Your milestones – or your kids?

Growing with our family

My daughter are going through some milestones at the moment. My youngest is turning one next month and the eldest is going to be three in November. Little one finally popped a tooth (yes my kids tend to take their time on this issue) and I remember stressing with Zoe the eldest. When will her teeth come – when will she crawl (then walk) … and the list is being repeated as I see Emma reaching her personal targets.

What made me think was The Blind Side movie with Sandra Bullock. Right at the end of the movie she turns to Michael after he was drafted to a University and asked him – Do you actually LIKE football?

Do we as parents see our kids developing and growing and enjoy the moment? Or do we (optimistically wanting the best for them) start pushing them to the next level or the next belt or the higher grades. When do we as parents say “my kid did his best” instead of “well next time you can improve X or Y” … and are we wrong to want them to do more?

I don’t want to be the parent that turns to her child and berates her for a mark when I should be seeing how happy she is with the result she got. In no way am I saying I want my kids to sit back and be happy with status quo. But how do we as parents encourage our kids to THEIR goals – and not the ones we set for them ourselves?

Where do you believe we can find balance?


Kids Jumping Into Life

Jumping from early on

What is it about Jumping that has kids fascinated. My daughter walks through the door of her aunts house on a tuesday and right through to the back yard. She has two favourite pit-stops. The trampoline or the sand pit. But of late – the trampoline seems to be favourite. Come Mommy, Come Daddy, Come Granny, Come Pompom, Come (aunty) Gayle. The story is the same – the poor supervisor is the one who resists least.

She will jump as long as anyone is willing to stand with her (and often cries when she has to get off). The reason she needs to be supervised, is that she is two and seems to lack all common sense. But she knows she loves jumping.

But Why?

At two the jumping skills are being refined, from one foot jumping to two foot jumping. There are plenty of published benefits, but an article I found on the web give a few insights to why it is beneficial for kids to learn to jump.

* Have an effect on academic success – By helping a child learn to control movement of the body, it can help a child learn. Because a trampoline teaches muscle control and coordination, many children see an improvement academically when regular use of a trampoline occurs.

*Improve self esteem – A child gains confidence as he masters new skills on the trampoline. This can translate into a better self image that may help improve academic success.

*Teach persistence – It often takes many tries to master a skill on the trampoline, but because it is so much fun a child will often persist. This can teach the important lesson that doing something right is worth the effort.

I like the idea of play being educational but I guess our kids know better than we do that playing is learning. And sometimes my bright little spark knows better than I do what is good for her.

Jumping bunny – I love you!

For something else fun for kids visit our Tea for Two blog

Mother tell your children …

This little chat was inspired by one of those simple polls you get in FB. It was a choice of what advice you would give a younger version of yourself. I started thinking what I would tell my daughters instead. Yes I have regrets, I have things I have learned painfully. Maybe I can spare them some heartsore .. and of course there were the things I was told and never believed.

So I will work on the basics of the poll I would have created from my mom’s advice:
* This too shall pass
* Nil illegitimatii carborundum
* You can’t expect to be loved until you til you love yourself
* If you fall in shut your mouth

This Too Shall Pass
Whatever you are going through in life, be it difficult friendships, exam stresses, depression or just life, given time it will pass. You won’t always be in high school with its inherent strains. Your deadline will eventually pass and you will be able to focus on something else. Your pain at being hurt or dropped or ignored by someone will ease as you make new friends. It will pass – but you need to lift your head and get through it the best you can.

Nil Illigitimii Carborundum
This is the polite way of saying “Don’t let the B** grind you down”. You can’t give anything more than you have to give. Your best is all anyone can expect from you! People will always try to be dominant – try to put themselves in the upper position. You need to learn what your strengths are and not let others define who you are.

You can’t expect to be loved until you love yourself
We all want to be loved. We all want to be accepted by those we look up to. But until you believe in yourself (pimples, cellulite and funny frizzy hair) no one else is going to think you are lovable (well except mom and gran). This was a long life journey for me. I filled a lot of time saying IF instead of saying WHY NOT. I think I missed a lot of opportunities and a lot of potential friendships because I was so busy focusing inwards that outwards passed me by.

I think I also made the mistake of selling myself short. We need to believe that we deserve the best. What makes us less worthy of being happy or loved? Believe that you are worth it and others will recognise that you are too.

If You Fall In – Shut Your Mouth
This one is a strange one. My mom used to scream it when we whizzed around the pool. And it grew later to mean anything we were getting ourselves into. If you fall into a situation where you feel you are drowning – don’t be silly and swallow water. Do something about it. Be prepared. And learn to swim sooner than later.

Falling into the water is not the problem. Deal with what you can control – and control those things. Someone will come along shortly to help you out – you just need to be above water to catch the lifebelt.

Mothers Advice
We all know that just as we had to learn our lessons, so will our kids. It is finding the wisdom to know when to let them buzz around the pool – and when to get the lifebelt ready.

As moms – what advice do you think you should have been given – or believe that your kids will be better off knowing? Please let the rest of us hear it.

And for the best advice we can give to Mothers from Mothers read Mandy’s blog.