My husband, two boys (ages 3 and 4.5) and I recently moved into an intentional community where there are no other children. The other adults are welcoming but generally don’t know what to do, and my boys have started becoming more and more disruptive. I have turned to a very reactive way of parenting, always getting annoyed and whisking them away from adult activities as they get loud and silly: reverent morning circles, long drawn out meal times, meditative rituals are all ruined. I want to set my kids up for success and the others have asked me how they can help, but I don’t know how to go about it. Do you have any ideas on this? Anything would help.
What a challenge, to be the only kids in a group of adults being “intentional.” The good news is that the other adults want to be involved with your kids; you should definitely take advantage of that. Instead of just hoping that relationship evolve on their own, I’d suggest inviting an adult for each child to be his special ‘Uncle’ or ‘Auntie.’ Arrange regular times two or three time a week where each child goes off with his ‘Uncle’ for a fun activity or just hang-out time. Once you all get used it it, this will provide the extra bonus of giving you a little time to yourself, or time with each child alone. Soon enough, these special people will also hold authority with your kids, and it won’t be up to you to be the one managing and whisking them all the time.