I’ve recently implemented something in our days (I’d say daily routine, but I’m not sure that you’d call our loosely structured day “routine”) called Mommy and Me time. It comes from reading a book called “If I Have to Tell You One More Time…” by Amy McCready the founder of Positive Parenting Solutions, Inc.
I was first introduced to this woman through a webinar that I tuned into one time last winter. It was hosted by this blog that I sometimes read called Inspired To Action which is also a great resource for maximizing your mornings so that you can actually get some God & I time in and focus on your day before the chaos of kids envelopes you. I still have work to do on that one, but she has a free e-book available if your interested, called “Maximize Your Mornings” I’m fixin’ to go through that one here soon.
But I digress…
When I listened to that webinar I was in tears through most of it. It was during a very rough patch with the kids, and I was literally at my wits end. Time outs and such didn’t seem to be making an impact, yelling was, of course futile, yet I found myself at that place too often, and then would feel simply miserable because not only was I irritated at my kids, but also myself.
Amy McCready had a LOT of good things to say in that webinar. I took several pages of notes. She was really plugging her “Positive Parenting Solutions” thing, obviously, but I just couldn’t swallow paying however much it was for online “classes” on how to deal with issues in our kids. Maybe it’s a good idea, maybe I was not quite desperate enough, but somehow it just didn’t seem like “the thing” to do. Plus, I’ve been dealing with kids for years! Shouldn’t I be able to work through some fairly normal issues in my own kids?
Moving right along. This summer we also experienced issues. I think of them as boomerang issues. Because it’s things that we have dealt with, got the better of (more or less) and then just when we think there’s smooth sailing ahead, they come right back out of nowhere and smack you in the head and you feel like your back to square one. Yeah… those.
So I found this book. It has a lot of the same things she mentioned in the webinar, but in a book format that I can process a bit better. Some solid things that kids NEED. Yes, it’s based in psychology, and in some of the Christian circles that I have moved in that is considered a no-no. But I have to tell you that I believe God created our psyche. And that there are things to it that are able to be understood and used correctly. So, that’s free, take it as you like.
Amy’s basic premise for her WHOLE thing is that children (people really) have 2 basic needs. Just two! That’s not so bad! We should be able to cope with that right? They are belonging and significance. That’s it! And if we can manage to meet those needs in our kids, a LOT, as in nearly all, of the behavior problems that we deal with will vanish.
Sounds pretty amazing doesn’t it? 😉 I’m terrible at book reports so if you’re thinking that your current approach isn’t really working so well with your kids, you may want to give this a read. It’s pretty easy and it’s likely available at your library if you don’t want to invest in psychobabble like I did. 😉 ha ha!
So, she has what she calls a tool box that you fill with certain tools to help you meet the needs of your kids. Obviously “belonging” and “significance” break down into easier to grasp concepts like power and choice and quality time. So it’s really worth it to get some good ideas for how to better interact with your kids.
I’ll talk more about some of the things she says about consequences another time. Today though I’m talking about Mommy and Me time. She calls it Body, Soul & Spirit time. Basically it boils down to having one on one time on a DAILY basis with your kids, and being completely there with them. No facebook on your phone while playing dominos, no reading, or tv watching, just you and your child doing something THEY want to do.
I’ve mentioned before how difficult it is to get your kids one on one. Even as a full-time stay-at-home mom it can be challenging. And when you’ve got more than one kid, yeah, it’s hard. Amy suggests 2 times a day for at least 10 min getting one on one with each kid. So far I’m doing once a day with each of them. It’s a start. And the thing is, they look forward to it every day! Myles asks often about what we are going to do for Mommy and Me time which makes me think that this little lad was WAY overdue for some of this special time. Qade enjoys it also, but as he told me today, “Not as much as Myles.” ha ha!
So far we have done puzzles (not my favorite) played games like “hit the deck” and some domino like game with bugs, painted, drawn pictures, stuck stickers, jumped on the trampoline and read stories. It really doesn’t matter what you do as long as they have a say in it (power) and you’re totally engaged in doing it with them. I admit, I’m not a puzzle fan, but these activities are growing on me. Because it’s in these moments when I’m not being a “mom” that we can laugh about stuff, talk about our favorite rides at Disney, plan things, and just enjoy each other.
I really do believe that these relationship building moments will help when it comes to the times that aren’t so fun as well.
So more to follow about my changing parenting mentality to come, for now, go have some mommy and me time, or as Myles would say, “Mommy and You time” Ha ha! 🙂