Q & A - YOU QUESTIONS ANSWERED
I am so happy you have found the 3D Parent Podcast. My name is Beaven Walters, and I am your host. Before I created the 3D Parent, I spent over 10 years teaching in various educational settings. I have always had a passion for working with children. After my first child was born, and not too long after my second, I discovered I was truly passionate about parenting in a way that worked for my children. So, I became a certified parent coach to help not only myself, but other parents who were struggling through a tough season in parenting just like me.
This podcast was created with the parent in mind. I am going to be covering the 3D Parent method and systems, so you can gain tangible tools to help you bring dignity, direction and deep connection to your family dynamic. My goal is to help you become the most confident parent you can be, and feel empowered in your parenting choices.
THINGS YOU WILL LEARN IN EP. 20: Q & A - YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
[0:26] The first question is from a listener who is having a hard time taking her children out to eat. Her question states that taking them out to eat is rough, and the only way it is manageable is to give them a phone or an iPad to keep them occupied. Help. In regards to this question, I want to just say sometimes this is necessary. You run out of things to keep them occupied or you run out of juice or snacks, and letting them play on a device once and a while is not the end of the world. However, if this becomes a regular occurrence every time you are dining out, this is something we can work through.
[1:43] My first tip: have an alternative. For my family, we bring along an activity bag, and this can be used for many occasions not just restaurants. We fill it with coloring books, crayons, stickers, word puzzles, trivia cards or playing cards, and soduku, anything that will help keep them occupied. What you put in your bag, may vary depending on the age range of your children.
[3:42] What makes this even more powerful is if you can make this bag and the activities in it special. So pack it and keep the things in the bag for when you go out, this makes it special, something that your kids only get to play with once and while. This way it is something they look forward to, and kind of forget about using the devices.
[4:02] Some other tips that may help you keep your children engaged is to check in with them. Have a conversation or play I Spy or Tic Tac Toe. Give them some of the attention from you that they may not have received throughout the day. Also if you have really young children who are starting to lose it at the table, give them a break. Take them for a walk or someplace not so quiet where they can be a little loud and not annoy others. Lastly, request that when your server brings your food out, they also bring the bill. This way if your kids are really not going to make it through dinner, you can pay for everything and make a quick exit.
[6:39] The next topic I will cover is a question from a listener regarding my thoughts on “making” kids share.
[7:55] This may sound shocking, but sharing is not something that should be forced. First of all, it is not something we commonly do as adults. For example, if I observe that I like someone’s watch, that doesn’t mean they are going to give it to me.
[8:42] Second, when we force a child to give up whatever they are engaged in playing with, they no longer care so much about playing with the toy, now they are only really concerned with holding on to it and not giving it up. This can also backfire in encouraging boarding behavior in children, so others will not “take” their toys.
[10:17] So how do we handle situations where another child may want to play with a toy that our child has. Instead of setting a time limit, you can say to your child, when you’re finished with this toy, I would like you to give this other child a turn. There is no time limit and you are setting the expectation that when they are done they will give the other child a turn with that toy. What generally ends up happening is, kids have such short attention spans they are finished fairly quickly, and by the time they’re done that item is no longer of high interest anyway.
[11:46] If you want to make sure the other child gets a turn, then when you notice the first child is done with it, you can help transition who is playing with the toy by simply saying, oh it looks like you’re finished, now it’s so-and-so’s turn.
[12:44] If your child is a little older and having a play-date, it can be really helpful to have a discussion with them before the play-date regarding any special toys they don’t want to share. These toys can be put away before the other child comes over and this way they are kept safe, and your child knows that those toys are just going to be put away during the play-date so there are no issues.
[14:19] My final question comes from a listener who states that her parents are always telling her she needs to be more strict with her children when they come over. Her children are 3 and 5, and sometimes they are just playing and being kids, while other times they are out of line, but she questions herself and how she should handle these situations and sometimes regret the way she handles these situations.
[16:07] In these situations I would just recommend taking a more proactive approach before visiting your parents house. Part of this differing opinion is just generational. Parenting has changed since your parents were raising children, but by taking a proactive approach, you can really help set you and your kids up for success when visiting their grandparents.
[16:45] The first thing I would do is sit down with your parents before you visit and get an idea of what they have planned for the visit. If they don’t have anything really planned and you’re all just hanging out, and they don’t have activities to occupy your children, I would recommend bringing things for them to occupy themselves with. You also want to plan these visits at times when you know your children will be well-rested and pleasant. I wouldn’t recommend planning these visits around nap time.
[17:55] The next thing I would recommend, is to talk through the expectations of what you are going to be doing at grandma and grandpa’s house. Not in a threatening or menacing way, just to tell them what they can expect, what the plan is for the visit, and just go over some do’s and don’ts.
[18:40] Lastly, make a plan for yourself of what to do, while you’re at your parents house, if things do go sideways. I would recommend that if you need to discipline your child, excuse yourself and your child and go to another room to address any problems. This serves two purposes, your parents may read that as you taking charge, and it also preserve your child’s dignity in that they aren’t feeling publicly shamed. Once you’ve addressed the behavior that is not ok, you can offer them some help, and really reconnect with your child and redirect them to come back to a more positive emotional energy state with you.
[21:43] If this has been an ongoing problem, I would recommend to just keep the visits shorter for now, so that your child or children are less likely to melt down and have a problem, and you can all leave on a more positive note.
QUOTES FROM Q & A - YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
“Make [the activity bag] be special. Make [the activities] be something that lives in that activity bag that gets taken out in these types of situations. That can be a big help.”
“Sometimes kids get into trouble in restaurants because we're not really focused on them. We kind of turn our attention off to our kids and instead maybe we're engaging in conversations with the other adults at the table, and we kind of lose focus that our kids actually need our attention and our direction …“
“… children under the age of three cognitively, [sharing] is something that they can't even begin to comprehend or understand. So by forcing a young child under the age of three to share, for them, it just makes zero sense. They're at an age and stage of everything they see belongs to them. And it feels like a huge breach of trust to force something out of their hand.”
“When you are kind of privately taking your child aside and engaging with them and then make that time connecting again, it's not about coming down hard on them. It's about reconnecting and maybe even becoming playful again and getting your child to fall into a connection and engage with you in a way that's positive.”
EPISODES TO FURTHER THE DISCUSSION:
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR LISTENING …
Thank you so much for taking the time to check out the 3D Parent Podcast. Do you have a parenting question for an upcoming episode? I would LOVE to connect with you and answer your questions. Please share your parenting question here!