Friday, April 18, 2008

The Bib Says It All...




Ok, here's my parenting challenge:

I have a 20 month old little boy who is attached at the hip to me! We rarely see anyone else so Elon has become more and more obsessed with me. He climbs up and down me all day, or is constantly crying at my leg to held. The least little noise sends him running to me, to the point where he won't even let me put him down outside. He won't play with ANY toys, the only interest he has is in the spice cabinet and playing with buckles-- and these are short lived. Elon fakes crying A LOT. He can screw that little face up into a howl in a second, and unscrew it just as face when he gets his way. I think a lot of the fear thing is just for attention and to be held {he loves to fake cough for attention, and does so anytime I am doing anything other than focusing on him!} Can anyone tell me how I can get my precious little son off of my hip and actually engaged so that I can get something done!

9 comments:

Marie M said...

I didn't know you were sick Himilce, until I called this morning! I hope you get to feeling better!!!

I hope this job works out for you! I think it would be so good for Elon to have little friends to keep him company and play with. I think it will help him not feel so needy.

Davene said...

Well...here goes...I'm not sure I have much wisdom about this situation, but here's my 2 cents' worth. :)

First of all, have you noticed that he's more clingy since you moved? Obviously, you've gone through A LOT of transition recently. Even your recent trip to NC shakes up his world. The result: probably more clinginess. If I were you, I would try my best to give him a lot of grace during this time as he adjusts to a completely new environment (as well as a new schedule for his daddy...as well as all the stuff you're going through: some pretty strong emotions because of your grandfather, your recent bad job situation, uncertainty about the future, even lingering grief from the miscarriage?...).

On second thought, I'd give YOURSELF and him a lot of grace!!! :) And remember that life won't always be this way...and HE won't always be this way. The day will come when he will run away from you so much faster than you'll be ready for!

On the other hand...it does sound like a character issue has developed or is developing with him being selfish with your time and attention. And that is hard for you as his mama to deal with!

As far as a practical solution, I'm a HUGE fan of playpens. It is a safe place for a young child to play, and it gives them a great opportunity to learn to entertain themselves...which is truly an important skill. If I were you, I'd probably get out a playpen, set it up, put a variety of toys and books in it, put Elon in it, set the timer for maybe only 5 minutes at first, and tell him it's time for him to play in his playpen...and you'll be back to get him out when the timer rings. Then you walk away. He may howl, if he's like my boys who know how to make a lot of noise when they don't get their way. :) But he will get used to it! If you are consistent with it, and keep yourself very calm and matter-of-fact about it, I feel very sure that he will come to see it as a completely normal part of his day and will not fuss a bit about it. In fact, it can come to represent security and safety for him as he knows what to expect and learns to enjoy time by himself. As he gets used to it, you can increase the time he is in it by small increments. And another thing I've found that helps is rotating the toys and books that are in the playpen so that some of the things are the same but some are different.

Well...those are my first thoughts as I think about your situation. I well remember Josiah going through a clingy stage like that. As the firstborn, it's so easy for them to be convinced the world revolves around them, and that their mother's primary purpose in life is to meet their every desire. The "dethroning" has to come sooner or later, or else they go through life miserable when people don't do things their way. I still see this with Josiah sometimes! ;)

To end, I would also encourage you to try to treasure these moments as much as you can and appreciate this time when you can devote so much of yourself to your precious son. But at the same time, work on his character.

I hope things go well. My heart goes out to you because of all that's on your plate right now. Keep us posted on how things go with this, OK? :)

(This is almost certainly the longest blog COMMENT I've ever left... Me and my wordiness!!!) :)

New Mom said...

Yes Marie, I agree. He definitely needs some playmates his own age!

No Davene, don't worry about the length, I appreciated every bit of it! I have a question in response though, how long is a good time to work up to in a play pen? Meaning, how long should I expect a child to play independently? Do you have any suggestions for toys that might be interesting for him? Maybe something your boys really enjoyed?

Jam said...

I have a suggestion. In order for you to get things done, drop Elon off at Marie and Jon's place for a few hours, or days even hahaha.. Hope my tip helps hahaha

New Mom said...

I'm going to take you up on that offer Jon, so you better quit talkin' smack!

Mrs. Bonnie said...

I think Davene's advice is great, and to add my own bit- sometimes
(and usually easier said than done), you just have to ignore them 'til they go away. Both my kids know where the toys are in the sitting room,so its not as if they have nothing to do, and since they both follow me everywhere, sometimes I just have to ignore them and they finally go play.
Generally, it works, but sometimes I'll pick them up out of habit, which just makes putting them down all that much harder. ( Biscuits a good one for wrapping his legs around you and sticking like a bur.)
Another thing I've done, is bring the playpen into the room I am in, and give them stuff they don't normally get to play with: plastic measuring cups, plastic bowls,funnels, etc. They can still see me, but they have something new to distract them.

Katheryn said...

I suggest the book "To Train Up A Child." It seems harsh but if you can get past it, the Pearls are a wonderfully loving family. They head up www.nogreaterjoy.org. They are very down to earth and have so much wisdom. We have used much of what they have done and it has worked great. It really focuses on training young and building relationships as they get older. Email me if you would like to talk more.

Katheryn

New Mom said...

Hi Katheryn,
I do have the book, and I read it, but I can't remember much of what I read it was so long ago. I'll see if I can find it amongst all the book boxes we have yet to unpack. Thanks for stopping by :}

Davene said...

Sorry it's taken me a while to get back to you, New Mom!

About the length of time, I think it depends on the child. The most important thing is for him to learn to ENJOY it! :) And I think he will!!! Even though 5 minutes might seem like drudgery for him at first, after a while, it will seem like the most normal thing in the world for him to have that time to play alone. At that point, it won't be so much a matter of how many minutes.

However, I don't think it's at all unreasonable for a child his age to spend a good half hour playing by himself. But again, I think it depends on the child. Some enjoy it for even longer.

The other thing about the amount of time is that you can have "playpen time" several times during the day, not just once.

As far as toys go, I agree with Mrs. Bonnie that stuff they don't normally get to play with is usually lots of fun: plastic or metal kitchen stuff, hairclips, a silky scarf, etc. Things like that have all been entertaining for my boys.

The other thing I ALWAYS put in the playpen is books. It's a great way to help a child learn to love books!

At different times, "regular" toys have been entertaining for my boys, too. Blocks, trains, cars, animals, musical toys, etc... It just depends on what Elon likes.

Depending on his personality, you probably know whether he would like some of the same stuff over and over...or whether he would like a lot of variety in his things with lots of rotation going on. Kids can be different in that way!

I do think, however, that the most important thing is his character: realizing that he can't have his own way all the time. It's a tough lesson to learn, but oh my, what an important one!

Keep us posted on how it goes! :)