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Make Your Coffee and Drink It Too

 

Genetically speaking, it seems, mornings are made for small children and not for their parents. Of course, this harsh reality is not felt by all parents and if you are one that has sleepy little people in the wee hours of the morning, well…carry on, good friend. However, for the rest of us who resemble a slightly less extreme version of the walking dead upon finally sliding out of bed after some serious internal pep talk, this one’s for you. I really can’t say how this goes down for you, but for me it’s like this--all I want is coffee, all she wants is me. While the first part of the routine is just fine with our usual morning ‘numies’(nursing) and helping with potty time, after that I’ve got no more energy, while my child has just become super charged. My first solution? Cartoons! Yes, I know it's bad. Exhaustion leads to desperate measures. But I really wanted to change this poor habit of mine that honestly barely worked as a distraction anyway and led to my child asking for more pointless television time throughout the day. So then, what to do? I’ve actually changed this routine and can truly say it has transformed our mornings from power struggle to playful. The changes were nothing drastic, and only require a minimal amount of planning for maximum success. I’ve found setting out engaging, inviting small activities fulfills my toddler’s need for play. The key is not to bombard the child with tons of choices or very exciting games that lead to over stimulation; learn from me. The list below includes some of the ideas that have really panned out, meaning I can make coffee and sit down in the morning observing a happy toddler at play, and everyone wins.

 

Play some music- Really the genre is up to you, I personally play my own preferences and my little one enjoys dancing and spinning to the beat. I find it’s helpful to have an empty space in the room to let them really move around.

 

Crayons and Coloring Pages- Set them up with five different colored crayons and some paper, bonus if you draw something for them to fill in. Make it comfortable for them to color by setting them at a table over on the floor.

 

Set-Up a Few Toys for Pretend Play- The key here is not to overwhelm them with toys, set out a few toys that make sense together. For instance, I set out three pony toys and started her on helping them to fly.

 

Box or Fort- Yes, I know, this takes effort we don’t have but this is easy enough I promise. A cardboard box, laundry basket, a blanket thrown over a table is all you need for some happy, busy children. You can take this a step further and let them color on the cardboard box, you are reaching parent-goals for your kids and will be the talk of the playground.

 

Felt Board- If you don’t have one, make one. Really such a cheap investment for quiet, engaged play is there anything better. You can start small with just a few cut outs and create more as a family, after you’ve enjoyed some peaceful morning time.

 

Chalkboard- Another easy project if you don’t have one, use some chalkboard paint or make your own to add to a wall or board. Chalk is cheap and better yet very easy to get off couches, clothes, walls, eh you know how things go sometimes.

 

Sensory Play-This is worth a bit of prep the night before but still doesn’t take too much effort. This is gathering some pine cones, feathers, rocks, leaves, literally whatever you feel like won’t make a huge mess. This treasure chest of shapes, colors, and textures engage a child’s mind while prompting some creative play.

 

Puzzles- Lay out two or three puzzles that are on their level, if they are too difficult this one could really backfire if they end up frustrated with a complicate for them puzzle. There are puzzles you can create before-hand that you could even test run before putting them out in the morning.

 

Let them Help-Often times all my child wants is my attention, it doesn’t take much effort to let them hand you some dishes if you are unloading the dishwasher, let them scoop up the beans for the coffee, take them in the bathroom with you and pee together-oh please you’ve done it too. These activities are not only allowing you to get your morning routine in but are great role-modeling.

Now go enjoy a cup of joe, you deserve it!

About the Author
Rebekah Moore
Author: Rebekah Moore
Rebekah Moore is a work-from-home Mother of one adorable toddler. She has a background in mental health counseling and has worked to repair broken homes. Rebekah and her husband hope to provide a caring, supportive, and nurturing environment to raise their children. With this goal Rebekah has chosen to follow a Holistic approach to parenting and home life.

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