Children are children – Let It Go

Children are children – Let It Go

My eldest boy had an anti-bullying awareness day at his school and was asked to wear either a pink OR loud shirt, I ended up buying him a bright orange shirt as there was little chance he would wear pink.

I have tried to explain to my boys that there are no “boy” or “girl” colours – they are just colours; however Jason has a very set idea on what is ok for him to wear, he won’t even wear the dark purple jeans he has. He said that the other kids would laugh if he wore them.

In my opinion we should let our kids wear what they want without parental judgment, especially towards boys. There seems to still be a bit of double standards going on when it comes to what our children wear, their favourite colour or how they play.

It seems to be more acceptable for girls to play with trucks, cars and so on yet not so acceptable if our boys want to play with dolls or pretend to be a disney princess. Its like when our girls play with car, trucks and the sort they are being toughened, however if our boys play with what is deemed “girls toys” then they are sometimes labelled “sissies”.

Children are just children and why should we put on them expectations that they don’t understand. In doing a bit of surfing on the net I found that pink didn’t become a “girls colour until after the 1920’s, before that it was more popular as a “boys colour”.

I remember as a child one of my favourite toys was a yellow dump truck whereas my little sister preferred to play with dolls – I didn’t mind playing dolls with her as to me it was more about just playing with my sister.

I can’t remember the last time Jason played with a doll, mind you he loves to carry his baby sister around. He’s very sensitive and very empathetic, he’s not a boy that likes to try new things straight off the bat and is cautious. My youngest son who’s 4 doesn’t mind what he wears and is a boy who will give anything a go, seems to have no fear and has no problem playing with dolls or dressing up.

What a child likes has more to do with their personality than their gender, as adults I believe that we should let them keep their innocence as long as possible we should try our best not to allow our own preferences to affect their choices. If a boy wants to dress like “Elsa” then let them and try not to analyse their reasoning – after all children are children they don’t reason like we do, they just want to have fun.

 

Happy and Active

Happy and Active

Alex had his before school check the other day, he was weighed and measured and then came the BMI chart (I think that’s what it is called). Anyway apparently he reached the “overweight” line for his height and weight. I honestly think that chart is absurd, my boy is very active hardly has Junk food and eats less than his almost 6 year old brother does and his brother looks quite skinny in my opinion.Jase and Alex

 

Their Dad was 6 ft by age 12 and Alex will most likely follow in his footsteps, Alex was 8 pd 15 oz when he was born and wasn’t on solids until he was around 8 months or so.

 

That chart could cause an anxious mother to be even more anxious in this day and age where social media is so prevalent and everyone can share their own views on things and when Google is an available source of “information” it is so easy to second guess yourself. I believe that if a child is happy and active –  at least some of the time. There should be no concern about a child’s weight unless their health is obviously in trouble due to being “overweight” or “underweight”

My 10 month old daughter is on the “9th percentile” yet she eats a quite a decent amount of food and has been commando crawling since she was 6 1/2 months old. She was 8 pd 5 oz when she was born so I was more concerned about her being so little as I was use to her brothers being at least in the “50th percentile” as her eldest brother was smaller than her at birth. The plunket nurse though was unconcerned as her body was in proportion.

All children are different and that chart doesn’t take into account a child’s activity or metabolism. Children may also seem stocky before a growth spurt and then just shoot up and be tall and skinny.

Alex weighs only a little bit less than his big brother but his brother is taller, a time may come when Alex is the taller one or is at least the same height as him.

I do think that chart is absurd but i’m sure it has helped some children, the thing to do about that chart is to take the information but to then look at the child themselves, and in many cases to trust that parental instinct. A chart alone cannot tell you if you’re child is doing well or not. There may be some cases where medical or nutritional advice is needed or whether further observations are necessary but in the end a parent knows their child the best. If a parent feels worried then to put their minds at ease it’s a positive thing to get a professionals opinion. I believe that it’s not a waste of time to take our child to see a doctor if we feel at all concerned even if it turns out nothing is wrong.

As long as a child is happy and as healthy as possible then parents you are doing a great job. After all you know whats best for your child not another parent.

 

 

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Monkey See, Monkey Do

It seems that in the News and on Social Media lately there is a lot of talk around bullying and how big a problem it is, especially with social media being a major bullying outlet. This has made me think even more about as parents what sort of example we are setting for our children.

I’m sure that no-one wants their child to be bullied or even more so to be a bully. Children are like monkeys and often its a case of children doing what we do not what we say – Monkey See, Monkey Do.

When we talk about the way other mum’s parent is it with respect even if we disagree or is it in judgement because they don’t parent how WE think they should. In an earlier blog  I wrote stopping these mum wars – this is a good idea not just because as mums we should be supporting each other but because we won’t to set a good example for how our children should treat others even when disagreements arise.

strong-people-dont-put-others-down-they-lift-them-up

If we put down another mum because they don’t cut their grapes for their kids like we do. Maybe it’s showing our kids that when someone does something different to us then that person is in the wrong.

I remember being told “Sticks and stones will break your bones, but names will never hurt you” this is complete and utter crock. I have found that bones do eventually heal however hurtful words can stick around for a long time and can have a major impact on a person’s self-esteem. I still remember having hurtful things said to me when I was younger and this is one of the reasons I struggle with self-esteem issues.

Childhood bullying actually has a long-lasting effect and according to some statistics is a reason why youth suicide is so high. Social media plays such a major role in the world today that bullying has taken on a new face and sometimes is unrecognisable.

I believe that as parents we should respect other parents and not insist that they shouldn’t do something because that’s not our way.

Mum shaming is bullying through and through. Unless a child is OBVIOUSLY being neglected or abused then we need to keep our opinions to ourselves, making suggestions is good as long as we don’t insist that our way is the ONLY way to do things.

Hope

Child milestones – Subjective

Child milestones – Subjective

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.the-kids

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 milestoevery-child-is-specialnes 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.

not-a-race

Threenagers

Threenagers

jason-age-3
Jason age 3

Before I had kids I had heard of the “terrible twos” but never of “threenagers” and when Jason was heading nearer to the age of 2 I started to dread it a little bit. I found though that as tiresome as 2 was, it wasn’t as bad as when he was 3. I have experienced this also with Alex, who now that he is coming up to 4 – keeping my cool with him has been more of a mission. I’m not sure if it’s mainly a boy thing as my girl isn’t even one yet so have not experienced it with that side of things.

alex-age-3
Alex age 3

 

When Alex was a baby he was so cruisy and such an easy baby but pretty much as soon as he turned 3, he turned into a little monster, LOL. If I’m remembering this correctly he is even worse that what Jason was at this age – but it could just be that because Jason was not an easy baby we were a little bit more prepared.

Jason is now 5 and a half and is definitely Mummy’s little helper, he still has his moments but overall he is a great kid and a good big brother. So hopefully Alex will calm down by the time he is 5.

One of the reasons I think that 3 year olds are such a trial is because their vocabulary in general has expanded – however it is still limited so they struggle to express their emotions properly or to control them as most adults are capable of doing. As parents/guardians it is our job to stay calm (not always easy) and to teach them how to express themselves in a positive way, often this includes teaching them through our actions; we are to try to express our emotions in a healthy way. Realistically we are not always going to be able to achieve that, what is important is that we try to and even maybe apologize when we lose our cool, after all we are parents not saints and we will blow our tops.

 

Breast vs. Bottle

Breast vs. Bottle

As I was giving my 4 month old daughter her bottle, I started to think back on when I found out I had to bottle feed my eldest boy. At 3 weeks old he had lost so much weight that he look alien-ish, to ensure he thrived I had to change from exclusive breast-feeding to topping up with formula.  To say I was disappointed was an understatement.

The mantra that “Breast is Best” is great in an ideal situation, but when it is pushed so hard that those that can’t – for one reason or another – are made to feel guilty for giving their baby formula when it may be the only way to ensure their baby thrives; that’s when it becomes detrimental.

The situation around whether Breast-feeding or formula-feeding is best, isn’t as important as ensuring the survival of the baby and the sanity of the mother. To push a strong opinion onto a mother – especially a first-time mother – has the possibility of increasing the chance of PND (Post-natal depression), or if the mother has PND increasing its seriousness.

For me when I figured out that I had to top my baby boy up with formula, it felt like my own body was letting me down again – the same feeling I had when we lost our eldest girl – it was not a nice feeling, my confidence was shaken even more and I questioned every choice I made about my son.

Two children later, I now no longer pay attention to those that push “Breast is best”, I agree it is best if it works. During my pregnancy with my youngest and last,  I was determined to breast-feed, however if that didn’t work I was not going to feel guilty in formula-feeding my daughter.

The love I have for all my children means that I will do what’s best for them and for my sanity; I’m by no means a perfect mother but as long as my children feel loved and secure that’s all that matters.

 

2 Princes and a Princess

2 Princes and a Princess

So my youngest baby girl is 3 and a half months and already I’ve noticed a real difference other than the obvious between her and her brothers. She seems to be trying to roll over before either of them did and is already teething – she is having a harder time of it than her brothers.sleeping-rylee

I’m also finding that as she is my last I have a tendency to buy her more things than her brothers; or maybe because I didn’t get to do any of this with my first born Zoe , I’m trying to make up for that now.

Its a good thing that her brothers just adore her and Jason especially wants to always kiss, cuddle and hold her; it almost feels like she is a our first – in the way that we always take photos of her and she is a definite time waster.

I love her so dearly, still though I love my boys even when they decide to dram on themselves or play up at bedtime, they can really rile me up sometimes; after cooling down and I can sometimes laugh at their anticsthe-tiger-and-the-cheetahLike last night when they decided they wanted to be a tiger and a cheetah so Jason (Mr 5) drew stripes on Alex and spots on himself; I do have to admire their imagination.

Jason is such a kind big brother and such a help for me most of the time, even at school his teacher tells me he is kind to his friends; he is very tech minded like his dad, and even has shown his dad a few things.

Alex loves to draw – our walls are proof – he also is very friendly and tremendously stubborn; honestly before I had kids I believed that the terrible two’s was not something to look forward to, however no one warned me about the ‘threenager’ stage. Three’s are definitely worst than two’s in my experience.