Friday, January 8, 2010

What Works For Us

Well, it's a cold snowy day here this morning. I've been browsing some blogs catching up on parenting tips, decorating ideas, recipes and lots of other little tid bits of information. Which made me think that maybe I should share some of my own tips. I mean, why not? I'm a mom, I have ideas, I have a blog...just seems to make sense.

Now, before you get all excited and think you are about to read some life changing tips, calm down. You won't find anything that profound here. But I would like to share a few things that seem to work very well for us in the Maxwell House.

1. One Finger Touch Rule. This, seriously, saved my life during Christmas. Ok, maybe life is a little over exaggerated...but it did save my sanity many times over. As we put the Christmas tree up during Bailey's nap, I couldn't help but think that it was going to be nearly impossible to keep her little fingers off of my little snowmen ornaments. Knowing that I didn't want to spend the holidays fussing at her, I decided to give her limited access to the dangling temptations. She was allowed to touch whatever she wanted on the tree, as long as she only used ONE finger to touch it. This worked wonderfully. She would come up to me and say, mommy, i one finger touch ornaments?  I would tell her yes, and she would go off touching the ornaments happily. Her curiousity was filled and my ornaments were safe, and we were both much more happy than if I had been fussing at her for a month!

This one works at any time of the year or just about any place too! We've also used it at the grocery store...yes, you can touch the boxes, but just one finger touch, please.

2. One Toy at a Time. If your child is anything like mine, they probably have several toys. If we were all to be honest with ourselves, they probably have too many toys. This is definitely the case at my house. Bailey seemed to be overwhelmed with all the toy options and would quickly loose interest in whatever she was playing with and want to move on to something else. We wanted to try and keep her a little more focused so she could enjoy whatever it was she was playing with, without feeling like she needed to move on to something else all the time. So now, if she is playing with her "baby stuff", and decides she wants to color, she has to pick up all 4,571 items that her baby dolls have (maybe I exaggerated the number, just a little) before we can get the art easel out. Same goes for any other toys. This really seems to help keep her interested in one toy for longer!

The added bonus: your house doesn't look like a toy store just threw up in your living room when you're playing with one toy at a time!

3. Not Until Everyone's Finished. Before Nick and I even had kids, we both agreed that our child would not be one of those you see out at restaurants running around the table while everyone else was trying to enjoy a meal. To make sure Bailey understands this rule, we carry it over to home. She is not allowed to leave the table until we're all finished eating...which usually means until mommy is finished eating, I'm always last. She still asks almost every night if she can get down once she's finished, and we simply tell her that once we're all finished she can play, but until then she has to stay in her chair. She's allowed to color on her coloring books if she wants to while she waits, but she has to stay seated.

Just to be clear, even if we were all finished in a restaurant, we wouldn't let her run around the table, but this just helps enforce the idea that she must stay in her seat. If we go out to eat we usually leave shortly after we all finish, so she can get her energy out at home, not in the restaurant!

Well, hope maybe one of these tips helps someone out there!


Colin's Mom said...

Great tips! We enforce the 2nd and 3rd ideas but that first one is genius!! I wish I would have thought of that. It's not to late to start it though.

Mama Smors said...

we love the one finger touch rule.... started it about a month ago :) love it love it!!