Disclaimer: These are Different things I have and am learning about parenting. I'm not always right, as my kids will surely tell you if they had the words. I'm not always perfect, so these are things that work FOR ME....so Parent with me....tell me what works for you. Don't have kids? Doesn't matter, tell me what you think might work.
I have written before about being a full time mom and a working away from home mom, and as I have felt the Mommy Guilt about having to leave them with a nanny as well as at this awesome-I-couldn't-say-more-positive-awesome-excellent-I-Love-My-In-Home-Day-Care, day care, it didn't take long for that guilt to dissipate, when I discovered it isn't the AMOUNT of time I spend with my children it is the QUALITY of time that I have with them.
Life is busy enough as it is, work, errands to run, things to do, cleaning, laundry, doctor's appts, dental appts, shopping....I mean anybody with or without children can say that LIFE HAPPENS, and it's busy! So because of that I have been attempting to use GEMS with my children. Genuine Encounter Moments, which in layman's terms.... focused attention. It is defined as: attention with a special intensity born of direct personal involvement. Vital contact means being intimately open to the particular, unique qualities of your child.
I have noticed that my boys have been away from me all day long, they miss me, they want to tell me about their day in a way they know best. Sometimes that is "Mommy, look at me" or "Watch me Mommy, I can slide too". Not only are the boys competing against each other for my attention, but also with everything else that happens in life. That phone call, dinner making, shopping, watching TV. It's no wonder our children are constantly looking for our attention. The more you use GEMS the less they will strive to do anything negative....because we all know that negative attention is still attention, and it's better than being ignored!
One of these ways that the hubs and I have committed ourselves to this practice, is not only spending time independently with the boys. If I need to go to the store, why take both boys so they can not only compete for my attention with each other but also with the shopping? I take one, and leave the other at home with dad. Thomas gets to help with the shopping while Christopher gets some quality time with dad.
We make sure to spend our evenings with the boys, dinner....all of us, at the table, talking. If I need to run an errand, I take one boy with me, we have our quality time together. My attention is focused on my child first and foremost. Sure Christopher isn't "talking" more like grunting and pointing and crying. But he has my individual attention. Bath time, that is time for me and the boys to play together and be silly. And bedtime, a story, we talk about the story, we interact, and last but not least, I tell them I Love them.
Dad does the lawn and yard work every weekend, and Thomas is out there too, with Dad, mowing the lawn, picking weeds and planting flowers, that is his quality time with Dad, while Christopher gets to goof around with Mommy.
I have also noticed that confirming the behavior makes a HUGE difference. When Thomas is behaving and acting good, it's common place in our house to remind him what a good boy he is being and that Mommy and Daddy appreciate it when he is a good boy. When Christopher is behaving and doing what he is supposed to be doing, we tell him, you sure are being good, and to remind them always that they get attention even when they are being good. You don't have to be doing something negative to get my attention.
GEMS help develop children's self esteem, and In less than 2 minutes you can help a child feel loved, valuable, listened to and important.
I am also linking up with Dumb Mom again this week....need a Mom tip...want to share a Mom tip Head on over to her place, she makes parenting fun!
My Little Miracles