Posts Tagged ‘Carrie Contey’

The Unique Challenges of Being 3 1/2 Years Old

I have quoted Slow Family Living founder and early childhood parenting coach, educator and speaker, Carrie Contey numerous times on Attachment Mama over the last year.  She never ceases to amaze me with her thoughtful insights on parenting babies and young children. Parents inside or outside of Austin can benefit from Carrie’s wise counsel. I’ve really enjoyed the number of workshops I’ve attended over the last three years and out-of-towners really appreciate her e-handbooks, tele-classes and phone consultations. Check out her web sites for options!

My husband and I recently reached out to Carrie for advice on our 3 1/2 year-old and her frequent intense emotions over the last few months which have felt like too much for her age to my husband.  With Carrie’s permission, I’m sharing her brilliant response in hope that it may serves other parents:

3.5 is a monumentally challenging time to be a little person and subsequently the parents of a little person. Even if conditions are ideal (slow pace of life, super resourced happy parents with tons of emotional, financial, physical support, minimal changes and transitions, plenty of exercise (but not too much;) …she would still be having a hard time because that’s what 3.5 is all about.

It’s halfway between 0 and 7 and it’s fraught with the desire to stay a baby and feel extremely felt by the main people around her and to be completely independent and not need a thing from you. It’s crazy making for her and for you. And, add in all the changes, stresses, new stuff, good stuff, hard stuff… that your family is going through and yes, she’s going to be challenging. A lot of the time.

All that said, I do believe 3.5 is a golden opportunity for:

1) helping her understand how to feel all these big feelings AND know that other people can have their feelings and can set boundaries so she can be safe. Both are true. And she’s learning this. And she needs patience and compassion and love and presence in monumental ways right now. And so do you. For yourselves.

2) doing some digging into your own early experiences. She’s pushing big buttons that are rooted in that time of life for you. Did you get to tantrum with support? If not, what happened when you expressed big feelings? How do you relate to yourself now when you are feeling those kinds of feelings? It’s all in there and it’s all up because she’s so emotional at the moment. Which is really exactly where she needs to be. It’s your work to get really well resourced, look at what’s triggering you, be clear with your boundaries and ride the waves. Think of it as learning to surf. (more…)

Posted in Attachment Parenting | 2 Comments

Read This: Time Magazine Article, “The Growing Backlash Against Overparenting”

time magAfter an exhausting week of modeling “do, do, do and when you think you’ve totally hit a wall — do some more!” for my girls, I am really appreciating Nancy’s Gibbs’ message to parents to slow down in her article published Friday in Time. I fit the bill for much of the over-parenting she describes and have spent the last few months getting conscious of this and exploring ways to let go of the pressure I put on myself to protect and provide.

I’m not going to beat myself up for fretting a bit about schools and activities and safety and emotional well-being and…. Every parent wants the best for their children. It’s innate. Yea for all of us and our Big Love!

I think as a culture we’ve spent the last several generations barreling forward, improving the definition of what’s best for our kids with every knew piece of knowledge or economic privilege gained. And so much of what we’ve learned and put into place has been to the great benefit of of children.  This article puts forth the idea that it’s time to pull back on all our best intentions to protect and provide and take a closer look at our definition of what truly is best for our children our families. And guess what?  The answer will be different for every family. (more…)

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Posted in AP & Self Care, Empathetic Parenting, Over Parenting | 2 Comments


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