Quality Busy Parenting

by OurYoungWonders

Welcome! My name is Emma and Our Young Wonders is a community resource I’ve been inspired to build since 2017. (You can read more of my story here if you please.) Whether you’re looking for inspiration in parenting / carer or an early childhood professional I’d love to welcome you into Our Young Wonders community village.

Nurturing and developing our children starts at home, but practically has it’s modern day struggles. A child’s brain grows and absorbs so much information in the first seven years of their life… yes there’s academics but there’s also a child’s cognitive, social, emotional and understanding the process of learning. These are all crucial in setting them up in life.

There are loads of big ideas and resources I want to create for busy parenting life… but as a busy parent myself, I’m learning I can only do what I can do to chip away at the overall vision. 

The Idealism of Parenting

As a parent I put all these expectations on myself to be able to ‘do it all.’ To be:

  • The perfect home keeper (my office usually houses the piles of washing to be sorted)
  • The always embracing and loving mother (my patience can be non-existent with sleep deprivation)
  • The wise and all knowing (I sometimes make up answers to the constant inquisitive preschooler questions)
  • A financial support for their upbringing (I have been known to curl up under a desk to sneak a nap at work) 
  • And the life educator for my little two (IF time permits and I have any headspace left.)

Don’t get me wrong, I have and do use support around me with grandparents and childcare but I still desire to be able to provide for my children in all these ways. Now with two young girls, I feel even more torn to meet their separate developmental and nurturing needs.

The Reality of Parenting

With the great friends, family, childcare and preschool support, my two girls have a wealth of love and learning experiences their lucky to have. I can’t be their sole support 24/7, as much as I’d like to be, and they don’t need me too either. Don’t get me wrong, they do need their Mamma but they need to feel loved, secure and know that I’ve got their back whenever they need.

To know I listen and am present when they need to express themselves. To feel comfortable and confident to safely self explore without me holding them back.

As a busy parent with limited time it’s important to have quality time to fill their emotional cups… and it can take just 15 minutes a day of child led playing. 

Quality Time of Parenting

In any relationship the strongest ones are two way, and it’s no different with our kids. Rather than govern everything in their life, allowing them a chance to be themselves and follow their interests will make them feel noticed, understood and loved by you.

Hey, as a parent I feel I’m constantly dishing out repetitive tasks and standards my children need to learn, like shoes need to go on feet, we need to not be butt naked when we leave the house and swimming instructors don’t wait to start when you feel like turning up… WE… NEED… TO… GET… OUT… THE… DOOR! 

When you find an open window to give your child 100% of your attention (some days easier than others), the first thing you need to consider doing is an emotional check-in. What is their state of mind and emotional mood? You might be ready to spend some one on one time but they may feel overwhelmed by a busy day and just wanting some quiet time… or the reverse, you’re ready for some quiet reading but they’ve got built up energy busting to get out.

So before delving in, take notice of what your child is doing and feeling then ask if you can join in. If you’ve scored yourself an entry pass make sure you can dedicate a non-distracted 10-15 min without chores, emails and phone calls getting disrupting these precious moments.

Child-led Parenting Play

With child-led playing the brilliant thing is you don’t have to be the brains behind it but more an affirmation of the ideas and interests that your child is longing to show you. The hardest thing I find with child-led playing is to commentate without judgement or too many questions to put them off.

For instance, if your child is wanting to play with duplo rather than question “Why did you choose a red block for the tower?” make an observational comment like you’re watching a wrestling match “I can see you used a red block to make the tower higher… and ahhh, it’s all tumbled down and out for the count!”

As a bonus to the relationship building time of child-led play, you’re also helping them learn the skill of staying focused on a single activity. Distractions are all around them (and us!) so building the mind to be able to block them out to remain dedicated to the task in front will help hugely when starting school.

If you’re unsure of what child-led activities could be, here’s a few Ideas:

  • Dancing around the room to their favourite songs
  • Playing with their toy interest
  • An experiment on something that interests them… how much water can we pour till the cup overflows??
  • Nature walk
  • Watching cars drive past
  • Pulling funny faces at each other
  • Reading books
  • Obstacle course or sporting activity

“The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child’s own natural desire to learn.”

Maria Montessori

Parenting Village

So yes I would put my hand up and say as a busy parent I can’t fulfil all the idealism I have for parenting… I don’t even get close. I do want to make a positive impact in my children’s lives and ensure they feel secure, loved and safe by me.

Do I spend 15 minutes every day with my children in child-led non-distracted play? Nope. I want and try to when I can and by being aware of the importance of it I am then prompted to not feel guilty of leaving washing piling up because I’m spending some quality time with my child… even if I am down to my last clean t-shirt. Our Young Wonders is created for busy parents to equip them with ideas in nurturing and developing the Whole Child at home.

I’d love to welcome you into our Community Facebook Group “Remarkable Parents Zone” as we build the modern child raising village.

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