Q & A - Your Questions AnsweredMay 19, 2021
“ … you might be feeling a little bit of grief, a little bit of sadness over the fact that your child is kind of growing out of another aspect of babyhood ... “
This week on the 3D Parent Podcast, I will be answering three of your questions surrounding struggles you may currently be experiencing on your parenting journey. The topics that I will be covering include, separation anxiety when transferring children between parents who may be separated or divorced, transitioning a young child from a crib to a “big kid” bed, and screen time.
For each of the topics mentioned above, I will address the questions by providing insights as to how I might handle the situation using the 3D Parent approach, and provide tips for each situation that you can apply or tweak to fit your situation.
Things You Will Learn
[0:25] On today’s episode of the 3D Parent Podcast, I will cover 3 topics coming from questions of parents just like you. These topics include divorce and separation anxiety, transitioning a young child from a crib to a big kid bed, and screen time.
[1:13] Questions #1: The listener states she is going through a divorce and her 2 year old daughter is struggling with separation anxiety. She wants to know how she can make the hand off to her father easier on her daughter.
- [2:06] My first suggestion is to focus on bridging the separation. Focusing on the next point of contact gives your child something to focus on and hold on to. Because she is so young, I’d recommend a tangible object, such as an article of clothing or a picture book of you and her together.
- [5:51] Remember when she is with you again to make space for tantrums and acting out. This is her expressing this is really hard for her. Acknowledge her feelings and hug her, let her know you’re there for her.
- [6:51] The above tips apply to all separation anxiety, not just divorcing parents. This includes separation due to work or school or even sleep.
[7:41] Questions #2: The listener states they are transitioning their 3 year old from a crib to a “big girl bed” and they want to know how to make it the least stressful for her.
- [10:20] I would encourage you to involve your child in picking out the bed or at least the bedding, because it helps build excitement.
- [11:00] I suggest putting the bed in the same place as the crib and moving anything from the crib to the bed, such as her favorite blankets or stuffed animals.
- [12:41] Pick a weekend day when nothing out of the ordinary will be happening and create a countdown chart for your child so they know what is going on. I also suggest getting a new animal that comes with the new bed to make it more exciting, and if the first sleep in the new bed is naptime sometimes that works out better.
- [16:45] Some things to troubleshoot: if she keeps getting up, you may need to add something to her bedtime routine. This may be music or books she can look at to keep her in her bed. You may need to initially lay with her as she falls asleep if she continues to get up, and then slowly back away from doing that with her as she gets more comfortable.
[18:37] Question #3: The listener has a few questions surrounding screen time: when should they be allowed to watch TV or play on an iPad? How much is too much? Should it be used as a reward? Etc.
- [20:31] Screen time can start after their attachment needs have been met. So if you’ve been separated by work or school or sleep, you do not want the first thing they are attaching to to be a screen. It needs to be human attachment.
- [21:15] Another thing you want it to happen after are things that are less fun, like homework or chores. So they can have access after those things are done, but set very clear boundaries as to how long they may use it. If your child is having tantrums when they have to stop, that is an indicator for you that they may need less screen time, or more attachment, or maybe, a different time would be better for screen time.
- [25:23] Another thing to consider with screen time is if it is passive, so just watching a show, or using it as a tool to send an email or record and edit a video or learn to draw. Your limits may differ depending on how your child is utilizing their screen time.
- [26:25] I would discourage using screen time as a reward, because that just gives it more attention. It is best to structure it into their schedule after they complete what they need to, they get limited amounts of screen time.
Quotes From Episode 12
“If you can get her to feel those sad feelings, get to those tears of sadness, and then comfort her. Hug her. Acknowledge that it's really hard to be separated from you.”
“ … you might be feeling a little bit of grief, a little bit of sadness over the fact that your child is kind of growing out of another aspect of babyhood. Cribs kind of represent babies and when your child is moving out of a crib into a bed, much like when a child is done breastfeeding or done bottle feeding or you decide they're done with a pacifier, all those things represent kind of like moving out of early childhood or babyhood ... “
“ … the media that is consumed via screens is addictive, highly addictive. It taps into the dopamine receptors in our brains. And it is really, really important that we do have limits and that we enforce limits and structures for our kids.”
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