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difficult time being playful today..

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  • difficult time being playful today..

    *sigh* Anyone ever have one of those days where your toddler really needs you to be playful, but try as you might, you find yourself just frustrated and as far from playful as can be?

    I was doing all that I could to meet her needs today (as well as my 12wk old's) but she still had multiple meltdowns. I'm sure it is also a stage in her development where everything is "No" because she wants to do it herself, but half the time she doesn't even seem to know what she wants.

    Is there a secret to being playful when you are sleep deprived and spread to thin??

  • #2
    I think there was something in the stars about yesterday today. Cora woke up in a bad mood and nothing I could do was helping. EVERYTHING ended up in a meltdown.

    For me, I just do my best and if I can't help her out of her bad mood by being playful and silly -- I tend to think that maybe she just needs to express the sadness -- so we do lots of cuddling, I help her verbalize her feelings and ask her what things will make her feel better and do my best to give her the things she can articulate.

    I think I take too much responsibility for her emotions sometimes. True, it is our job to be playful and fun -- but I think there is a line where we have to just step back and let them experience their emotions. This is not to say that we remove ourselves from the situation -- but that we stop trying to change things and start empathizing more.

    Just my 2 cents...

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    • #3
      i agree, some times we just have sad days. the old "i got out of the wrong side of the bed" days. i think that it helps children feel safe w/their feelings when they're allowed to just experience the sadness w/mom or dad right there, offering empathy.

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      • #4
        difficult time being playful today

        Those days are so tough, meeting the needs of very intense ages on little or no sleep- Mother burnout! During those times it seems like a vicious cycle; I get no sleep, so I have limited patience, I am easily frustrated and it starts all over again... no sleep, overwhelmed.

        While I think its important to acknowledge and allow your child the right to their own feelings (and not take responsibility for whatever those feelings might be) I think its also important to honor your feelings and needs also, remember balance! You cannot give continue to give when you are empty.

        I know when I am sad I always feel better when I have someone around listening to me, and not trying to speed me through my emotions or distract me with other activities. Since that realization, I have tried to do the same for my children. Just as I welcome the happy feelings from my child, I do my best to welcocme the sad or angry, or whatever feeling, that my child might have. Often times after letting my child feel angry or sad for a bit, they are ready to move on to a new feeling.

        Here's to better days!

        Marianne
        API Snohomish County Leader and mama to 4 attached kids!

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        • #5
          Just a quick note, I moved this to the Toddler forums.

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          • #6
            Thanks for all the replies. I guess I just feel guilty when I am not able to spend as much time with both children as I want...but ya'll are right. I also cannot be responsible for their controlling feelings and when I am upset, I too need some kind of release.

            Let's just hope I don't have a toddler meltdown of my own! LOL

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            • #7
              I tend to think this is the age of developmental growth. James is becoming so aware and I have noticed this middle of the day meltdowns that were surprising to me. We tried to identify if it was sleep. It wasn't. We knew he wasn't hungry. He was being cuddled tons and then I thought maybe he's sick. Then it dawned on me that he's become more aware of things in general and he seems to understand so much more and seems older in some way. It's a developmental growth spurt.

              I let him have his emotions but always let him know he can cuddle, nurse or whatever he needs. Sometimes he just doesn't want any of that and just needs to let it out. I just reassure him he's ok and that Mommy or Daddy are here should he decide the cuddling or nursing is a go.

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              • #8
                No advice - just a big hug!
                Those days are not fun for anyone!

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                • #9
                  I understand how these things go, but I only have one. I'm often tired and not in the mood to play all day long when I'm home (4 full days per week). And Kaylee is really getting into the swing of toddler tantrums.

                  I always try to find low key activities to occupy our time, or go on outings. (A walk to the park, grocery store, or just around the block a few times if I'm not up to going very far.) As counter intuitive as outings may seem when I am tired I find that Kaylee is happier with the extra stimulation of a new environment and new people. And I actually have to do less entertaining when we are out. At home she seems to get bored and frustrated much more easily.

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                  • #10
                    not feeling so playful...

                    I have days like that too, but somehow, it's just for a short time. If I write a post about it, by the time I'm done writing, my mood is better too. I think it has to do with someone validating your feelings, then you're ok...On a "sad" day I would just go out somewhere instead of being at home with baby doing nothing...talking to someone helps too, maybe setting up a playdate.

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                    • #11
                      gah! let me tell you, my son is so moody, he'll be super happy one second and then in a full blown tantrum the next, and it sure does "kill the mood" for play time.. *sigh* but then he has the sweetest moments.. like after he smacked me in the face.. i told him he was too tired to be nice, so it was bed time.. put him to bed, he stood at his door yelling to me for abot 10 minutes, i went back up, laid him down, ran my fingers through his hair, and he just fell asleep. talk about a beautiful sweet moment! i guess i'll force myself to muster up some play time even if he's a total crank when he gets up..

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                      • #12
                        Oh, I know those days too!

                        And with tantrums...they can be so hard on us mamas (and the child) because the child is obviously so upset about something, but lacks the words and control to express it in other ways. Tantrums are their way of communicating their anger, frustration, tiredness, etc. I found this link on Dr. Sears to be really helpful in dealing with tantrums:
                        http://www.askdrsears.com/html/6/t063300.asp#T063304
                        Some really good tools in there for handling tantrums.

                        amyflowers, I so know what you mean about the mood swings! I know that for my daughter, it can be really upsetting to be left alone when she is upset. Sounds like your son and her are alike! I know with my her, it's almost like she needs me to be there (or where she can see me) with her while she's that upset. One thing that has worked for us, though, when we've used a room is leaving the door open, so that she can come out if she'd like. Though, at this age, when we've done time-in it is usually in a location where I can be with her or where she has a clear view of me. I think just having me near her or there with her while she goes through these strong emotions helps her feel that it's going to be ok.

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                        • #13
                          I hear ya on those days too! Being a stay-at-home mom, I sometimes can feel those "burn out" tendencies too. I think what helps us out with our son (who is 19 months old) is to go outside. It always seems to brighten the mood, and a change of scenery is great! OR... I put him in my sling. He still loves being in there, and if I am too tired to play or if he's frustrated from what he's trying to play with but can't seem to figure it out where it's putting him in a bad mood... the sling works great! He just seems SO relieved to see it too, and I can almost hear him SIGH when he's right next to me like he's been swaddled again. Another thing that helps us too for tantrums is using Baby Signs. It REALLY helps toddlers because they can express themselves through signs even if they cannot "say" how they're feeling. I think the main ones to learn at first to help with tantrums are eat, more, sad, please, pain, etc. It's really helped our son to have limited tantrums. That and the fact that we're still nursing STILL helps! Praise the Lord!

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