Sports for Preschoolers?

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I know there is a general worry of overscheduling in general with kids these days but I’m wondering how gentle parents feel about early (preschool or even young school age) involvement in sports. ¬†Competitive team sports or competitive individual sports (gymnastics, swimming) – do you have a problem with one and not the other or both? ¬†Why or why not? Thanks, Kelli

Sitting down to eat?

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I’m wondering what others do at meal times for their toddlers. My 2 year old can’t seem to sit still and eat. This doesn’t surprise me at all – she’s two! But, should I continue to put her in a highchair or booster to keep her with us for “family meals”? I worry for 2 reasons: 1. the importance of family meals 2. will she be too busy to eat enough?

As it is now she takes a bite, runs to a toy, runs back and gets another bite, etc. She’s happy, she’s smiling. We don’t tell her “come eat!” she comes back on her own. At a friends house recently there was a “eating in the kitchen only” rule and Aellyn didn’t even understand it! lol. That doesn’t bother me as far as my kid being less “disciplined” than another since that is my intention! I know (? do you agree?) that I can’t stop her energy and need for movement and I wouldn’t want to because it is age appropriate. So I’m wondering if she’s still at an age where a highchair is better or let her roam free?

oh, also, she doesn’t hate the highchair so my question isn’t about “forcing” her into a highchair. She’ll happily sit in “her chair” if we ask her too.

Letting kids write in books?

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I’m a bibliophile to be sure. It makes my heart ache to see my daughter take her markers to her books but at the same time – they are her books. She’s having fun. I have keepsake books put away. Do you teach your kids not to write in books? Am I being a pushover or what?

How Do I Explain Gentle Parenting?

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When parenting comes up on it’s own with other parents I have no problem discussing it, but I get all flustered and lost when I have to explain why I’m not spanking my daughter or putting her in a time out when she has an altercation with another child.

She is not especially confrontational or violent or anything, but occasionally toy snatching and frusterations will occure whenever multiple toddlers are playing together. When the other parent is a friend or aquaintence that we’ll see again and I need to preserve my relationship with, I need to give some explanation if they’re frusterated and feel like I’m not taking the situation seriously.

I’m at a loss for a good way of wording it that’s to the point and makes sense without sounding like I’m too lenient or disrepecting their parenting choices. To say something like “Time outs are punative and blah blah blah” comes across (to me at least) as very judgmental of the fact that they do things differently than I do which is not my intention at all.

Getting Daycare, Babysitters, and family on the same page…

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I’m finding that my new found gentle style of parenting is not in line with how everyone around us cares for my kids. The baby is fine, she’s super cuddly and everyone is sweet on her, but my 3.5 year old, who is admittedly stubborn like her Mama, gets a bit more of a “firm tone” from Grandparents, etc. I also know they use timeouts at daycare, something we did for a while, but I’m now leaning away from them because they didn’t work and seem to cause more harm than good. Which ones are the fights worth fighting? Like the top 5 things I want to make sure everyone does the same?

How do you get your toddler to listen?

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I am really struggling with my elder daughter in terms of disobedience at the moment. I do know that she is struggling because she doesn’t get as much attention as she used to, since her sister (who is very high need) arrived 7 months ago. I try to give her special time on her own with me as much as possible, and try to do things together with her, like baking cookies etc, with her sister in the baby carrier. Nothing seems to change the rampant disobedience. I can deal with the floor or furniture getting scribbled on – it’s frustrating, but I can handle it. What is really perturbing me are the safety issues. She will do her best to pull her hand out of mine crossing the street or in a car park; running up the driveway to the road; trying to go outside by herself, or into the garage ( which is a real concern as we get snakes in our garage during the summer, and our landscaper recently found a large copperhead a few yards from our garage. I try getting down to her level, looking her in the eye and explaining why I don’t want her to do these things. I empathise, but what usually happens is she kicks and fights and then runs away or will block her ears and shout at me to “stop saying that”. She will repeat the exact same thing that I have just explained to her that I don’t want her to do for x or y reason, the minute I have finished explaining why. And, depending on how many times we have done the same cycle that day, eventually I sometimes put her in time out because I just don’t know what else to do, even though I don’t think it is effective parenting. Some suggestions would be really appreciated

Saying something besides "we don't" (w/ 16 month old)

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I find myself saying “we don’t” a lot to my 16 month old. As in, “we don’t hit,” “we don’t throw our toys,” etc. I just don’t love the sound of it coming out of my mouth. But I’m not sure why. Maybe because it’s a lie? As in, if I’m saying “we don’t” right when he’s doing it, that doesn’t make sense. But I’m not sure what else to say. I do a lot of “please don’t” and I think that’s better. I do try to state the positive instead, “Please use gentle touches,” etc., but sometimes that gets old and doesn’t seem as descriptive. Would love some others’ thoughts!

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