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to be really worried I don't spend enough time engaged with my children?

(54 Posts)
tryingtobemarypoppins2 Wed 31-Aug-11 21:35:23

Our days over the summer have tended to go like this: (DC are 3 and 1)

Get up, children play while I sort breakfast.
Eat breakfast while I pack lunchboxes
Get washed, dressed and out the door.

Spend all morning and early afternoon at the park/museum/zoo etc etc etc. I feel that I spend most of the time keeping youngest safe, stopping them running off etc, pretty much hoovering.... etc

Then its home for more play whilst I cook dinner.
All eat, then about an 1/2 hour of me tidying up and children playing.

Finally 1/2 hour cuddles, stories before bathtime then stories and bed.

It has occured to be today that I spend all my time clearing up, or supervising as opposed to 'play with' not sure if I am spending enough quality time in 1:1 sitautions playing with them IYSWIM???

TBH this is slightly a reaction to discovering that a friends 3 year old can read (I mean really read!) after she has done 20mins flash card work with him every day since he was 5 months.......


deliakate Wed 31-Aug-11 21:37:28

Is that hoovering, or hovering?

Dude, you are doing loads with your kids. All the time you are doing things with them.

worraliberty Wed 31-Aug-11 21:37:52

The flashcards are unlikely to have taught him to read at that age. Some kids have a natural ability and some don't.

You will always find kids who do things earlier/later than yours so you might as well forget about that.

AgentZigzag Wed 31-Aug-11 21:39:04

What you describe sounds fine to me smile

You can't concentrate on engaging with them 24 hours a day, it's just not possible and would drive you into an early grave.

Reading the flashcards won't make a jot of difference because they mostly even themselves out in time.

splishsplosh Wed 31-Aug-11 21:39:39

I thought you were going to confess to leaving them in front of cbeebies all day while you sat in another room with a cup of tea and a packet of biscuits... sounds like you are doing tons with your kids - they are very lucky to have you take them out to do fun things, and I am sure they have a much better time than if they had to do flashcards every day.

Cleverything Wed 31-Aug-11 21:40:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheArmadillo Wed 31-Aug-11 21:40:42

majority of parents spend their time working/doing housework/making food/supervising/and a million other things and so it has always been - even more so before we had items like dishwashers, fridges, washing machines - and is so the world over

majority of kids turn out fine

so meh, not worth worrying about

kids who learn to read early again meh, it nearly always evens out in a few years.

prettyfly1 Wed 31-Aug-11 21:40:47

Goodness me you sound like a fab mum and are doing wayyyy more then me - dont sweat it, give yourself a break and do what you can.

AgentZigzag Wed 31-Aug-11 21:41:09

'I thought you were going to confess to leaving them in front of cbeebies all day while you sat in another room with a cup of tea and a packet of biscuits... '

shock are you stalking me??


larks35 Wed 31-Aug-11 21:41:15

As a full-time working mum I think you spend a wonderful amount of quality time with your DCs. I'm back to school tomorrow after 5 1/2 weeks doing what you describe with my DS and I've loved it all.

As for your mate with the 3yo budding genius, will it make any difference by the time they're 7? Flash cards at 5months sounds very weird indeed.

Feminine Wed 31-Aug-11 21:41:35

Also, don't fret about the reading is possible he is just memorizing-that helps, but it is not the samesmile

You sound very busy, and very busy with your children ,its finesmile

ChippingIn Wed 31-Aug-11 21:43:59

What you are doing sounds perfect to me. If you really feel you aren't spending enough time doing something at home then find half an hour to do that - but make it something fun smile

yellowsubmarine41 Wed 31-Aug-11 21:49:01

The way you describe it sounds great, though I know exactly what you mean.

Our days are 'active' eg even being at home, we'll pick pears from the garden and make a cake etc, but I have exactly the same 'I should be spending more time really engaging and playing with them'.

Dd (4) spend ALOT of the day, calling 'mum', wanting me to be right next to her and give her all of my attention. Mostly this is fine, sometimes really irritating and I feel guilty about this.

However, there is cooking, cleaning, tidying, setting up games, clearing up after games to be done and this is real life which they can participate in or at least know goes on, iyswim?

Yes, maybe we could have taught our kids to read but so what? Tbh, I think I'd feel just as guilty if I had done that because we didn't spend the early years just playing and hanging out more!

chandellina Wed 31-Aug-11 21:53:35

sounds to me like you are doing a lot. children don't need constant engagement with their parents. just think of the security and comfort they are getting from you being there. not that i feel bad leaving my son with his nanny every day - she engages and takes him to do fun things far more than me!
the reading thing is ridiculous - there is no rush to get them reading and it can be more damaging to children to be under all that pressure!

magicmummy1 Wed 31-Aug-11 21:53:40

What you're doing sounds great. The flash cards sound horrendous!

FWIW, my dd could read pretty fluently at 3, without so much as a single flash card. Like you, we just had snuggled and lots of bedtime stories.

They'll all read when they're ready. There is no big advantage in being able to read early, any more than there is any advantage in being able to crawl early, walk early, blow raspberries early etc.

There is, however, a huge advantage in being allowed to explore the world without pressure, to follow one's own curiosity and to develop new skills at one's own pace. Your children will thank you for this in the long term. I doubt they'll give much thought to the lack of flash cards. smile

tryingtobemarypoppins2 Wed 31-Aug-11 21:54:16

Thanks so much ladies, been a hard day. Youngest has been very demanding, getting so cross with toys throwing them etc, then crying non stop, been one of those days! I do work P/T but have had the summer hols off. I know when I'm back to work, the juggling of our time will be even worse!

I watched Super Nanny last night and it does seem she is always saying, stop cleaning and play with your children! Trouble is if I did that all the time our house would be a flea pit!

worraliberty Wed 31-Aug-11 22:00:07

If you played with your children all the time...not only would your house look like a flea pit but you'd have two very spoilt kids on your hands.

They do need to learn that adults have other things to do and they can't be center of the universe all the time.

notlettingthefearshow Wed 31-Aug-11 22:02:26

Your kids are so lucky! You are with them all day, doing interesting things with them, and you obviously still find time to keep the house nice and cook for them.

You are a great mum.

tryingtobemarypoppins2 Wed 31-Aug-11 22:06:43

notlettingthefearshow don't be so nice, I'll cry! I am going back to work P/T after the hols sad

MumblingRagDoll Wed 31-Aug-11 22:07:06

You don't have to take the out every day! By the sound of it you've earned some days in front of the telly whilst they paint the patio windows with porrige! grin

LoopyLoopsPussInBoots Wed 31-Aug-11 22:12:12

My word I'd love to be you. I don't have the motivation for half of that, let alone cleaning too!

ouryve Wed 31-Aug-11 22:14:08

I have a kid who read at 3 and one who can't even speak at 5. Same mother and neither would ever have tolerated a 2 minute flashcard drill, if I had tried, never mind a 20 minute one.

You do loads with them and the bit of non adult directed time they get while you make sure they have food to eat and a clean house to play in is just as good for them in between all the excitement (and gives them chance to work out their relationship with each other).

kerala Wed 31-Aug-11 22:15:06

Had similar thoughts so Sat my 2 and 5 year old down to play an educational game. After 10 minutes they escaped into the garden to make a snail farm. It was made very clear that I was not included in this game !

tryingtobemarypoppins2 Wed 31-Aug-11 22:18:13

LOL MumblingRagDoll the walls are covered after breakfast as it is! I should eat breakfast with them...

Gosh this afternoon has been so hard, my youngest has just been soooooooooo cross with the world, tough days make me question if I am any good at partening, perhaps I had forgotton how hard the 1 year old phase is, as i was so focused on the 3 year old phase!

hairfullofsnakes Wed 31-Aug-11 22:18:19

I have this worry at times too marypoppins, do I spend too much time tidying up?!

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