in these riduculous battles. We used to fight about getting ready for ballet class in the am, be late and stressed. Her crying, I don't want to go to ballet class. Yesterday, I tried making it a race to see who could get ready first. Then in a sly voice said "Oh, she's playing with barbies, she won't notice I'm getting ready, and I'm not going to help her get dressed no matter what she asks me." Dd smiled and asked me if I could help her get dressed. I said in a silly voice. "Oh, sure, dd." She got dressed before me. I had a huge, dramatic temper tantrum because I never can win this race. We were at ballet class early.

But my question is to myself I guess, is why don't I remember this more. Why do I keep trying to convince her to get dressed, or turn the TV off etc. Why is it so hard to remember to be playful. How do I remember to keep doing it?
post #76 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary-Beth
Since my dd turned 3.5 things have been difficult for her. She's had her first meltdown/tantrums. She knows how to talk...and I listen and give her plenty of attention...but sometimes she'll get so worked up there is no reasoning or comforting her. She's phasing out her naps even though she is tired. Also, she seems to be going through some transition. Some times she insists she is a baby and won't feed herself at all, won't even walk, talk, etc. And it goes on and on. Then she'll flip and want to do everything independently- again to the extreme. All of a sudden, bedtime is a problem now too. She says she not tired and doesn't want to sleep. She is tired and very FUSSY. No matter what I do she wants more...sing songs, rub her back, etc. I think she's pushing me to see how far I'll let her push...but I don't want her crying to sleep either. Yikes.
Oh, this was DS to a tee at age 3. The baby thing in particular, had an incredible strong hold but hang in there, this too shall pass. I just went with it and tried very hard to let him be who he was in the moment. It was clear that he was making a huge transition from baby to kid and its really common for kids this age. He even used to have me swaddle him... um, NOT easy when their 30lbs!

Bedtime woes also kicked BACK in at this time. We had a rough first 2 - 2 1/2 years and then a year of bedtime/sleep bliss. And then, at 3 1/2, vague fears started to come on the scene, just something here and there. I do believe perhaps that I've posted about this on the other PP thread. Wow, have we been at it this long??? At any rate, we've changed a lot things about bedtime and we're still working through the muck, really. I have worked with him on it and that does seem to help/take the sting out anyway. Once, during the day while we were playing in his room, I jumped into his bed and said, it's bedtime! WAH! I don't want to go to bed and then proceeded to flip, flop, toss and turn and whine all the while, DS was the being ME, trying to calm me, etc., and he was admament that it WAS bedtime and I MUST get some rest. He had a good time being the one who didn't have to go to sleep. Indeed, it can feel like he's pushing me at bedtime, but I haven't sensed its because he's testing limits so much as the idea of going to bed just isn't one he likes. We were able finally talk about it when he got older and he simply said, "I don't like the day to end." And then again, we have the fears. The one thing that has really changed from about 3 1/2 to now, is just how sensitive DS is, about everything. He used to be much less so.

Hang in there! If I think of any more ideas, I let ya know!

The best,
Em
post #77 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by MangoMamma
Do you find it difficult to switch gears? Sometimes I get so embroiled in these riduculous battles. We used to fight about getting ready for ballet class in the am, be late and stressed. Her crying, I don't want to go to ballet class. Yesterday, I tried making it a race to see who could get ready first. Then in a sly voice said "Oh, she's playing with barbies, she won't notice I'm getting ready, and I'm not going to help her get dressed no matter what she asks me." Dd smiled and asked me if I could help her get dressed. I said in a silly voice. "Oh, sure, dd." She got dressed before me. I had a huge, dramatic temper tantrum because I never can win this race. We were at ballet class early.
I used to take this approach with getting jammies on... very helpful and fun too! Funny, once we've done something long enough, the issue just sort of melts away (to make way for new and improved ones! ), so hang in there and keep it up, mama!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MangoMamma
But my question is to myself I guess, is why don't I remember this more. Why do I keep trying to convince her to get dressed, or turn the TV off etc. Why is it so hard to remember to be playful. How do I remember to keep doing it?
OH OH OH! Yes... this is me! I bow at the alter of PP and yet, I forget all the time. It's funny when this happens to either DH or I and then we realized that its not just DS being a pain, its us forgetting to have a sense of humor... once we remember how to reconnect, things are much better but I think mainly, its just very easy to get caught up in my own stuff, ya know? And then also, in many ways playing can take more work at least initially. Of course, its usually much more effective and well worth the effort but indeed, somedays its *ME* who just wants DS to succumb to *MY* will. What can I say, want to be the kid!

Mostly, we are usually just in a groove or not. I do think its important to remind ourselves one way or another. For a long LONG time I had the book sitting out in the kitchen. I'd pick it up as I poured my coffee and just read a paragraph or two. Reading nurtures my mind and can keep me on the right path. I loaned the book our to a friend though and yikes, I hope she gives it back soon! Fortunately, I have a couple of others I keep around just for occasions like these.

The best,
Em
post #78 of 138
Thanks for your support Embee.

Tonight I decided no matter what she said or did at bedtime I wasn't going to get upset. It worked much better! I still don't know how we are going to resolve all the issues...but in the process of figuring this out hopefully I can remeber not to take everything so seriously.

It's late here...I'm going to sleep now!
post #79 of 138
Yeah, Mangomamma, it's hard to switch gears. Sometimes I jsut resent how difficult it is, and I want things to jsut be smooth. This is called fighting reality, which is rarely a good plan, since reality is way bigger than me. :LOL I wish I could always be great. This does not seem to be an option, but neither does giving up--so, being a perfectionist, I am really in a bind.

I've probably said this before, but I'll say it again--another awesome book that helps is Becky Bailey's Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline (ignore silly title). I am workign with it a lot, and it also makes it so clear how you can learn somethign and then it's still hard to do, and then you can do it once but it's still hard the next time.... I think the reason it's so hard to stay with it is that this is about learning and growing as a person, being the kind of human you want to be, and that that is just hard. Going contrary to habit, upbringing, unconscious beliefs, and culture--of course it's hard. I try to be gentle with myself, and often fail; but you know, if I can accept that growing is hard and awkward for me, it might help me accept that it's hard for ds too, and be gentler with both of us.

I am reading Pema Chodron (Buddhist nun, writer, teacher), and it's nice to hear from this extremely wise and evolved person, whose JOB is being spiritually awake, that, guess what? It's still hard.

Sometimes it helps to remember that this parenting is (at least as I am practicing it) a spirtiual path. Somebody said having a preschooler is like going to Buddhist boot camp. There isn't any time when you can just slouch around and take a break--if you fall apart and act crazy, you do it on the job.....and then get another opportunity to learn and grow, whether you deserve it or not.

I am going to try silly voices. Oh no, another way to have to let go of my dignity.....
post #80 of 138
PP quote of the day, and I am not making this up, from my son:

"Mama, wake UP, and play attention to me!"

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