Thursday, March 6, 2014

More Playful Parenting

The other day, Calliope kept swatting at Eleanor as they sat on their respective potties together. I was watching both girls so I couldn't take Calliope aside very easily nor give her a time out (which I've been avoiding recently anyway.)

So instead I said, "No hitting. You are having trouble keeping your hands to yourself. Do you need Mommy to chase you?"

And she shrieked "yes!" with delight and took off running. I did lots of slow deliberate menacing monster walking, allowing her to slither between my legs so i could sputter, "how did you get away AGAIN!"

Eleanor squealed, "Don't get me Abby!" so I promised I wouldn't and then she decided to help me pursue Calliope. She ran alongside me and then attempted to tickle Calliope when we caught her. (I don't like to tickle her because it can feel torturous to be tickled so I just sweep her up into my arms for a momentary hug and then release her again.)

Calliope laughed for what seemed like ten minutes straight. 

Her behavior didn't get 100% better, but later on when she wasn't listening and I snapped at her, she jumped about a foot in the air. Whereas normally she would've tuned me out. So that made me feel like we made progress in reconnecting, at least. It also made me feel like a monster, to see her jump like that.

My next goal is to figure out how to incorporate throwing games into the repertoire when her behavior gets out of control. This was a recent suggestion from my Aha Parenting email but I can't quite figure out how it would work in my apartment. The author suggests throwing stuffed animals down the stairs to release tension -- that seems like an obvious win but won't work in my home -- or throwing bean bags into a bucket. The latter seems like less of a tension reliever but I will try it.


  1. Glad to hear you're getting so creative with "discipline" - the more I live with a toddler the more I realize how important this is; I've discovered traditional time outs, etc, just don't work for us, and as mentioned, if I can help it I just don't want to set up a house of constant misbehavior followed by punishment. I feel like there's just got to be a better way, you know?

  2. You have great ideas/strategies! Very inspiring even though my boys are out of the toddler stage. (Now I know why they still throw their stuffed animals!)

  3. I've been reading Peaceful Parents Happy Kids since January, at your suggestion and it has been a life changer. I will blog about it when I get a chance. Seriously wonderful parenting philosophy and tips, it has set us on an entirely new trajectory. Thanks.

    1. Wow, did I recommend that? I doesn't ring a bell to me but I will definitely check it out! Thanks!

      Regardless, so wonderful to hear of your new trajectory!

    2. You might not have recommended it directly, I don't remember. But I checked out Aha Parenting at your mention, and thus Laura Markham, and found her book. It is really good. If directly addresses my major parenting fail: yelling. My mom was a yeller, I am (was!) a yeller when I am stressed and pushed unrelentlessly by kids. I stopped yelling - cold turkey, 100%. On Valentine's Day - I was so sick I didn't have a voice anyways so I figured it was a convenient time to quit ;-) .

  4. I love the idea of playful parenting & have been following Aha Parenting now too...I just struggle so much with it. Why can't E do what she's told when I tell her? But I just like us better when I'm calm & teaching her rather than both of us freaking out & in the power struggle.