Parenting through Thick and Thin

toddler tantrum crying parenting terrible twos leilazamoramoreno

Toddler and motherhood is not always sunshine and butterflies (although yes, the sun still shines when all hell breaks loose, as in this case on the trampoline). Whenever a tantrum happens, we always check ourselves as parents first – did we do or say anything where we did not consider him fully which may have thrown him off balance? If we did, we apologise, ask him to forgive us, explain what happened and how we will do things differently in the future.

Other times he throws himself off balance.

In this moment, he got really upset when I started going around the trampoline in a different direction . He often goes into a controlling state when he is in an experience he doesn’t like and/or understands. Where instead of focusing on his internal reality and grounding himself, he gets obsessive in arranging things in his environment to be a certain way – whether it’s objects, animals or people. If he doesn’t get the desired result he explodes. If he does he get the result, he goes unto controlling the next thing, and the next – until he still inevitably collapses as he realises that re-arranging his external reality doesn’t re-areange his internal reality. When he goes into this, we take him to a quite space, remove distractions, relax and sit down. Saying is name in a low, grounded voice. Guiding him to calm down and let go of his experience. Showing him that through fixating, we only hurt ourselves more, as anything but our way then becomes ‘wrong’ – instead of moving, embracing and flowing WITH life, rather than resisting and being against the currents life takes us. As he goes on and expels all his excess energy, he starts grounding himself. Once he has centered himself we move on with our activities and embrace the new moment.
Toddlerhood is definitely not easy as he is able to explore, interact and do more – yet is still lacking vocabulary in so many ways causing frustrations. Imagine having so many questions about yourself and the world around you, yet having no way of asking them.

#toddlerhood #terribletwos #parenting #tantrums #cries #control #frustration #development #motherhood #consciousparenting #zen #candidchildhood #gowiththeflow #embrace


Tuning in to your Child’s Interests

toddler words chalk reading parenting leilazamoramoreno

Cesar’s appetite for learning words comes and goes. The last few days he’s been really into acquiring new words wanting to go through one book after the other. Here, we had gone through all the books we had – but Cesar wanted ‘MORE!’. So we took some chalk and started writing words, and point to the objects, animals or people the word referred to in the room. This kept is busy for more than an hour. Whenever we tune in to Cesar’s interests, which depend on his development and movement of his natural learning ability, it’s easy to keep ourselves moving and doing. He really appreciates it, when you take that moment to tune into his interest and see what MORE you can do with him or show him, to make the best and most of it. The look in his eyes that moment he grasps what you are showing him, the moment he sees the possibilities open up, the implications! Oh man, it’s PRICELESS!!!

#NLA #naturallearningability #words #interest #enthusiasm #wonder #gaze #passion #parenting #absorb #amazement


Natural Potty Training

toddler potty training parenting leilazamoramoreno

For the past couple of days, Cesar has been peeing and pooing in his potty or peeing and pooing outside in the grass. We let him be without diaper and he would pee and poo as it would come up, at which point we would point out that he is ‘peeing’ and ‘pooing’ to start establishing the vocabulary around ‘potty training’. Initially I had reactions to him peeing and pooing all over the place – though also seeing that he really liked not having to wear a diaper. I saw myself showing him to pee and poo outside or in the potty with some slight reactions – but could see that regardless of this slightest reaction, his facial expression showed that this was affecting him in those moments and would start being ‘confused’ about peeing and pooing and not knowing how to direct himself. The reactions had to do with morality beliefs around being ‘bad’ for peeing/pooing all over the place. Comparing him to other children / stories that I had heard. Not having the patience for him to establish his understanding / not wanting to be seen as a ‘bad parent’ that he is peeing all over the place etc. So I decided to let him pee and poo as he was, to keep working on the vocabulary and to only direct him towards the potty, toilet (which he doesn’t find comfortable yet with a toddler seat on top) when I would inside myself be absolutely clear and stable. Then the one day as I saw he was about to pee on the floor, it just came natural to explain to him to pee and poo in the potty or outside. There was no emotional attachment and the words flowed naturally. He immediately moved to the potty to pee and he hasn’t been peeing or pooing all over the place since. He goes to the potty / outside when he is able to – or comes to us saying what he needs to do.
The main point that stood out for me is to not underestimate a child’s understanding and willingness to cooperate – regardless of how small their vocabulary may be. That our emotions and reactions stand in the way of effective communication and the absolute necessity to first always reflect back to ourselves and clear out ANY movement before even looking at the role another plays in any situation.

#parenting #toddler #trust #pottytraining

Underestimation eroding Confidence

toddler scraping chores parenting leilazamoramoreno

It has been a long time since I had to look through the Internet for ideas of activities to do with Cesar. With his abilities and understanding growing exponentially, he is able to participate more and more in community tasks and chores. He really loves it when he finds something that is within his ability to do. Once he has mastered a particular point, he absolutely insists to do it on his own and to not be helped. Sometimes I forget about what he is actually able of and make things ‘easier for him’ (say taking a ricecake out of a packet and giving it to him – instead of giving him the packet and letting him do it). He will then quickly move my hand away and say NO, at which point I quickly snap out of my automated pilot and let him do what he knows he can. Sometimes he will do the same with something new, insisting he wants to try first before before letting me step in. These moments keep reminding me of how easy it is to underestimate children and if we persist in this pattern, how easy it is to erode their self confidence. Within this I have learnt to give myself the benefit of the doubt when starting something new, and to not assume I cannot do something before I have even started.

#children #toddler #parenting #continuumconcept #development #growth #selfconfidence #independence

Looking vs Living

toddler draw chalk leilazamoramoreno

Living on a farm you really get to question the desire for an ‘aesthetic’ environment vs an environment which reflects living. In Belgium I grew up in an environment where everything was orderly, organised, clean and where it is part of the culture to spend money and maintain a visually pleasing look. The thing is that this ‘look’ which we’ve defined as visually appealing demands a certain degree of inertia – where in order to maintain how your environment looks, as little as possible should happen inside the confines of this environment and/or specific diligence is needed to erase any and all evidence that such activity or movement took place. So everything you do or think about doing, is always done within the consideration of what this going to do to my visually appealing environment. The emphasis is placed on maintaining a look one lives in. On the farm, I’ve learnt to place emphasis on living and what repercussions this has on the aesthetics of my living environment comes second. The joy and pleasure of having furry, drooly animal friends supercedes the side effect of a small desert forming inside your house from all the dirt their presence brings with them. The joy of being able to express yourself freely with drawing materials on a massive floor supercedes having an aesthetic picture to look at which gives you a momentary experience of satisfaction and achievement – to only then all other moments fear losing this picture you created for yourself. How much of life are we forgoing for the sake of looking a particular way?

I still often have to pull myself out of my old mindset, where I instinctively want to say ‘no’ to what my son is about to do – but then I have to really ask myself: is it really that harmful? Is it really such a big deal? Are we in a position to work with the consequences (eg repaint the walls if time comes that we need to move)? Am I saying no out of convenience or is there a real limitation in place? In how far are our own beliefs and preferences shaping and molding our children?

#farmlife #chalk #drawing #expressing #living #dirt #ocd #cleanliness #pictureperfect #itwontkillyou #toddler #baby #development #parenting #motherhood

What you See is not always What you Get

toddler dog read leilazamoramorenoCesar keeps surprising me in these moments. Here he picked up a card with Boeboe’s name and went to search out Boeboe to show him the card.

We have lots of flashcards lying around with different words and names of people and animals. He goes through phases where he has lots of interest in words to then not being so interested in it. Even though he is in a period of not showing any external interest, a lot happens and gets processed in the background – where we think or assume that ‘nothing is happening’ and that -‘no progress is being made’ because he is not showing anything externally. But each time around when he suddenly gets into words again, we can see how much he has grown in his level of understanding and how many more words he has integrated for himself. Too many times we think we know what is going on or where our children are at simply through our observation and that what we see is all there is to it.

#toddler #baby #reading #words #development #whatyouseeiswhatyouget #observation #assumptions #desteni #eqafe

They grow up so fast

toddler dishes parenthood leilazamoramorenoFor a long time I haven’t been cooking or baking much for myself because my attention would be diverted to Cesar, or I would be successful in cooking / baking – but not getting to the dishes which means someone else has to do them. But.. what’s happening in this picture now? ?? That’s Cesar playing with and putting away the last of the dishes I made dirty from making crunchies. And him being so into it that I had time to make and drink a cappuccino. With babies and toddlers growing up so fast and going through different phases one after the other, you have to constantly shift and change your lifestyle to cater for the ongoing development. It’s been an interesting road in having to constantly shift and adjust how and where I spend my time, never knowing for how long things will be this way, always having to be open and flexible. For the most part it’s been rough, very rough. Parenting a new life takes you to the depths of your physical abilities and rattles the core of your mind. I’ve learnt so much, more than I could have imagined. But I’m also totally ready to drink cappuccino and have Cesar help me out with dishes. Imagine the possibilities. ….

#parenting #toddler #baby #development #motherhood #dishes #change #desteni #eqafe #flexibility