I’m feeding two newborns and have two toddlers at my feet, OK on my feet vying for my attention. All four NEED my attention now and I just can’t physically do it. So here’s what I have been doing over the last couple months and it’s been working for me and I wanted to share. I ask lots of questions, to my 2 and 3 year old not the newborns. Worst case scenario it buys me 5 minutes best case scenario they get distracted and move on or are happy waiting because they have received genuine attention. So for example when my son asked me to put his Duplo airplane back together in hysterics and I couldn’t do anything about it, I asked ” wow! Does that airplane have engines?” He just couldn’t resist telling me about the engines. Which I then asked if he knew how to put the radio and the winglets (his names for the parts that fell off) back in the place they were in before. “yes” he responds. Then happily puts his own airplane back together. Or when my 2 year old daughter was screaming at the top of her lungs to have her cup filled.
I asked ” Is your cup empty ” “yes.”
Do you want ice in your water?” ” Yes”
” Can you say please?” ” water please”
“OK you’re going to have to wait until I can finish feeding the babies.”
After this exchange she didn’t relent but there was no more screaming and it bought me an extra 5 minutes or so. I’m not saying this is fail-proof or i am some child behavior expert, but this has been helping me and it makes sense. It helps me respond in a calm manner and helps me keep my cool. It gives them respect and acknowledges that whatever their frustration I can see that it’s a struggle and we will both work to get a solution. One last example. When my son was standing over my daughter with a toy I knew she was playing with I asked “Did you take that away from her?” He just responded with “Why?” And it worked on me just as well as them. I was so confused what to say that I just opened my mouth, furrowed my brows , then when nothing intelligent came to mind I walked away. (No children were harmed in the making of this blog post)