Saturday, September 11, 2010

25 Distractions

I realized the other day, in the middle of a 4-year-old's meltdown, that all this time I thought the meltdowns were just going to fade away. I mean, a 2-year-old's meltdown is due to the terrible twos, and then there's the terrible threes and the frustrating fours.

Most of the time, these days, life is a total dream with the girls. Most of the time. It's not easy by any means but it's easier than it was.

And yet I realize all this time I've made mistakes. So many mistakes. The No. 1 mistake I make is that I often just try and convince them to just instantly turn their emotions off. Who does that? I've been extremely hurt by a friend in the last two weeks and as much as I wish I could turn off the hurt feelings, it's just going to take time. Why should I expect my 4-year-olds to do the same with much less world experience and much less understanding of what's important and what's not.

So, during a nice cup of coffee and writing my morning pages, I realized that I should have kept a list from the very start of their birth on what makes them happy, what distracts them, what turns them from being a hot mess to being a happy joy. After all, this is what I have to do with myself now that I am hurting, isn't it? Find ways to heal. Find ways to distract. Find ways to cope. Find ways to remember that there are better ways to spend our days than mourning something that isn't that important. In my case, that people, despite what you think, can be very mean spirited and lazy just to make life easier for themselves.

Life isn't easy. Our girls will learn that. But, for now, I am creating an energy list of sorts. A list that, at the drop of a tear, I can call upon to say: "You're sad/angry/frustrated and I'm sorry for that. I want you to feel better. How about ... X"

So, so to not delay any longer, here's the list of 25 distractions for kids, almost any preschooler can do, (that do not involve TV or movies):

  1. Hugs
  2. Silly dances
  3. Loud music
  4. Monster faces
  5. Chasing games
  6. Tickle bug
  7. Scavenger hunt
  8. The Art Box
  9. Let's take a walk
  10. Snuggle up
  11. Kid cleaning (adults should help)
  12. Surprises
  13. Tea parties
  14. Lemonade stand
  15. Bake something
  16. Science experiments
  17. Circle time/Story time
  18. Charades
  19. Duck Duck Goose
  20. Build a fort
  21. Rearrange a room
  22. Write a book together
  23. Go through old pictures
  24. Do a puzzle
  25. Hide and seek

Please feel free to add you're own distractions!

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Flor Larios Art said...

Cool great ideas! Love your post!

workout mommy said...

great post, I needed this today! for my oldest, he definitely loves to play the Wii. My middle guy is a snuggler.

Nancy said...

"It's not easy by any means but it's easier than it was."

That. Is a brilliant line. Love!

Amanda said...

Wonderful ideas! I am always looking for great ways to keep my 4 year old away from the boob tube!