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New to GD ----could use some practical guidance

373 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Susan Kunkel
Could some of you explain the "structure" of your day? Don't get hung up on my use of the word "structure". I have three kids and we own our own business and are very involved in other things, too. I'm needing some practical guidance on how to incorporate or restructure the rhythm of our home!! I have two 3-1/2 yr. old girls and a 5-mo. old. I know I need to change the way we do things (girls watch tv while I nurse, shower, get ready for the day). I posted another thread and have gotten some good responses about some real sassiness we're struggling with, and I know a lot of it is the way we spend our days. I KNOW I need to get rid of the tv. I guess I'm wondering what that looks like for 3 yr. olds. What do your kiddos do while you're doing the things you NEED to do, if you're attachment parenting (a key, I guess to GD)? How much time in the mornings do you spend playing WITH them (do you plan out your play time, like making playdoh, etc.) or do you let them play on their own? When they're not getting along, do you assume they're bored, or just being kids? Just wondering how much to expect of them, am I horrible for needing them to play on their own a lot while I take care of little one, work at home, etc. Positive suggestions PLEASE!!
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I was hoping someone with more and older kids would answer, but here goes
Dd actually likes to play imaginary/pretend stuff a lot with her play animals, etc., so she doesn't require constant interaction then. Also, I've found that food items like coffee beans, flour, cornmeal, rice, etc. make great play in the kitchen while I'm cleaning or cooking, and the clean-up isn't that bad.

A friend on another board mentioned something that I really liked, the idea of expanding and contracting. Expanding activities are loud and have lots of movement, such as putting on a CD and dancing or running outside, etc. Contracting activities are quieter and more restful, like reading stories together, etc. Alternating between the two to keep a balance is really important for little kids. Too much of one or the other triggers spats and crankiness. So if you've been pretty quiet indoors, try to throw in some expanding activities; if they're tired from chasing each other, suggest some contracting activities.

I collect parenting books
and one of the most practical as far as spelling out different steps in GD/AP is Adventures in Gentle Discipline by Hilary Flower. It really is worth buying.

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Let's see. I have given up on taking a shower in the morning. I do it at night and it's so much less stressfull.

In the morning we do their responsibilities (getting dressed, eating breakfast and brushing their teeth), then we do our responsibilities (cleaning up breakfast and feeding the animals) then I usually get a few minutes of them playing quietly or dancing to a cd while I get ready for the day. I study while my 19mo is taking a nap, and have the older two do a quiet activity. My 6yo usually plays a game on the compuer and my 4yo will play quietly. I don't spend alot of time cooking. I
my crockpot. When I'm using that I either throw the stuff in the night before and stick it in the fridge or I do it sometime in the morning when the kids are playing, sometimes one or more of them help me. When I do cook, my 19mo is either on my back or pulling all the pots and pans out of the cupboards
, my 4yo either helps or sits at the kitchen table and draws or does 'school work' (her idea, not mine), and my 6yo follows me around and chats at me.

I try to get everything I can get done before the kids go to bed - that includes most, if not all the cleaning. Sometimes I mop before bathtime and have everyone stay upstairs while the floors are wet, other times I just mop after they're in bed. But by finding a way to do everything before they're in bed that leaves all the time after they're in bed for me to do stuff I can't do with them my homework.
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This is actually a tricky question to respond to, as straightforward as it may seem. This is only my opinion, and what works for us. I am an extremely laid back person. I don't care if the laundry didn't get done, if I took a shower today, when we eat, or when we sleep. I have thus far had much success with letting the chickies pick their own schedules. As far as tv goes, my family watches tv and movies, and enjoy them very much. The key for us is limiting our media exposure to educational, non-violent things and only in moderation. I have found that my 3 yr old learns a lot from certain shows, particularly Little Einsteins. She can name all of the instruments, not only on the show, but she can pick them out when we are listening to music. I for one, do not hold much regard to structure as most people know it. We have family/household rules, but we kinda do what we want, when we want to. I let her pick out what she wants to wear,eat,when she wants to sleep or shower, and often even where we will go today. I am very flexible. As a result, we don't have many family feuds, and she has learned that when I say, you know, we just can't do that today or right now, that I obviously have a justified excuse. She has no trouble expressing to me that she is hungry, or tired. I have an 8 mo old that I wear in a Maya pouch pretty much anytime that she isn't crawling or sleeping. My 2 dd's love to play with each other, and I just kinda do what I do when I can. I also don't take long to get ready. I get dressed, brush my teeth, wash my face, and brush my hair, all of which I do with my dd at the same time. She loves it. We often take family showers, too. I guess my kids have just kinda melted into my life style. I know that this may not work for you, and I understand that I am extremely laid back about everything, but hopefully I had something valuable to offer you! Good luck!
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I have a four year old ds and a 22 month old ds. I have them help me with special jobs. This morning we had a race to see who could clean faster. Mommy cleaned up the kitchen while the boys put away toys in the living room.Mommy lost again.I then could vacuum the living room while they colored in the dining area. OUr washer and drier is upstairs so I can pop in a load or two while they are playing up stairs.I had a church club activity today so I had to make dinner early. I took out the train and helped put them together.They played trains while I got dinner ready.Of course I looked in on them often.Sometimes I will them play in the kitchen or help out.DS 4 loves to wash veggies. I willl give ds 22 a wet rag and ask him to wash something.It does no harm and he loves to help.
I am also out side playing at least once a day. Yes even in the cold winter days. I am geting quite good at kicking a ball .
Hope this helps
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