My Son is a loving, smart, and extremely active boy. I was taking this bouncing ball of energy and putting it on a shelf. When my daughter acted up I had no room for my son to misbehave as he is older and 'should know better'. Ahh.. but I am the Mom, I am oldest, and I should know better. So lesson has been learned. Balance is hard to attain but I still must strive for it. I must always have my priorities in order. For me it is God first, Family second, Work third. If I can accomplish this then I think I am on the right track.
Now all I needed was to try and even out my playing field for the week...
I decided it was time to stop forgetting my oldest. Stop acting like he is going to be the big kid and behave all of the time and start reinvesting in this little boy. This sounds like I magically stopped parenting him which is not true. I just realized that I have not been keeping my priorities in order.
How to reinvest? That is the major question. First suggestion is to make it special while keeping it simple. The activity or outing does not have to be big but you should try to make it about them. I said J is a bouncing ball of energy and this is not an exaggeration. He is always going 100 miles an hour with his hair on fire. Exhibit A- It was his bike parade day at school and of course his 5 year old self wants to bring his giant bike with no training wheels to school. He rides like the wind and crashes just as hard. Only kid at school to be bandaged after the parade. Yes folks, he is mine.... Since I know he is active I will take my bouncy ball to a bounce house. The kicker is he will bring a friend, of his own choosing, and his sister will not be able to bring anyone. Little sister is taking a back seat to her older brother. Of course they are always equals but I do not have a problem with giving each individual their own time and special days. Not everything has to be special but it sure was nice to see him light up when I told him that today was about him. So I have made it about him, and secondly I am going to nurture his talents. One of my boy's talents is his coordination (ignore the bike fall... he is not used to riding in other bike traffic!) . At the bounce house we set up races, we did every obstacle course and he was brimming with self confidence that he could expertly maneuver each maze with ease. Sure is nice to see him smile.
|Can you tell how sweaty they are? Gross! SO MUCH JUMPING!!! -|
The third part is to give him a bit of Independence and to show him that even though Mommy may not be right at his hip I trust him to make good choices and to use sound judgement. This trust and a bit of freedom actually helps when we return home and I have to work. He knows that he will have some Independence to play for a portion of time and I trust that he will make good choices and will be given the space to do so.
Forth part is to get involved yourself! If you are truly investing in your child then you need to be physically and emotionally present. At the bounce house there are coin operated games. My son LOVES the motorcycle game... speed is a theme with him. I did not have any quarters on me to play so we improvised and I sat him on the motorcycle and made the engine noise as he leaned through the turns on the advertisements! He may have known that he was not really playing but he also knew he was having fun with his wacky mom.
Fifth part is don't stop when you get home. Let them tell stories of his day, find out what they liked best. Ask him what they would want to do next time, and get it booked! We have made a calendar of the next date day! Of course there will be plenty of play time before the next scheduled time but it is always fun to have a special day to look forward to.
Last part is let them know that no matter what they are loved. I have a tendency to let stress creep into my voice with my kids and I do not ever want them to question where they stand with me. They are each individuals and they are each very very loved.
So now I am off to go strike a balance with work and marriage. Now what to do with the husband...