Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Summer antics

Happy New Year. Too short but very sweet was how I'd describe my holiday. Family time and relaxing with friends and their families in the Nelson, Golden Bay area sums it up really.

My partner and I had some much needed time out as Eli was well entertained, possibly to the point of exhaustion and overstimulation by his Taua and Poua and Aunty. It was interesting to watch how he handled the stimulation, new people and lots of travelling. At one point he spent a couple of days in a friends sandpit. Not interested in interacting with anyone, including his parents. Even 18 month olds have copy strategies.

So we arrive home with what seems like quite a different boy and have spent the last week trying to catch up with his changes. It occured to me yesterday that in our efforts to 'catch up' with him we have been giving him a lot more of our energy than is good for him and reverting to societies standard parenting techniques as we encounter new behaviours.

It was refreshing to read the Leidloff Continuum Networks website http://www.continuum-concept.org/ and be reminded of how we really want to parent. I was reminded by Jean Leidoff that it is not healthy for children to be the centre of attention, that they just want to be a part of what you are doing, that reward and punishment are not healthy and it's important to trust that your child is innately good and wants to do the right thing. This immediately made me relax, focus on what I want him to do, not what I don't want him to do; accept that he's been caught out when he pees on the floor without reminding him that he needs to go on the potty - he knows that; attempt to let him be a part of what I'm doing, not react to his wee tantrums; respond to him without judgement; stop asking him what he wants and show him that I know what he wants - if I get it wrong he lets me know; and meet his needs, including breastfeeding him when he asks for it at night. The latter is a hard one as sleep has been an issue and he has started waking often again. Though I have just been reminded to trust him and trust that their is a reason for it - he has been out of sorts and he will come right. When he seems better I'll encourage him to go back to sleep without a feed and if he doesn't complain (much) I'll know we're back on track. Some might say that it's not fair on him, the lack of consistency with when he gets a feed and when he doesn't. I say, I am consistently following my instincts and consistently adapting to his changes. The best kind of consistency a parent can show.

Phew, glad I'm back on track!

Anyway, another highlight of our holiday was visiting Lawrence and Antje McIntyre and their newly finished Eco Hut the Wee Greenie. Once Lawrence has his EcoAction Designs website up and running I'll post a blog on the Wee Greenie and direct you to his site.

In the meantime, happy parenting to you parents out there and remember to think about the whole system when you buy, travel, live! Not too much to ask eh! :)

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