Opinions, Expectations and Reality

Opinions, Expectations and Reality

Just before Easter weekend, my youngest boy started school. Before he started I didn’t want him to be expected to have the academic ability that his big brother did when he started school. I let the teacher know that the brothers are different in their abilities.

Alex and Jase award

What I have figured out is that I myself had unknowingly but those expectations on my son even though I’m well aware of their differences.

This has made me think how sometimes as mum’s we compare our children to other children of similar ages and somehow expect them to have the same strengths or are achieving certain milestones at the same time.

If my boys are different in their abilities why would non-related children be the same; yes, sometimes children do progress the same as their peers but more often than not they progress at their own pace. While one child may be chatting up a storm yet they’re not mobile another may be running around yet have limited vocabulary and both situations are fine.

My husband and I love all our kids and are proud of any achievements they make even if it’s a small one compared to the achievements of one of their siblings.

Alex and JaseThere is only 20 months difference between the boys and sometimes that can seem to be a small gap, however the differences in their abilities are immense.

My eldest son Jason is definitely an academic with a strong flair for sports, whereas his brother Alex excels more at puzzles and patterns. Jason is an avid reader and though he is just over 6 and half years old can read books aimed for 8/9 year olds, Alex is slowly getting there in reading, he prefers more to be read to than to read himself.

Jason has a large appetite and always seems to be hungry. His meals can be almost as big as his Dad’s, yet he’s as skinny as a rake. Alex has a smaller appetite but is a bit more solid even though he is also very active; these differences kind of show that appearances are not always what they seem.

In this day and age with Social Media having such a strong presence it’s easy to make snap judgments about some-one else’s parenting practices. It’s very easy to voice our opinions but that doesn’t always mean we should. What we see on Snapchat, Instagram or Facebook is merely a glimpse into a person’s live and very rarely tells the whole story.

As parents we are allowed to bring up our children how we feel is best – irrespective of the opinions of others. If we are truly putting our children in obvious danger then yes in those situations someone should speak up. Though if the reason is just because they do something different to how you do things does not make them bad parents.  For example, if a mum always gives their children nutritious home-cooked meals and another mum may allow their children to have fast-food a few nights a week does make either mum wrong, it makes them different and that they are doing the best they can in this thing called parenting life.Childhood is a journey

Advertisements
The Reader & The Artist: A Tale Of Two Brothers

The Reader & The Artist: A Tale Of Two Brothers

One of the many things I enjoy about being a mother is appreciating not just the similarities but also the differences in my children especially as they get older. Especially seeing how my 2 sons are growing, my baby girl has only just had her first birthday so her interests seem to be chewing on things, making a mess and following her brothers around.

Jason reading

Jason is very empathetic, sensitive and annoyingly enough has his dad’s sense of humor. He also seems to have inherited my love for books. He is an avid reader and though he’s only had his sixth birthday a few months ago is capable of reading at about an 8 year old level. Because of his reading capabilities I have trouble finding appropriate books for his age and skill level, as some books that are written for children at least 8 years old have content that is not suitable for a 6 year old.

A few months ago now I asked him if he wanted to read Cory Jane’s book “Winging It” not expecting anything – however he read it with only a little bit of difficulty. The books I have found best for to test his reading limits are non-fiction books about some of his favorite topics – especially books that are rugby related as Jason does not only love reading he also loves rugby and can retain simple player stats that I find difficult. When it comes to specific information his mind is like a steel trap; yet when it comes to instruction from his dad or I, it seems that his mind is like a sieve.

alex-2

 

Alex likes to copy his big brother and often will show an interest in what Jason likes, yet there are some things that he doesn’t like to the same extent. Alex enjoys doing puzzles and is quite good at them; he’s not so good at looking after the pieces. At 18 months old Alex was able to complete puzzles that 2 year olds would find difficult. Alex is also the type of boy who likes to try new things and when he was around 3 years old accompanied his Uncle on a hunt, he sometimes seems to have no fear. Alex can also be very strong-willed (aka stubborn) and if he doesn’t want to do something then sometimes as parents we need to have a stronger will and not back down.

The hardest thing for Alex is when he wants a book that Jason has yet is nowhere the reading capability of Jason and I’m not keen on reading a chapter book to Alex.

Another way in which my boys are different is that Jason likes to write and Alex likes to draw; Alex also likes to be read to and a lot of the time it’s his big brother that reads to him.

The boys can sit through a whole movie if it’s something they want to watch. Alex however finds certain movies not as scary as Jason finds them. They love being outdoors riding their bikes and scooters though it seems that Jason does enjoy it more, though is hesitant about trying new things.

The boys are 20 months apart and come from the same gene pool yet their personalities and interest can be vastly different which is why my hope for Alex when he starts school is that he will not be compared to his big brother and there be a expectation that his abilities be at the same level as Jason’s were when he started school.

I am sure that whatever my children do in their life they will excel at different things and that is okay. If my boys had the same personalities and interest there would be little opportunity to grow as parent. As it is in their differences where some of the growth comes.

Best Friends or Bitter Rivals

Best Friends or Bitter Rivals

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.