A Day in Our Life - More on Arms Reach Parenting

I recently wrote a post on a parenting plan that I think really lends itself to the concept of attachment and gentle parenting which I called “Arms Reach Parenting.” I talked about how the concept sort of evolved for me and some of the things that have been working for me with my kids.

I thought it could be helpful to break down some of what I do in practical steps when I am spending time with my children, and even share some of what we do in a day.

Some situations that have come up recently and my responses include:

  • Avery (2) started running while eating, I picked him up and sat him in my lap to let him eat, reminding him to “chew, chew and swallow. You can run when your mouth is empty.” He likes to show me when his mouth is empty and then I let him down to run again.

  • I spent a little over an hour coloring with the kids this morning, I could tell they needed the close interaction and connection.

  • Annabelle got rough with Avery and didn’t want to apologize. I got down close to her face with mine and gently held her hands and coached her through the feelings to notice Avery was having, and the words to say to apologize. I won’t need to do this forever, her pre-frontal cortex is developing to the point that these interactions will evolve eventually, but for now, it really helps her.

  • I needed to cook breakfast but was playing with the kids and knew they would have a hard time stopping unless we transitioned to another game, so I invited them to the kitchen to help me cook. I have been trying to be more cognizant of my appetite and when it will be coming soon so that I can start cooking with them BEFORE I get too hungry to have the patience it takes to work with toddlers on cooking.

One of their favorite dishes is green eggs because they get to help me pick out the eggs, and then use the blender!

One of their favorite dishes is green eggs because they get to help me pick out the eggs, and then use the blender!

Getting the Spatula!

Getting the Spatula!

Umm… please don’t touch the eggs now Avery… (Continuing to cook with them as close to me as I can manage!)

Umm… please don’t touch the eggs now Avery… (Continuing to cook with them as close to me as I can manage!)

Finished product and happy kids!! I got to feast right next to them and continue assisting them with following the rules we have in our home.

Finished product and happy kids!! I got to feast right next to them and continue assisting them with following the rules we have in our home.

I realize this way of parenting is harder and requires more energy from me (believe me, I feel it!) But I also know down deep it is right. My kids behave really well for other adults when I am not with them. They also do better for me when I stay close to them. Would I love to be able to walk around my house without 2- 3 foot tall shadows following and questioning my every move? YAH! But one day, that opportunity will come again and I will miss them. But I also sincerely hope and believe that by then, I will also be reaping the benefits of the seeds I have sewn in this season and tackling new, different and more mature issues with them!

I hope this post is helpful to other gentle parents in the making out there. If nothing else, but to let you know you are not alone in your journey. I did not start gentle, but day by day, I am finding new ways to make sure all our needs are being met in the best ways! I am caring for myself, but also finding right perspectives that help me in my care of my children.

I would love to know your thoughts and questions and any tips or tricks you have that are helping you in your parenting journey! Comment below or reach out! I would love to connect with you!