Part of being a parent is learning to become selfless. Learning to put yourself in your child’s shoes and see what it is that they need. Often I forget this. Awhile ago I posted about figuring out Svara’s naptime struggles. To solve the “problem” I needed to think about it from Svara’s point of view and see what it is she really needed, and it worked.
We’ve been going through a rough couple of weeks. With teething, not enough overall sleep, and broken up nights, I haven’t had the patience that I needed to attend to all of Svara’s needs. I feel it has been a downward spiral in some ways. The more she needed me the more she expressed that by crying, clinging, and nursing more. Some of the night nursing has been because of teething I’m sure, but she has been taking 20 to 30 minutes to nurse each time when for a long time she has only been nursing for about 10 to 15 minutes at a time at night. But I have been pulling away some because I have been tired and feeling the need to have some of my own time as well. But that doesn’t help things any!!!
So I woke up at 4:30 this morning to Svara needing to nurse again. She nursed for half an hour and then I couldn’t get back to sleep. I read for awhile, tried to sleep again, but couldn’t. So I started thinking about why Svara was nursing so long at night. She needs me! Perhaps she isn’t getting enough attention during the day, so she’s catching it at night when she knows she can.
Admittedly she’s been watching more videos lately. She loves watching Nemo and watches at least part of it every day. She usually watches an episode of Mr. Rogers every day, too. Lately with all of us being on edge it’s been the easiest way to get her to quiet down. BUT it’s not so good for staying connected!!!! She has also been having more time outs lately. We’ve been giving her time outs for playing with light sockets and playing with the DVDs.
So trying to think from her point of view again, why does she keep doing these things? She almost always does it when she wants more attention. When she’s playing by herself, when I’m cooking, when I leave the room, when I’m busy, etc. And lately with me kind of pulling away these things have happend more often.
I still couldn’t get back to sleep so I came onto the computer and started reading on http://www.attachmentparenting.org. Two points that hit me were these:
- Continue to nurture a close connection by respecting the child’s feelings and trying to understand the needs underlying his outward behaviors
- Support explorations by providing a safe environment for discovery and remaining close by
The first point is what I had just been trying to do, and I will keep trying to do. I think the second point is important too. There are some things you can’t totally take away from the environment such as garbage cans and electrical outlets. But some things you can just take out of the way. Small children instinctively want to explore and experiment, that’s how they learn. So I think it’s still a bit too much at this point to be able to keep DVDs out in the open where they are so much fun to open and play with!
Svara may be growing up, but she’s still little and it’s too soon to expect her to be able to control her desires and be self disciplined. I think I’ll go clean up the DVDs now before she wakes up.