In this day and age there are so many playgroups, music groups that we can get our kids involved in. We try to socialise our kids from a very young age which can be a good thing as long as there are no rigid expectations. We love our kids to make friends and sometimes as parents we try to choose those friends for them; even from a young age kids will decide who their friends are.
Who kids decide to befriend is determined on a kid by kid basis; for example when my eldest boy was at Kindy he played with pretty much the same 3 boys, he was friendly with others but those three were his Kindy besties and they all had a similar look, he also didn’t regard any girls as his friends. My youngest boy however has chosen friends both boys and girls and he will be happy to play with kids older than him.
I have a friend who’s daughter is about a week older than my girl and she also has 2 big brothers. We’ve been trying to get these 2 to be best friends but I’m not sure how well it will work out; the first coffee/playdate resulted in my girl crying whenever the other little girl made a cry sound, it was happening so often that it actually became a bit funny.
Before the age of 3 my youngest boy appeared to not care much about friendships and was quite happy to play by himself – he still is but he also likes to talk about his friends and not that he has close friends I’ve not heard a peep about his imaginary friend.
When my eldest boy started school the best thing about it he said was that one of his Kindy besties was in the same class. I actually stopped asking him who he played with as it was always the same answer, yet with my youngest it is sometimes the same answer but sometimes it is different.
I think its good for kids to socialise but in the end who they are friends with is up to them. When my kids reach their tweens/teens my opinion about that might change. However If we give them a strong and positive foundation to start off then hopefully they will make good choices about friends in those years.
I have found that in the past I have put more effort into my eldest son’s birthday parties, Also I seem to enjoy preparing those parties more, for Jason’s 5th birthday party he ended up having 2 celebrations – the first a party with friends a few weeks beforehand and then on his actual birthday we had his paternal grandparents, his aunty and cousin come round and later on we watched Star Wars. All this was done as I was pregnant with his baby sister and she arrived a week before his actual birthday.
As it is my baby girl’s first birthday this year its going to be a major milestone and I will combine it with Jason’s 6th birthday, I didn’t want my youngest boy to feel left out so actually put in more effort this year
My youngest son Alex was turning 4 and because hes a huge Pokemon fan I thought I would attempt a Pokeball cake.
When I finished decorating it I don’t think it was too bad, Jason even wanted to add to it as he felt that the Pokemon needed trainers.
I felt like my house would be too small for the party so fortunately my Dad allowed me to have it at his place which is bigger. It was a rough beginning as my hubby did not have a good night due to health reasons, so was unable to make it to the party. Some of Alex’s friends turned up, some with their siblings which of course was totally cool especially since the kindy girl came along with her 3 sisters – one who is exactly Jason’s age. This meant that there were just as many girls as boys.
Alex really enjoyed himself and I think his friends did, some of his friends even got to help feed my Dad’s chickens.
The most difficult part was trying to do things when my teething daughter wouldn’t go to sleep and was only settled when she was being held, so I had one cranky baby.
The party went on for about 2 hours though some had to leave earlier due to other parties to go they were attending. After I had cleaned up and got the kids in the car and home I was exhausted so I put my girl to bed and TRIED to sleep myself.
Honestly I find it interesting how over a couple of days I can have a number of blog post topics running through my head but then when I write it down it turns out different from I thought.
Anyway, I was talking with a friend today and we were talking about our lives and how we had both had difficult times but in different ways. That got me thinking about hardships and how they are subjective; for example what one person goes through can seem worse or even better than someone else’s hardship.
I remember my parents telling me a a kid when I didn’t want to eat a particular food that there’d be starving children in other countries that would love to have what I have, and that’s true.
There are things I wish my kids could have which they don’t yet they also have things that other kids may wish for. What we are going through at the moment with my husbands medical condition is difficult, but there are probably people out there who are alone and wish for a family, there could be those that couldn’t handle everything my family ‘s going through and they might throw in the towel.
Often I may not be in a situation to give financially but there are other ways to give. I can give to others my time or if there is a need my kids old clothes. Or if someone has a particular skill set that could be used to help someone out.
If someone is going through a hard time sometimes all they need is a listening ear, or just to feel that someone cares. In my opinion the worst feeling in the world is to feel like no-one cares, to feel isolated, to feel lonely. Words can sometimes feel empty; but selfless actions, a listening ear or a hug can mean a whole lot.
Alex lost his place as baby of the family when our daughter came along 7 months ago; if that wasn’t difficult enough his Dad who he has a great bond with was in hospital for 2 weeks at the beginning of the year and though he is out of hospital he is still not quite and will be heading to Auckland Hospital next week for observations and tests; its a 6 or so hour drive from where we live and so visiting will be very difficult so won’t happen. Which in a way may be a good thing as Alex didn’t like seeing his Dad in the hospital – he saw him after the tubes were taken out.
Rob’s balance is still not great and sometimes finds it difficult to even carry a cup of coffee from the kitchen to the living room. This means that the rough-housing that normally goes on between those 2 has been put on hold.
Alex’s big brother Jason has been busy with school and is involved in activities outside of school as well so I think Alex has been feeling a bit left out especially when his baby sister takes up more of my time. I try to spend quality time with Alex when I can but things are definitely different now.
Normally Alex is a friendly and helpful little boy but he has been having moments where he’s defiant and aggressive, maybe part of it is his age – after all he will be 4 in a few weeks I think a lot of it has to do more with all the changes he’s had to deal with.
Alex is the type of kid that will try anything he is determined and seems to have very little fear. I have found that I can’t waiver at all with him and compromise is not possible. If he’s given an inch he will take a mile. This type of attitude will be good when he’s a teenager as maybe he will be less likely to give in to peer pressure – right now though hes a bit of a trial, though hopefully it will get better as he learns more self-control.
I love the above Dr. Seuss quote as it gives meaning to every loss of life from a miscarriage or stillbirth to the death of an elderly person. Just because someone may have a miscarriage or their baby may be stillborn does not diminish the loss. I think that no singular loss of life is greater than another. The babies that are loss before they take their first breath of air still have an enormous affect on people. These losses aren’t just of a life but of what could of been.
Within three decades I have lost a little sister, my mum, my daughter as well as both Granddads – also a few little cousins, out of all of these the death that affected me the most was that of my eldest daughter
When I found out I was pregnant with my firstborn daughter, I was so excited even before I knew she was a girl I had all these dreams for her. So when we lost her it wasn’t just not being to hold her but also those dreams we had for her weren’t going to come to fruition at all. Yes, I know as our children get older our dreams for them may change anyway. Because Zoe-Jean was stillborn I never knew what her eye colour was, because I had an epidural I didn’t even get to bath her.
Just because the death of my Zoe-Jean affected me the most does not mean that those other losses were any less devastating. They were all devastating for different reasons. One of the reasons my mum’s death hurt was because I was only 14 at the time and when she took her own life I couldn’t help but blame myself at the time. My sister’s death would have been devastating to my parents as she was just a baby and hadn’t even reached her first birthday. The death of both my Granddads was devastating for different reasons.
These losses have also helped to make me the person I am today; because of how my mum died it has made me determined to hold on no matter what. The death of my daughter is what has molded how I am as a mother. Every loss of life I have suffered has made me realise how precious is every life.
Coming from a person who has suffered losses from both ends of the spectrum I think says a lot. If we regard ANY loss of life as unimportant then what does it say about us. I think that all life should be treasured. No matter what life has been loss we as people should be there to support those who have or are going through a loss
NB: Abortion is a topic that I feel is very controversial and could open a whole can of worms so have left it out on purpose as I don’t believe it is a black and white subject
Often in mum/parenting online groups I see that the topic of milestones are raised, “when did your child do this/that” I have found that amongst my own children that milestones are very subjective. My boys are 20 months apart and when it came to the crawling/walking milestones they were pretty close in age when they reached them. When it comes to being toilet trained however – my eldest boy Jason has taken longer, he still wears pull-ups at night; whereas his little brother Alex has been dry at night for about a week or so now, but still chooses to wear pull-ups.
My 7 month old baby girl is already crawling, the boys didn’t crawl until they were around 10 months old and then walked around 17/18 months old. Jason was on solids at 5 1/2 months whereas Alex didn’t take to solids until about 7/8 months. Little Miss Rylee is slowly getting used to solids but as she still has the tongue reflex its still a bit of a trial.
When Jason was crawling his friend who’s a few months older wasn’t crawling yet, his friend though started walking before him. Miss Rylee has a friend who’s 8 days older than her and is sitting up unassisted quite well yet not crawling whereas Rylee can’t sit unassisted.
When milestones are reached is determined on the child themselves, yes we may be able to help them to get reach them however it is still up to their abilities as every child is different, so unless it is known that a child may have difficulty reaching a particular milestone more often than not a child will eventually reach it.
Comparing children I’m guessing many parents are guilty of whether it be between a child and their siblings or a friend’s child, I’m having to work at that with my own children and I’m hoping that I’m slowly ceasing the comparing.
One of the reasons for the comparisons is that we as parents want to be doing whats right and if our child isn’t doing what another child is doing then we may doubt our abilities as parents. In my opinion if we compare our children to other children whats to stop them from comparing themselves to others when they are adults.
Whether it be adults or children we just need to do the best we can and focus on our own particular strengths and gifts and not feel envious of the strengths and gifts that others may possess.
After our eldest son was born, I knew I didn’t want to stop there; I’m a strong believer that children need playmates. Only children may work for some people but I didn’t want that to be the case for my boy. I also realise that it may not be possible for parents to have more than one. I felt that my son would be better off with a sibling. So almost 2 years later along came his little brother.
I enjoy (most of the time) the relationship the brothers have. Our eldest boy has a big heart and loves to help his little brother, his little brother seems to want to do what his big brother does – but he also seems to enjoy “tormenting” his big brother. At the moment the brothers share a bedroom and sometimes it seems to flow smoothly, other times its like World War 3.
My eldest boy likes to have time by himself sometimes but it can be a fight to get that across to his little brother, sometimes my big boy tries to dictate how the brothers play and because of his little brother’s strong sense of independence it can turn a little bit rough. If the eldest insists to much on how their play should progress and pays no attention to what his little brother wants, then instead of words physicality ensues to get the eldest to listen to the youngest.
I’m not sure if this physicality is because they are boys or if its an age thing. What is interesting though is that the physicality could seem quite bad but once its over they are best friends again almost as if it never happened.
In having sons I’ve learnt that sometimes I have to step back and only interfere if things are getting completely out of hand – after all I don’t want them to kill each other 🙂
Within a day my sons can go from being best friends to bitter rivals then back to best friends many times. The one thing I hope is that they always have each others back and no matter where life takes them they will always know they have each other.