Monday, March 26, 2012

Seven years on...

A lot of good things come out of having children. One of the great blessings we received when MiniiMe was born was being putting into contact with some great people. In particular my mother's group. We meet pretty much every Wednesday for three years and then on and off over the last four years. Some more than others.

On Saturday we got together to celebrate the children reaching their 7th birthdays and to have some family photos done.

There was something in the air. Everyone was happy to be there, there was joy, there was a lot of love.

The seven year olds all lay together with their heads touching as they had for a photo when they were only a few months old. It was a special moment. We had got through some tough parenting together, shared our children's childhood and hopefully will share their futures. The community bonds were strong.

I am very thankful for these beautiful ladies.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Raising Girls...

Steve Biddulph was giving a talk not far from where I live this week so I went along to hear what he had to say about raising girls. Having three of them I thought it might be helpful!!

A lot of what he said related to children in general but there was a bit about the sexulisation of girls which was a bit more specific. My take home points were;

  • Life is a lot different for our children compared to the world we and our parents grew up in. The issues I was facing at 16 my daughters will face at 12 so they will not have the mental capacity to fully understand them.
  • For most of our world's history people lived in small communities surrounded by people who knew them and loved them so they had lots of adults affirming them and who they could relate to. Aunts and uncles are really important relationships for our children so that they have another adult they can talk to. It is important to give our nieces and nephews time as well, to listen when they talk to us.
  • Children are dependant on us as toddlers but as they enter teenage years they enter that dependent stage again - if you minus 12 from their age as a teenager that is age you are dealing with. So having a 14 year old is like having a two year old again!
  • Girls face a lot of messages from the media telling them that their looks are the most important thing, that they will never look good enough, that sex is to be exchanged for love and power and that it is ok to have sex with people you dont know or dont even like.
  • Children learn from the people around them, we are always modeling behaviour to them. If you are constantly talking about your weight then they will pick up on the idea that they should not feel good about how they look.
  • A reminder to talk to your children about how they feel about things.
That is a very brief summary but it was a good reminder about the little sponges that are around me and taking the opportunity to talk to them when these issues come up.

As it turns out, last night I was reading MiniMe Matilda and there was a part where the mother was saying that looks were all that mattered for girls so that they could find a husband (rather than reading books and learning). I asked MiniMe what she thought of this and she said that books were more important then looks and that it was a weird this for the mother to think.

Steve Biddulph would have been proud! I smiled, at least we are doing some things right as parents!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Terrible Twos...

JJ seems to have an awareness that she is about to turn two and I am finding it very difficult. She is in that difficult stage where she knows what she wants and will persist until she gets it. Sometimes she can tell me what she wants, sometimes she can't and is frustrated by her lack of communication. I am frustrated.

Some days she can make my cheeks hurts because she makes me smile so much. The last two days she has made my head hurt with her screaming.

The terrible twos have snuck up on me and I am not prepared. I know it is a phase and it will pass but I feel like I need some words of wisdom to help me prepare and forge through with some level of sanity.

Wisdom anyone? Please?!