Peculiar Expectations on My Kids Blog Post - Peculiar Expectations on My Kids Report Card Expectations

Peculiar Expectations on My Kids

Peculiar Expectations on My Kids Blog Post - Peculiar Expectations on My Kids Report Card Expectations

My Peculiar Expectations

If you are reading this, I know you are constantly striving to do your best as a parent (or grandparent, interested aunt, uncle or friend). I know I am!

The trouble is that a lot of how we parent is not consciously taught. We haven’t decided to parent in a certain way because of a particular book or article. We may have got some tips from reading things over the years, but we mostly parent our kids with deeply held beliefs and ingrained behaviors from our own upbringing.

Usually our little families fare okay from this combination of trying to do the right thing and intuitive parenting. Sometimes, however, it is worth shining a spotlight on our parenting practices and asking ourselves if they are the best we can do.

After a few days away, just the kids and I, I had some space to observe some of my parenting expectations. I have decided that I need to question some of the more peculiar expectations on my kids.

 

Examples of Peculiar Expectations

One of the things I expect my kids to do is share or take turns with toys. Of course, learning to share and being able to be patient are good things to learn. However, I wouldn’t like it if I was told to share MY toys. I don’t want anyone else to use my iPhone, laptop, even my new drink bottle! Especially if a birthday boy or girl is given a new gift, I completely understand him or her not wanting to let others have a turn. It is a brand new toy! Other kids could damage it or run off with it. From now on, however controversial this may seem, I won’t be so quick to admonish my kids for not sharing or taking turns.

Another thing I have been guilty of in the past is simply expecting my kids to want to go up to and possibly even pat dogs, cats, rabbits and other pets. In a similar vein I just assumed most kids would want to be curious about and even pick up spiders, insects and various creepy crawlies. Not all kids have any desire to be that up close with nature, something I completely understand, as I certainly don’t want to touch spiders or bugs. I am not sure why I would expect my kids to get up close and personal with any creature if I wouldn’t do it too.

I also expect my kids to be okay with occasional periods of boredom. I really want them to be able to find ways to cope with boredom, learn patience and find ways to entertain themselves with their own imagination. This is very important to me… and yet… and yet… at every opportunity that I could be bored – waiting in line etc. – I pull out my phone. Every time! I don’t let myself be bored so how can my kids learn to do it? On our car trip recently, the kids had no screens, we didn’t listen to audio stories and they had only a couple of toys to play with. Yet they coped very well. They looked out the window, noticed things, happily joined in with some games of ‘I Spy’ and were generally very well behaved. I often felt bored and wanted to reach for my phone – and as I was driving that was out of the question.

 

Types of Peculiar Expectations

So the expectations we can have on our kids can be peculiar because we would never do the behavior ourselves (share new gifts) or we don’t take consideration of what a particular child actually likes to do (picking up insects) or because we don’t hold ourselves up to the same standard (being okay with being bored). There are probably other types of peculiar expectations I – and other parents – have on our kids as well.

So what to do with all these peculiar expectations? I guess it is a step in the right direction that I have some awareness around this now. Next step – as guru, Tony Robbins, advocates is to “trade your expectations for appreciation”. Every time I come up against a peculiar expectation I will try to alter it so I express some gratitude instead. At the very least, focusing on being grateful will help me stop feeling so bored!

Peculiar Expectations on My Kids Blog Post - Peculiar Expectations on My Kids Blog Post - Bored Expectations

 

3 of the Most Disconcerting Things Kids Say Blog Post - Dylan Drawing of Me Nov17

3 of the Most Disconcerting Things Kids Say

3 of the Most Disconcerting Things Kids Say Blog Post - Dylan Drawing of Me Nov17

The Case of the Missing ‘L’

I now have a few ‘embarrassing incidents at the supermarket’ stories. Dylan contributed with his loud observation asking, “why has that man got many chins?”. Now Eloise has chimed in with her booming request to use the scales in the fruit and vegetable department. Except that she thinks the scales are a clock. And she can’t pronounce the ‘L’. When a three-year-old girl is yelling ‘I want clock’ (but without the L) in the supermarket it makes a dull trip for groceries rather exciting.

However, these embarrassing incidents do not make it into the top three most disconcerting things kids say. It is expected that kids are going to blurt out what they want and what they are thinking at any time and this can often lead to humiliation on the grown up’s behalf. No, disturbing or unnerving things form another list altogether as they can be quite startling.

Here are three disconcerting things my kids say:

 

1. “I see dead people” – Part One

I don’t know about you but I get shivers when my kids say they see things I can’t see or hear sounds that I am oblivious too. The practical explanation for this is that they simply have better sight and hearing than me, being younger plus not exposed to hours at a computer desk or rock concerts at their tender age.

However, sometimes there seems to be an eerie truth to their spooky reportings of a dark shadow or an unexplained thump. A friend of mine with twins said the girls went through a stage of running out of the playroom because of the ‘ghost’ in there. They did it so often and with so much intensity she almost believed them.

 

2. “I see dead people” – Part Two

A few months back I asked Dylan what his pencil drawing was about and his exact words: “This is Mama. She is dead. Blown up by dynamite”.  Errrr, I wasn’t sure how to reply to that one. At least he is thinking of me and drawing pictures of me. I guess that is a good thing.

I have already discussed how Dylan and I have had many conversations about the subject of death and dying and how I still find it a difficult topic to get my head around, but a visual representation pushed it into the disconcerting top three.

 

3. Say My Name

However, the most disconcerting thing kids say, especially when they are young has nothing to do with death. It is when they talk to you and use your actual name.

When a little voice peeps out from somewhere and says “Julie”, I do a double take. Every time. What makes them switch from a natural ‘Mama’ to my actual name? There seems to be no pattern to it. Dylan can be calm (“That’s OK, Julie”) or annoyed (“Julie, why won’t you let me watch TV?”) when using my moniker. I think if I knew when usage would more likely happen I wouldn’t be so shocked, but as it can happen sporadically but at any time it is my number one most disconcerting thing kids say.

I would love to hear your examples of disconcerting things your kids say in the comments below.

3 of the Most Disconcerting Things Kids Say Blog Post - I See Dead People Bart Simpson

Parenting is NEVER Boring Blog Post - Sleeping Child

Parenting is NEVER Boring

Parenting is NEVER Boring Blog Post - Bedside Lamp

 

The Three D’s

I love it when my children are tucked up in bed fast asleep. They look so peaceful, so beautiful, so scrumptiously soft and warm. And there is added bonus that in their current state they are unlikely to climb up the pantry shelves to the cookies, inexplicably demand breakfast in another bowl or get dressed in a new swimsuit to wear to daycare. All situations that have not just occurred in our household but happened today.

I just do not comprehend it when parents say they find raising children boring. There are the three D’s – danger, drama and decision-making – that make parenting one of the most exciting jobs in the world.

 

Danger

We have child proofed our house to the hilt. There are gates blocking access to the kitchen, child locks on drawers plus those plastic things you put into electrical plugs that hinder your vacuuming efforts, as they are almost impossible to pull out. Yet, I feel like I only need to turn around and my kids discover yet another novel way to endanger themselves.

My almost three-year-old daughter’s current favorite game is to say ‘look at me’ as she swings off the stair balustrades where if she let go she could easily tumble down a flight of stairs. I have learned not to look when I hear ‘look at me’.

Last week I noticed a small light emanating from our bedroom and found that both reading lamps had been turned on and the bendy part pushed down so that the lamp was almost touching the bedside tables. Result: bubbling varnish and the top of both tables way too hot to touch. Yes we need to check the light bulb strength in our reading lamps but who knows what would have happened if I hadn’t noticed anything for a few more hours.

Drama

I feel like my children are auditioning for a soap opera. The emotional responses I get to trivial situations would win them a Daytime Emmy for sure. Finding out that I crushed up their Weetbix – hysterics. Wrong breakfast bowl – howls of protest. Requests to brush teeth – met with running away and hiding. And that is just the morning drama.

How to navigate this emotional minefield is a tricky area for parents. I want to acknowledge their emotional response and let them vent for an appropriate period of time. But I also do not understand how putting the wrong Paw Patrol episode on can lead to a meltdown.

 

Decision-Making

Perhaps decision-making is not as exciting as danger and drama but it happens more often each day. Eloise is already dressed in her new swimsuit, should I just send her to daycare in it? She would be happy, it would take less time, but it is not really appropriate attire.

Routines and rules can help to reduce decision-making but there still seems to be a myriad of snap decisions to make all day long and that means parenting is never boring. Rice or couscous? Play Barbies or Lego? Shoes or no shoes? The list is endless.

 

Never Ever Boring

Sometimes, just in case you were feeling quite content with the whole parenting thing, maybe even a tiny bit bored, you will get a situation where all three D’s are thrown at you at once. Like when your toddler insists on driving the car (danger), and your five year old is making a fuss that he doesn’t get a turn (drama) while you are trying to figure out where your wallet may have ended up so you can actually leave the house (decision making).

No wonder I love watching my kids sleep. Not only do they seem like angels but also I get to have a break from the constant adrenalin coursing through my body. That is until they wake in the middle of the night…

Parenting is NEVER Boring Blog Post - Sleeping Child

Three Realizations Blog Post - Cryptocurrency Image

Three Realizations About Mama Worry

Three Realizations Blog Post - Cryptocurrency Image

Typical Mama

When I was going through my pregnancies, I worried about tons of things including ending up with an emergency C-section and stretch marks. Then when my kids were little babies I worried another stack of things like reading to them enough and their sleep routine falling apart.

I am huge worrier from way back and that coupled with my fear of traditional (spiders, snakes) and perhaps stranger things (Doctor Who, geese), probably just means I am a typical mama.

Somehow I thought that as my kids grew up, the fears and worries would reduce, but instead they are as constant as ever. I mean how do I explain things I do not understand myself like crypto currency? I still worry ALL THE TIME.

Is this my lot as a mama? Is there anything I can I do about it?

 

Realization One

I do remind myself that what I worried about the most ended up not being a big deal. Both births were relatively fine and a few stretch marks are not important in the scheme of things.

 

Realization Two

Also, I do know deep down that adding worry into the equation does not help. I love books and read to my babies a lot but if some days it didn’t happen worrying about it did not help matters. And looking back, if my baby fell asleep in my arms, then I should have enjoyed one of the best feelings in the world rather than worrying about keeping to a sleep routine.

 

Realization Three

The most ironic thing about all this worry is that it was actually stuff I didn’t think about that that actually slammed into my life like a freight train. At the end of the pregnancy with Dylan I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, something I had to look up on my mobile phone after I was confined to a hospital bed and told baby would be induced the next day.

I worried about having too much milk or none at all. I even didn’t know you could have a small flow of milk. And I foolishly didn’t foresee how lack of sleep for baby and me could be such an issue.

 

A Good Start

Perhaps being a Mama means I can’t switch off the worry but knowing it is completely pointless is a good start. We worry about things that don’t ultimately matter, we worry about the wrong things and don’t worry about things that actually end up being major issues.

But being a Mama also means that we are stronger than we think and we cope with the things that come up. I played the game with the cards I was dealt with. I handled it. Maybe not well to start with sometimes but I found answers or got outside help where required.

So I guess this means I don’t have to worry about how to explain crypto currency for now. Phew, what a relief!

Don't Worry Be Happy Blog Post - Parenting Worry Cartoon