Attachment Parenting

When you feel the bond stretching

LO and I have had a bad week butting heads. She was challenging over the weekend, and then Monday I raised my voice way too forcefully at her, and yesterday she didn't like me turning the tv off and hit me. I didn't lose my cool but she had a lot of time in her room cooling down and I just felt very sad and drained. DH said she woke up and seemed kind of depressed this morning. We also have both had colds which is not helping our tempers.

Without "bribing" her, I want to do something small to help us bond/heal and enjoy each other again. It has to be something that doesn't require a lot of energy as I'm still sick, and preferably we could do on a weeknight. And preferably to minimize opportunities for conflict. If you're on mobile, she's 3 years 9 months.

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Re: When you feel the bond stretching

  • Is there a movie she has been wanting to see? I am thinking maybe offer her a movie night, with her favorite snacks and just cuddle on the couch together?


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  • image Booger+Bear:
    Is there a movie she has been wanting to see? I am thinking maybe offer her a movie night, with her favorite snacks and just cuddle on the couch together?

    That was going to be my suggestion too. Can you take her to a movie rental store and let her pick out a movie to watch? I always loved getting to choose a movie for rental when I was younger. Throw in some popcorn, candy and hot chocolate and you've got a great night :)

    Does she like doing crafts? Is there a special craft that you guys could do together? Or maybe you could each write down three things that you like about each other and read them before a movie, or craft or whatever.

    Sorry you're having a rough week. I'm sure it will get better!


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  • See, I would be all over this idea if she hadn't hit me for turning off the tv. It just feels... off. It isn't exactly low opportuntity for conflict but maybe I'll take her to WF and let her help me shop and then get ice cream or something.

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  • When DS1 was about that age, DH had tickets to a baseball game that he was really excited about.  For some reason DS1 thought that he was going to get to go to the game too, but really the tickets were for DH and BIL. 

    To curb DS1's disappointment, I made a "picnic" dinner that we ate on a blanket spread out on the livingroom floor.  Aftwards we played a game and then went out for ice cream.  To this day (he's 7.5 now) he still talks about our indoor picnic and occasionally askes to have one. 

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  • I find that just trying to start over in the morning is what works best for me.  I just get out of bed (far too early, in my opinion, and not wanting to, but not wanting to fight about it either) and expect to devote my attention to her for 30 minutes.  It's annoying and super hard when I don't even want my eyes open, but I find that if I'm really consistent with it, the day and the whole week goes better.
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  • image fredalina:
    See, I would be all over this idea if she hadn't hit me for turning off the tv. It just feels... off. It isn't exactly low opportuntity for conflict but maybe I'll take her to WF and let her help me shop and then get ice cream or something.

    I get that.

    The indoor picnic sounds fun. I like the craft idea too. Or maybe take her to someplace fun, like the park, and just play together.  Or build a fort in the living room? Sometimes I find being silly and playing helps me feel less stressed in general. 



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  • bookstore or library for a new book to read just with you?
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  • My DD is much younger so I just play on the floor with her or read a book with her and that fixes most things. However, when my 5YO goddaughter visits and inevitably starts to get stressed and snappy missing her parents and routine we like to cook. I put an apron on her, pull up a steps stool and we make muffins or something. She really enjoys this.
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  • We did the grocery thing and she was VERY proud finding all the things in our printed photo grocery list, and asking the employee for help, putting all the groceries up on the belt, and paying. Then we went to one of those "build your burrito" places and had a couple of tacos and a Las Paletas popsicle and saw a baby, which was the highlight of the whole evening lol. I think she felt a little more confident going to bed than she did waking up.

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  • Also I think tonight we'll do the picnic, if my arthritis can handle it.

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  • image fredalina:
    We did the grocery thing and she was VERY proud finding all the things in our printed photo grocery list, and asking the employee for help, putting all the groceries up on the belt, and paying. Then we went to one of those "build your burrito" places and had a couple of tacos and a Las Paletas popsicle and saw a baby, which was the highlight of the whole evening lol. I think she felt a little more confident going to bed than she did waking up.

    I have never heard of a photo grocery list before today, but I love it.  I am going to have to try this with DS today, he loves to help me shop. 

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  • I've had this with Callum some too lately.  The best thing for us is to try to find some mama/Cal time doing whatever it is that he wants to do for even just half an hour.
  • image fredalina:
    We did the grocery thing and she was VERY proud finding all the things in our printed photo grocery list, and asking the employee for help, putting all the groceries up on the belt, and paying. Then we went to one of those "build your burrito" places and had a couple of tacos and a Las Paletas popsicle and saw a baby, which was the highlight of the whole evening lol. I think she felt a little more confident going to bed than she did waking up.

    Awesome day. I love the idea of a photo list. I'm going to write that one down for the future.

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  • Yay! I'm glad you guys had a fun day :)


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  • image fredalina:
    We did the grocery thing and she was VERY proud finding all the things in our printed photo grocery list, and asking the employee for help, putting all the groceries up on the belt, and paying. Then we went to one of those "build your burrito" places and had a couple of tacos and a Las Paletas popsicle and saw a baby, which was the highlight of the whole evening lol. I think she felt a little more confident going to bed than she did waking up.

    Aww I'm glad you guys found something to do together :) Love the grocery list idea. That's awesome!


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  • image Booger+Bear:
    Is there a movie she has been wanting to see? I am thinking maybe offer her a movie night, with her favorite snacks and just cuddle on the couch together?

    I had this exact thought.

  • I think your idea to get ice cream is far more 'bribing/rewarding' in nature than the bonding cuddle time of a movie. She hit you. Ok, and you dealt with that action at that time. You do not continue to punish an action after the initial discipline and long after the event. The cuddle/movie time is just a suggestion, but it allows you two to bond and mellow out together. To me, it seems like the bonding and mellow-out time is the key, whatever the activity involved. Ice cream def does not provide that. Ice cream is absolutely a treat and she has not behaved in a way that calls for a treat, so why reward her for something she has not done?

    Just my 2 cents! 

  • I don't know if this is up your alley, but DD LOVES taking a bath with me. DH does most of the baths in this house, so it is a treat to do it with Mommy. Not sure if almost 4 is too old for bathing with Mommy.  I find it relaxing and easier to play with her after a rough day and it's a novelty for her.

    That or going out to lunch/dinner together just for a change of scenery. 

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  • image happywife2b:
    I think your idea to get ice cream is far more 'bribing/rewarding' in nature than the bonding cuddle time of a movie. She hit you. Ok, and you dealt with that action at that time. You do not continue to punish an action after the initial discipline and long after the event. The cuddle/movie time is just a suggestion, but it allows you two to bond and mellow out together. To me, it seems like the bonding and mellowout time is the key, whatever the activity involved. Ice cream def does not provide that. Ice cream is absolutely a treat and she has not behaved in a way that calls for a treat, so why reward her for something she has not done? Just my 2 cents!nbsp;
    Disagree. We didn't "go out for ice cream". She helped me shop, which means she had to behave in the grocery store and got to find the items, put them in the cart, as an employee for help, and pay for the food. Then we went for dinner, where she was able to fetch us straws and napkins, and then she went to the restroom on her own, and she had a popsicle. The popsicle is a treat but the whole outing was bonding. And more importantly, an opportunity for her to build up her confidence by doing things independently. I think it was just what she and we needed.

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  • I really don't like the idea that you need to "be good" to get ice cream. That really doesn't seem like a frame of mind to encourage a healthy relationship with food.

    While including a popsicle for dessert at a meal can be a totally normal way to have a sweet food in a healthy diet. 

  • Sounds like you had a good night! On one particularly bad day, DD and I went and had manicures/pedicures together. The girly bonding was very renewing for both of us. We have done it a few more times on tough days.
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