I really don't know the answer to this one! I think it doesn't matter how many kids you have, they always want more time.
I guess I just try and say to myself to try and make the minutes matter.
I know that might sound sactimummy but I mean, you don't have to schedule an activity or specified time (though it's awesome if you can) but it's just trying to snag moments.
Four is a bloody tough age IMO - I call it the fu(king fours!
Maybe just try and empathise with her "I know it sucks when X gets in the way but I love you and am sooo proud of how patient you're being! I just love being your mum!" or something to that effect.
I wish there was an app!
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18-01-2016 22:35 #11Senior Member
- Join Date
- Dec 2005
18-01-2016 22:50 #12
For me I try and get a few minutes everyday. I don't always achieve it and that's ok. I am not super mum and never will be.
I tend to spend time playing/reading /crafting etc with the young ones and drives or shopping etc... withe older ones. We also have mummy or daddy dates where we go do a fun activities just one on one.
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18-01-2016 22:52 #13
I have a 16mth old DD and a 3.5 year old DS. During the day we do things we can all do together. When DD is having a nap I spend one on one time with DS doing something special that his sister can't join in with e.g. a board game, cooking. DS goes to bed half an hour later than DD so gets time with mum and dad, usually we play games and just be silly. Sometimes on weekends we have 'dates' (one with mum, one with dad) so each child gets one on one. DS also has special toys that are his only (usually ones with small parts) where he can play these by himself in his room. They do play well together but I like him to also have his own time if he wants it, which is also when I can spend one on one time with DD. DD also wakes a half hour earlier so I get extra time with her then. It is hard sometimes and some days are easier than others but DS loves the half hour each night. He usually tells me during the day what he'd like to do that night. It's a tough gig @A-Squared but I'm sure you're doing an awesome job x
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18-01-2016 22:53 #14
I think it's essential that when you are having one on one time you are really present. I'm a terrible one for that. When my youngest does finally leave me alone I'm checking work emails and answering people's questions. I'm never just off and doing something mindless with them. I get twitchy and think I need to be doing something else. So I have to make a conscious effort to be with them and not a million miles away.
One tip an old friend gave me for older kids that want more from you is to actually show them on a clock how long they would have and then give them that. It seemed to work for DD1.
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19-01-2016 23:04 #15
Dh and I make a huge effort giving each child 1 on 1. One ds may go fishing with dh this weekend and the next time the other will go, ds2 likes doing the shopping with me so that's our outing, ds1 likes to come walking with me so we have 1 on 1 that way, ds2 loves helping dh in the shed. Ds1 likes helping dh in the garden. Ds2 likes to bake with me. Those are just a few examples of 1 on 1 time. I think it's important whether it's for half an hour with each child or a few hours.
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20-01-2016 08:19 #16
I must have accidentally I subscribed from my thread as I didn't see any of your responses!
Will be back later this morning to read properly and reply. Thank you everyone who took the time to reply to me.
20-01-2016 08:24 #17Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2015
im a single mumma, my two are now 2 and 5, my 5 yo gets time with me in the evenings when his brother is asleep,
Once they both stay up later I plan on makng that family time with mine craft or mario or whatever is around then
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20-01-2016 09:05 #18
I read somewhere (maybe here) a while ago that a child only needs 10 minutes of your focused time each day to get their 'fill'. I sort of went "year right" when I read it, but I've tested it out and it really does seem to work. It needs to be absolutely all about them for those 10 minutes and I find it works best when you are doing something they choose/like.
I find things like TV or reading a book don't work, as the focus is essentially on something else. Building/making something together is good and the best is usually some type of imaginary play (we'll be dragons or play mummies and babies with my 7yo, and puppy dogs or doing nursery rhymes with hand actions for my 2.5yo). I don't even need to set a timer, as almost every time around the 8-10 minute mark (sometimes less for my 2yo) they break play and either go off on their own or start something new. I then check in "are you happy if I go start on lunch now?" as sometimes it might just be they needed the toilet/drink etc and they wanted to finish the game. I don't like board games for this time as they are so lengthy and once you start, kids just won't leave it until the game is over - even when they are clearly past their time-focus-length.
I love that it is such a short block of time. It makes it easy to occupy the other child, especially the 2yo, for that time so you can give 100% focus to the other.
Last year, when I was working full time, it was hard (pretty much impossible) to even fit in 10 minutes on weekdays. So a good 30 minute block for my 7yo was required most Saturdays or she would start to get very "you never have time for me/it's all about DS". I needed DH's help with that, which also meant he got 1-1 with each as well.
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20-01-2016 13:23 #19
Thanks again everyone. There's a lot of suggestions in there that I already do - like being 100% present with her, by taking her out just she and I. For example on Sunday I took her to Ikea, she played in the kids club, while I had a coffee then we queued up for a balloon animal for 1/2 hour and we talked the whole time, then did some shopping, then came home and put together one of the items together.
The prior weekend we went to a birthday party just the two of us at a swimming centre so that was 2 hours of quality time.
Yesterday when DS was napping, she and I did some arts and crafts and made a fruit salad together and read books.
So I'm doing a lot of these things, I think it must just be a phase she's going through of really wanting mummy.
@misskittyfantastico, that's a great suggestion about openly acknowledging with DD about how I understand how she feels with DS gets in the way and promise to spend some time with her that night.
@bc1984, we have started putting DD to bed after DS so the three of us can spend some time together without him. Hopefully like you that starts paying off for us.
@Sonja, I like the tip about showing her on the clock when we will spend one on one time together and when I need to do some housework or tend to DS. I'll definitely give that a go.
@Stretched, it was on here that someone mentioned the 10 minutes of quality alone time together a day was sufficient. I spend well in excess of that each day, yet it's not enough for her. So hopefully this is a phase as she starts a new child care centre and starts kindy in February.
I've been reading in the book Toddler Taming that toddlers need lots of attention and the root cause of most of their bad behaviour is attention seeking and that we need to give our kids as much 'A-grade' attention as possible and that's as @Sonja says time where it's 100% focussed on the child. But it also talks about how we react is a contributing factor in their behaviour and that's where I personally need help. I just feel that I'm getting annoyed, frustrated or angry at her so much as my mind always goes to the worse case scenario. I don't react to a scenario or situation for what it is in that minute and her behaviour day in day out just gets to me. I feel like she's never happy - unless of course shes doing exactly what she wants or eating treats, but outside of that she's miserable. So I think I need to see this all for the phase that it is and not catastrophise everything. For me that is so much easier said than done, but I owe it to her and myself to speak to someone about giving me some strategies for doing so, because my first reaction is always negative.
Thanks again everyone. It really means a lot to me that you all took the time to give some suggestions and share what has worked for you. They're only really little for so long right?? right!??? hahaha
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20-01-2016 14:04 #20
I think it is true, we do put way too much stress on ourselves for being the perfect mum. when my children were small, it was a great day if they were all fed and put to bed in one piece each night. I never had time to focus on making one on one time with each of four children. their father was also away with work very frequently, so I was a solo mum for much of the time. I just want to say, please try to take just one day at a time, do what Needs to be done, and try to relax and enjoy the time you have. little people are little people for such a short time, and really the end result is what you want, confident, independent, happy children when they go off to face the big world at six. this is not directed to anyone in particular, just my thoughts. marie.
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