Giggle Parenting For A ‘Chatterbox’ Reader Question N.O 6

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Dear Kate,

one i get really stumped on is when my 5 yr old girl is in the “i’ve just got to chatter away” mood (only child, home-schooled) when honestly my brain is fried and I’d a love a little piece and quiet without having to resort to the TV, which is a short term fix, and then once it ends it’s even worse.

I try to intersperse the day with hugs, cuddles, huggy-monster games, tickles (her request) and fun bits, but often by the end of the day i’m just lacking in ideas, or burnt out. It’s getting harder currently due to a lot of stress and deadlines, and my husband had an accident, which is all raising the anxiety levels of the main carer for everyone who of course is me.

From ‘D’

Dear ‘D,’

thanks for your message. It sounds like you are working really hard being there for your daughter and thinking of creative ways to be fun and connected throughout the day, and noticing how TV can sometimes get in the way. It might be that since you are already doing so much that what is needed is more support for you, more doing things that you love, and nurturing yourself, so that you are feeling less drained by your daughter’s talkative moments. Do you know about the Hand in Hand parenting listening partnerships? When I’m running out of energy to be playful, they are so helpful.

I can relate as I have a 4.5 only child who is not in school yet, and she is also a chatterbox! I went through a really tough stage when she was 2.5 when I found it absolutely exhausting talking all day. One thing that was really helpful was to talk it over with my listening partner. Often our early experiences can relate to our present day difficulties. My listening partner asked me what life was like when I was 2.5 and I realised that at that age my mum had been pregnant with my sister. My mum had told me how exhausted she was, and how I wanted to talk all the time, and how it was overwhelming for her. After talking, laughing and crying myself with my listening partner, I learnt to embrace my daughter’s talkative nature, at least most of the time!

I’m not sure how familiar you are with all the Hand in Hand tools, but one thing I’ve found really helpful is to kind of ‘cycle’ through the tools when I have long periods of time at home with my daughter. So for example we might do some special time together, and then when the timer goes off I’ll set a limit, and go and say I need to do some tidying up. Sometimes, my daughter will cry, and get upset, and I’ll staylisten with her, and then she’ll be happy to go off and play with her toys alone actually in a better mood than before.

One time when I went to tidy up I felt like my daughter was in the mood for laughter, so I ended up making tidying up mistakes and putting things in the wrong places – I wrote about it in this post here. Then we both laughing together and we felt much better connected.

Another thing that might be helpful is that if you’re notice she’s talkative in an agitated way, is to do something physical and non-verbal, like a spontaneous pillow fight or dance party. This can be relief from the need to talk, and just be together instead.

Screentime is a complicated issue, but one thing I’ve found helpful is to sometimes snuggle up with my daughter, and watch together, when we are both completely exhausted so that it becomes a connected activity, and if I notice my daughter getting disconnected from watching too much screen I might suggest doing something else.

I think also it’s perfectly fine to tell your daughter that you just need 10 minutes of quiet time to restore your energy. Perhaps you could ask her if she’ll play for a bit, and say you’ll come back in a few minutes, listening to her feelings if she finds this a struggle.

I hope these solutions help 🙂

Kate

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2 thoughts on “Giggle Parenting For A ‘Chatterbox’ Reader Question N.O 6

  1. Thanks Kate, i have had listening partners in the past but they fizzled out as kid schedules got in the way, and the timing at night time became erratic on both ends as to when the kids would actually settle down, and allow us the time to talk. Will have to look into that again soon. I have done band in hand classes so am familiar with the tools, sometimes i forget about them, and need a clarity moment to remember that i have them 🙂 I’ll look out for the chatty non verbal ideas, and see how that one goes as it’s not something i’d considered before as a prompt.

    i’ll try out the suggestions, thank you

  2. yes, I think we all forget these tools in the moment from time to time! A listening partnership is so helpful, especially if it becomes something regular and reliable. I couldn’t do this parenting without it. Let me know if you need any help finding a listening partner as Hand in Hand has a couple groups for looking, one on facebook and one on the yahoo discussion group.

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