Ease-y RiderPosted: September 7, 2012
As a Supernanny, I run a tight ship schedule-wise. I’m always on time, or early, due in large part to the fact that I often over budget for time, because I know that when timeliness is dependent upon kiddo cooperation, there may be delays. One of the reasons I include these babe time buffers is because I know that the vast majority of children need a period of adjustment between one activity/location, and the next. It’s important to ease the transition from mealtime, to playtime, to chore time, to drive time, to bedtime. Kiddos are much more cooperative when they are not being pushed and pulled hurriedly in any direction. It’s not that there are averse to change, they just need to know it’s coming.
Doc, in particular, is a man who cannot be rushed. He takes his time at meals, at play, always engrossed in the task at hand, giving very little thought to what is next. As a newly 4 y/o he is due the courtesy of a heads up. And so when he is in my care I take the time to make him aware when a change is imminent. For example, when he is working on a drawing I’ll come sit next to him and say, “Wow, Doc! What an awesome (enter picture subject here)! Looks like you’re hard at work! How ‘bout you take a break and in about 10 minutes we’ll go for a walk, ok?” He looks up, nods, and then in 10 minutes when I clap my hands for, “Time to walk!” he’s up, excited, ready to go, and appreciative of my alerting him to the activity change in advance. Teachers know this tact all too well, after all they invented it (THANK YOU!), and I remember my teachers always letting my class know what was in store each day, and I found comfort in the knowledge of the day’s activities.
I’ve found that eldest children and only children are more in need of being eased into things than younger siblings. This is probably because first and only children are used to being the center of attention, and well-informed by their folks of any and all things, and second children are usually and naturally more adaptable, as they are accustomed to going with the flow. However, as a middle child myself, I make a conscious effort to extend the same courtesies to the second children, as I do to the first. After all, they are my people! So now that Captain Awesome, second child, is working towards becoming potty trained, I remember to get his approval and keep him in the loop when it comes to those half hourly-ish trips to the potty. We’ll be playing in the living room and I’ll say, “Captain Awesome, I’m thinkin’ we’ll try the potty again in about 4 minutes, (holding up 4 fingers) cool?” to which he replies, “K.” When the 4 minutes is up, we hop up and head to the throne room. And there you have it! Being a Supernanny isn’t accomplished without much effort, but when kiddos are smoothly led from one activity to the next, it makes life a lot easier. ☺