Parental Patience: How to keep from Losing It

Hello dear readers! This week I am so truly thrilled to feature one of my favorite mama bloggers, the lovely Amy of discoveringwhimsy.com. Her blog is such a beautiful place to escape to while simultaneously being a refreshing dose of reality. I adore her writing and I know you will too. Make sure to subscribe to her blog and follow her on her social channels below so you can continue to enjoy her wonderful posts, ideas, and encouragements, then scroll down to read her fantastic post on parental patience!

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Parental Patience: How to keep from Losing It

My lovely great aunt always says patience is a virtue. I believe it is especially true when spending time with kids. Hats off to teachers since they are some of the most patient people out there. Kids will test and push your patience to the limits. Some days you have more patience and can deal with their testing with humor and teachable moments, a la Mary Poppins . And then there are the other days, the dreaded days, where you are not the parent you want to be. You have a lot less patience and you lose it. So on those rough days, what do you do to get back to the parent you want to be?

Over last few weeks, I have tried to be mindful on what made me feel better and what steps I took to avoid losing it. I also reached out to the community of awesome moms on Instagram to see what they do when they feel like they are losing it. Here are some of the things we do as parents to try to keep it together when our kids are pushing us to our limits. These were the top 3 responses from my informal Instagram poll.

Top 3 Tactics to Keep it Together

 

  1. Take a Mom Time Out! Many of the moms who responded said that stepping back and taking a break really helped. Some lock themselves in the bathroom, others go to the next room, but ultimately it is about giving yourself a bit of your own space to regain your composure.

My favorite quote from Jordan of Beautifully Imperfect Mama https://beautifullyimperfectmama.com/home/

“Most of the time when my toddler is losing it and I’m on the verge, I count to 4 for him and it tends to calm me down right along with him. If that doesn’t work I go into the bedroom and scream into a pillow then regain composure and go for round two 😂

  1. Breathing and Counting: The next most popular coping tactic was just breathing. Some moms use self-talk to remind themselves to breathe and others will count breaths.

Do what Daniel Tiger’s mom says and “when you’re feeling mad and you want to roar, take a deep breath and count to four “, or ten or whatever you need.

  1. Fresh Air and Exercise. The third most popular tactic was to get outside and get some fresh air. I would agree that getting outside can really change your mood; usually for the better.

Here is a link to the Instagram post, if you would like to see what some of the moms I follow said, https://www.instagram.com/p/BVkqVb-ltla/ , check it out and feel free to add your own thoughts or tactics.

For me personally, I envision my patience like water in a well. There are some days my patience well is full, easily filled and I have bucket-loads of patience. Then there are other days I’m scrapping the bottom of the barrel for just a drop of patience. On days where my well is half full and the kids are pushing my buttons, I use the tactics the other moms listed above, but I also have some other things that really work for me.

Here are 4 things in addition to the list above that really help me refill my well.

Well Half-Full Tactics

  1. Perspective: I try to remind myself that there are 1,440 minutes in each day (Thank you Google for that fun fact). So even if we have a rough 20 minutes, I still have 1420 minutes to try and do better.
  2. Look at something relaxing: for me I love looking at stock photos, beautiful Instagram feeds or pictures of my kids, when they weren’t pushing my buttons, help me re-center.
  3. Coloring together is really relaxing and its fun for the kids. I have seen so many fun adult coloring books at craft stores, I finally broke down and bought one. I must say it is really is fun and I am enjoying it. Clearly for me, a creative outlet helps.
  4. Turn up the music: Music can be so soothing and a mood changer. Pick an upbeat song, turn it up and dance around! I dare you not to feel better!

Hard Days: where my well is close to being dry

But there are days, where my well is dry, very early on. These dry days are usually due to sleep deprivation, feeling overwhelmed with a messy house, plies of laundry, wanting to do something for me, but feeling like I can’t, or some combination of these things. These are the toughest and I feel the most guilt about these days. These are the days I’ve yelled and/or cried in front of the kids for something or another. Get out and Go

One thing that usually helps is to put everyone in the car and go somewhere. It doesn’t matter where we go, we just need to get out of the house and go! For me this helps because everyone is restrained in their own space. We will drive around, often we end up in the Starbucks drive thru and I get a chai. That first drink of spicy chai helps me escape for a second. After the chai, we go to a park if it’s not raining, if it is raining we go to Target or a bookstore wander around. People wonder why you see moms wandering around Target; sometimes you just have to get away.
Ask for HELP Another thing I’ve learned that helps to fill the dry well, I need to say when I need some help. I can’t expect my partner to read my mind to know when I need a break. After a really hard day or days, I ask my husband for more help. Sometimes instead of doing family time before bedtime, I might see if he can hold down the fort so I can have an hour or two just to myself. This helps so much and I can do whatever I want. This time is a chance for me to be just me and go to the bathroom without someone wanting to sit in my lap.

 

I hope these tactics help you think about what really helps you regain your patience. What fills my patience well, might not fill yours, so you will need to do a little reflection. Try to think about what you do when you are on the verge of losing it or when you lost it, how did you recover? Do you need a physical outlet to refill, a solitary or creative one? What does your partner do? Make sure you share these with each other. Write them down if it helps. If you have no idea, reach out to the community of parents you belong to like I did and see what they say. Parenting can be challenging even on our best days. Being mindful of what refills your patience well will help you get back on track on the half full or tough days of parenting.

 

Cheers,

Amy

discoveringwhimsy.com

 

Activities To Develop Pre-Writing & Fine Motor Skills In Toddlers

I am so excited today to feature Pranita from www.merogandmom.com! Pranita is a wonderful source of inspiration, and a truly beautiful woman and mother, inside and out! Please follow her on her social channels below so you can enjoy her wonderful ideas, tips, and general amazing-ness and then enjoy her post below on fantastic and easy to do activities to develop pre-writing and fine motor skills in toddlers!

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ACTIVITIES TO DEVELOP PRE-WRITING & FINE MOTOR SKILLS IN TODDLERS

PLAY IS THE WAY CHILDREN DISCOVER THEMSELVES –
STARTING WITH THEIR FINGERS AND TOES AND GRADUALLY INCLUDING THEIR WHOLE BODY, THEIR EMOTIONS AND THEIR MINDS.
-JOAN ALMON
Kids grow, learn and develop fast when they receive love, attention, encouragement, mental stimulation with healthy diet and good health care.

Every child goes through few basic and important areas of developmental stages, which are –

COGNITIVE, SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL, SPEECH AND LANGUAGE, FINE MOTOR AND GROSS MOTOR. 

Among these, development of Fine Motor Skills in early age is foundation for many skills such as,

WRITING, DRAWING, COLORING, BUTTONING, ZIPPERING, TYPING, USING SCISSORS WITH CONTROL, CUTTING, PASTING, OPENING BOXES, USING CUTLERY, CLEANING TEETH, CLIPPING CLOTHES, OPENING AND CLOSING CANISTERS OR BOTTLE CAPS, SELF-CARE TASKS SUCH AS DRESSING, EATING, BRUSHING TEETH, BRUSHING HAIR, etc. 

Fine Motor Skills are the fundamental skills children need to develop before they are able to write

Immature grasp for writing,  difficulty in performing everyday tasks,  disliking precision and perfection in work, etc.

can lead to lack of confidence, low self-esteem, slow in completing any given task, refusal in new fine motor tasks for lifetime, frustration with precise hand-eye coordination, avoidance of tasks in life, poor writing skills or avoidance of writing, etc.

Steps to start with pre-writing activities

1. Check out the hand dominance

2. Encouraging children in activities that involves grasping,

3. Involve kids into fine motor activities to improve strength in their hand and finger muscles,

4. Plan out some (tactile- touch and feel) sensory play  

To develop fine motor skills in toddlers, we can ask our children to help in the kitchen, cutting veggies with child-safe scissors or fingers , stirring water or cake batter, pounding dry fruits, using an egg beater, peeling oranges eggs or shelling peas, opening water bottles, use spray bottles, etc. to build strength in hand-wrist-finger muscles and master hand-eye coordination.

List of activities that can help to improve writing readiness (pre-writing) skills

1⃣P L A Y D O U G H
Playing with Playdough like making balls, rolling them, making objects etc. in early age gives strength in hand and finger muscles.

2⃣L A C I N G and W E A V I N G
you can buy lace cards or make your own (DIY lacing cards) and let your child use pincer grip to practise lacing(as it’s a great fine motor activity for toddlers).
Also, weaving is a great activity for fine motor development.
 

3⃣B E A D S   A N D    P I P E C L E A N E R S
Sliding beads into pipecleaners for fine motor skill development in kids.

After your child is able to easily thread the smallest beads on the rigid cord, replace the rigid cord with a floppy shoe lace or string. This floppy lace will provide your child with a “moving target” as he tries to thread the bead with his dominant hand and steady the cord with his non-dominant hand.

 

4⃣S C I S S O R S
Cutting practice using child friendly scissors

(Check out my blog @ www.Merogandmom.com/scissor_cutting_skills_for_young_kids)

5⃣W R I T  I N G with F I N G E R
Using a tray full of rice or any flour  you can ask your child to write with his/her finger to trace letters or draw any design.

6⃣P E G S
Using clothpins or Pegs to practice fine motor skills. It helps in strengthening the finger muscles as these clips are really difficult to open . You can use these pins for counting activity or word making, phonics practicing activities etc.

7⃣S C R U N C H I N G or T E A R I N G    P A P E R
Making tissue paper/ newspaper balls by scrunching them or just tearing the paper helps in developing fine motor skills in kids.

8⃣W A T E R     D R O P P E R S
Using squizzy droppers for water transferring activity helps a lot in finger muscle strengthening.

9⃣C R A Y O N S | M A R K E R S | P A I N T S
Giving kids friendly and large grip crayons or markers or color pens to kids for practice purpose to boost confidence in them for writing.

🔟T O N G S
Giving kids tongs to transfer balls or other small things from on basket to another helps them to practise fine motor skills which works as a prewriting skills to improve strength in hands.

If these fine motor activities are practiced regularly for one or two weeks, you can see huge improvement of strength in your child’s hands. Which helps in building/boosting confidence in them.
hand-eye coordination and to enhance finger muscle strength in toddlers !

P.S. : There are different grip styles you can observe in children as they develop fine motor skills, Fist grip, Four-finger grip, Pincer grip and tripod grip (which is specially used for writing purpose).

The proper way to hold a pencil is called the tripod grip. The tripod grip is the best way to use hand muscles when writing. The child holds the pencil with their thumb and index finger, while the pencil rests on their middle finger.