If you find yourself daydreaming about a vacation away from your child, then you may be giving him more attention than he needs.
Young children will demand a lot of our time and energy if we don't let them learn how to entertain themselves. This isn’t a selfish thing, either, it’s what children need.
According to parenting Guru, John Rosemond, a three-year-old child, should be able to entertain himself for about an hour at a time.
This fact can shock parents who have been led to believe that having a child means you become not just a mother but a full-time playmate.
While motherhood comes with specific responsibilities, the good news is that one of them is not to become best playmate to your child!
At least it wasn't always this way, nor was being a mother quite as exhausting as it is today (working mothers excluded).
This isn’t to say that you can’t play with your children, of course you can, but the truth is that your child needs to learn how to entertain himself. He needs to learn how to become an independent being rather than grow increasingly dependent upon you to keep him occupied.
From the moment a child is born, everything about him is designed to propel him towards independence. You can interfere with this process, however, when you mistakenly believe that your child (past the age of two) needs more of your attention than what's necessary.
Thirty minutes of your undiluted attention in both the morning and the evening is plenty.
Before you shriek, "That's child neglect!" stop and think for a minute.
Throughout the day, you interact with your child often. There is the morning greeting, getting ready for the day, breakfast, lunch, a stroll in the park -- all of this takes time, and it adds up to a full day.
And there are the moments and sometimes hours in between these interactions when your child can and should be functioning as an independent child.
The world is his playmate and, if he has siblings, all the better.
But you have things to do like keep your home in order, prepare meals, read a book, catch up with a friend, and even do nothing, guilt-free.
Your child occupies himself; you occupy yourself.
He's learning to engage in the world, develop his imagination, exercise his creativity, expand his intellect, develop his sensory/motor skills and he can do all of these things on his own. He doesn’t need you there 24/7, thank God!
He's becoming independent, and that's what you want. You don't want a 30-year-old child living at home because he or she isn't resourceful or motivated enough to make something of themselves.
You want to raise someone who can fulfill his innate potential whatever that might be
It's not that you can't play with your child, but you don’t want to function as his playmate. A child past the age of two is increasingly capable of figuring out what to do with himself.
For his own well-being, he must figure out what to do with himself!
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Elizabeth Y. Hanson combines her training in holistic medicine, parenting coach certificate, plus 17+ years working in education to provide you with a unique approach to raising and educating your children.
A veteran homeschooler herself, she now has two homeschooled children in college.