Friday, September 26, 2014


I am very much being stretched as a parent.  We had some bad days, then a couple of pretty good days, now today was very difficult again.

Here are several things that just don't work in our household anymore that I depended on:
  • screen time captivating the attention of all children
  • lots of unstructured play time
  • pretty loose supervision
  • internet breaks for me here and there
I'm trying to address the most difficult times of the day: mornings before school and after nap time.  The best times are outings out of the house, and nap time and evenings go all right.  I think after nap time is going a little better.  Our current plan of attack is go immediately to snack with puppet role-play as Cricket starts to perk up, and then sensory play.  I have never done role-play with my kids, but they are loving it and practicing positive behavior.  I haven't seen it trickle over to the actual situations they deal with, but let's just hope it does with more time.  Heck, if it never does, at least I hear some nice words while they have finger puppets on their fingers.  Then sensory play seems to be a good way for them to parallel play, though I still need to intervene on sharing some things.

As for mornings, I just made up a 15-minute increment schedule with clip art.  They want to play in the morning, but it's the kind of loud play that draws in the other kids, who are either supposed to be doing something else or who can't resist the potential for conflict.  Or if I try an assembly line to get all the morning prep done in stages for all kids simultaneously, they are in each others' faces way too much.  So, I bought some kid headphones and I'm giving each kid a designated time to listen to a book on CD.  Here's hoping this helps.

I read The Connected Child from the library once, but I've picked up my own copy to pore over now.  I become more and more concerned that there is more to Cricket's story than her official reason for removal, which didn't sound like much.  Or she is having an exceptionally difficult time settling some other reason.  Or this is the way it always is for toddlers separated from their families, and I'm just naive.

So, I'm using all the ideas I can.  I have to pour into these difficulties with ideas and effort, but I know I also need to breathe and surrender control.  But it feels like there's so much at stake.


  1. I LOVE that book. I went to a conference about it last weekend, so I'm hoping to get a few blog posts written about it (I could talk about it in person all day!) The website is very helpful too, LOTS of good videos!

    1. I forgot about the website. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. You're working hard! You've got some great creative ideas. I'm wondering what specifically you use for sensory play?

    1. So far, we rotate between play-doh, colored rice in a bin, and water and dish soap outside. I'm planning on salt trays and shaving cream trays, too, at some point. I want to be a little more specific about what we use in each and keep it interesting, but I didn't want to wait to make it perfect to get it going on a daily basis.