Hey parents. Let’s be good to our kids.

 

A few months ago I saw a post online about a mother who had shaved her daughters hair off because she was always playing with the scissors. She was always trying to cut her own her or cut everything in sight. She shaved her daughter’s hair off because she felt that there was nothing else she could do to stop her little girl for reaching for the scissors. She felt she needed to “teach her a lesson”. There were so many comments in agreement saying “good on you, show her who’s boss”, “she needs to learn” etc The only thing that girl learnt was humiliation that will no doubt haunt her for the rest of her life. She learnt that communication came in the form of punishment, and that her feelings didn’t matter because she was doing something that someone else didn’t agree with. Last week I saw a boy no older than 4 walking out of his driveway, coughing and crying. So visibly upset that he was choosing to walk down the road in the rain. What had made him so upset that he felt the need to escape the one place that was meant to make him feel safe? I watched him for a while before I drove over and stopped the car. I asked if he was okay and he just looked at me with tears in his eyes, shaking his head. In that moment I just wanted to put him in my car and take care of him. I told him to go inside so that he was out of the rain, and said that I hoped he felt better soon. I watched him stand there as I drove off, and I saw the person that was meant to be looking after him just point and laugh. My heart ached for that little boy. Just the other day I was in the mall watching the kids play in the play area. A little boy, younger than my own son ran out crying. He walked around the mall searching for his parents, he was so visibly upset and lost. My partner walked right down to the other side of the mall with him before picking him up and bringing him back to the play area. It had been a good 10 minutes and we couldn’t see anyone who looked like this little boys mum or dad. There was no one distressed searching for their child, in that moment I panicked and thought they’d actually left him there for good. 5 minutes later a dad came out of nowhere and asked what was going on. As we explained to him what had happened, he told us his 11 year old was in the play area.. and then he asked her why she hadn’t been watching her brother, why had her brother run off without her seeing? The mum also came over from the other side of the mall wondering what had happened. These parents had left two of their kids in charge of a toddler and ate where they couldn’t see their children. They didn’t notice their child walking around the mall crying. Not once did they panic or show any worry over what had just happened. I was angry for the daughter who was expected to be play mum, and upset for the little boy who couldn’t find his parents. These moments have played on my mind lately. Small snippets of a child’s life that have reminded me that there are so many kids out there who ARE suffering in ways we couldn’t even imagine. These moments have left me feeling helpless, wishing I could do more for all the kids that are falling through the cracks. The kids that are being taught that they aren’t important enough to come first, to be loved and nurtured in all the ways that they need to be.  As parents we need to love and respect our children. We need to treat them as we would anyone else, we don’t need to “show them who’s boss” or put adult expectations onto them. We may be struggling with our own shit, we may not know how to get out of a bad situation or a vicious cycle, but we need to be strong enough within ourselves to put our children’s needs first. Whatever your journey , wherever you’re life is heading.. please just do your best and be kind to your kids. Love them without bullying them, love and respect their innocence,  and love them so hard that no matter what’s going on in life.. they will get by just knowing that you’re there.

 

Second child syndrome

My first child did not prepare me for my second. Regardless of the 3 years of parenting I had up my sleeve, having another child was like being a new parent all over again. I didn’t think about just how attached my children would be to each other, and how hard it might be for my second child to develop his own independence. Everyone says child #2 is always so much more laid back than the first, that 2 kids are easier than one. They’ll play together and keep each other company etc. Who ever said that must have some pretty sweet and chilled little babes. What most people forget to mention is that the second child is usually the first child’s shadow, They follow them around, watching and learning from them..taking in everything about them. They may be their own unique self, but they don’t know who they are without their older sibling. They aren’t sure of who they are yet and the absence of the sibling suddenly feels just as upsetting as dad heading off to work and being gone all day.

Since Willow started school, Ive noticed this is what’s happening with Luka. He’s walking around like a lost little puppy, not really sure what to do now his big sister isn’t home. At first I thought, wow are we onto the terrible two’s already? He’s had more attention and one on one time than ever before, he gets to play with all his sisters things when she’s not home and he’s doted on left, right and centre. Willow being at school meant more meaningful time spent with Luka, more trips to the park, more time for things like baking, playgroups and everything you get to enjoy with the first child. .haha how wrong I was! We’ve been to the park a few times, and everything else is still on the to do list. Our days have been full of temper tantrums, uncontrollable crying, constant cuddles and face time with dad whenever he has a spare moment.

Yesterday I spent an hour on the floor cuddling Luka after he woke from his nap, I wasn’t allowed to move from our spot and I definitely wasn’t allowed to get back to what I was doing before. Eventually I had to get up and carry on with making lunch and getting dinner ready, all while listening to my child scream the house down because he just wanted to be held. It was at this moment that I realised just how hard this new independence is for him. He’s pushing boundaries left, right and centre and needing all the comfort and attention that his sister would usually provide. “No” and “Go away” are the words of the week, and ” Where’s Wah Wah?” is asked constantly. In time, I know that Luka will learn who he is without his sister, and develop his own little personality.. But for now we’ll be over here surviving on caffeine, those much needed 9:30am naps and plenty of cuddles.