Part four in my series - Becoming a Stay at Home Mum Survival Kit. This week the theme is Creativity – and no, I don’t mean the arts and crafts side of creativity. You don’t have to be a budding artist or writer to be a good mummy (though there are many that are). But sometimes a pinch of creativity can really help as a parent.
What do I mean? I am talking diversionary tactics! Who knew you had to be a military strategist as a parent?
Picture this. I’m out on a walk with Monkey and he gets it in his little head that he wants to go down a different path to the one that I am leading him. I start walking one way, he another. His feet are planted firmly on the ground and he is on the verge of a meltdown. For my part I am on the verge of exasperation – I know that path leads to Grandma’s house (and the promise of biscuits), which is why he wants to go that way. I try to cajole, to persuade and nothing, just lots of pointing and shaking of his head.
What to do? The battle is about to commence. There’s a famous quote from the Japanese Military Strategist Sun Tzu:
“For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.”
It’s time to get a bit creative. I look around and see a tree and I am off to hide behind it. Thankfully Monkey loves a bit of hide and seek and he soon is running to find me with a huge grin on his face, I jump out and raaa! Then I am on to the next tree, and so on, you get the idea. Wahoo! Victory without any blood (or tears) being shed!
There isn’t always a tree about which is why I have to be creative to find something to distract him. He really is a stubborn little soul though and some times are harder than others, the same thing doesn’t work every time. So as a mummy you have to think on your feet and be a bit creative. Sometimes I try and persuade him to chase his ball and give it a good kick, other times I tempt him to come with me with the promise of watching the cars and buses from the top of the pedestrian bridge near our house.
It doesn’t always work though, no matter how creative you try to be! The other day I tried to pretend that Postman Pat was eating and enjoying the dinner that Monkey had turned his nose up at… he laughed and thought it was funny but it certainly didn’t make him want to eat his dinner! Boo haha ah well, you win some, you lose some!
A bit of creativity can help make your little one feel better when they are hurt or scared too. A friend’s little girl bumped herself coming down the slide and it must have hurt as she was really unhappy. Her clever mummy then announced that a fairy had come and given her some magic cream to make it feel better. She pretended to dab it on and her little girl instantly felt better. It’s amazing the power their imaginations have!
I also find you have to be quite creative when it comes to play ideas and keeping little ones entertained and to help develop those skills. The internet of course is a wonderful place to help find these activities as there are lots of mummies out there who are far more creative than I am! I have found all sorts of things that I would never have come up with on my own, such as Playing with Hair Rollers, Threading cheerios onto Spaghetti, and Ice Cube Painting to name a few!
Being creative can also help with the financial side of parenting, as raising kids can be really expensive! Whether it is using household objects as toys, rummaging in the sales, or bargain hunting on ebay or at car boot sales, using your imagination can help when things get a bit tight.
I have realised that there are so many times that a little bit of creativity can massively help as a parent. Creativity really can be the key to keeping your little ones (and you) happy
What Creative gems can you share? Any diversionary tactics that work with your little ones to avert disaster (or tantrums)? Any magic remedies to fix a boo boo?