Anyway, I am enjoying sharing with you guys, but I'm needing more questions to answer, so don't be shy! :)
Tonight, I will be discussing some of the more personal aspects of our parenting.
How do you give each child attention, & do some require more than others?
As each one of our kiddos were born, a bit of shifting occurred in our family dynamics. In many ways, the newest one required the lion's share of our attention due to the frailty of a newborn/infant. It has always been important to us to make sure that no one was lost in the shuffle. *Even teens can feel displaced by a new baby*
If you will watch your children carefully...keep your finger on their emotional pulse, so to speak, you will begin to see signs that they are giving you to let you know what they need from you. Just as an infant will cry when needing care, an older child has their own signs. It may be disruptive behavior from an otherwise calm child. Maybe your lil man is just a wild indian. How about clingy-ness or whining. These can all be telltale signs of a need.
***My boys all need special time with their dad...time to rough house & wrestle & be loud....all things that put my nerves on edge, but in 11 years of having boys...well, I can tell that some dad time is needed. So, I head out & let 'em at it! They are all better when I get home!***
Sometimes, I have errands to run...nothing major, just stuff. If I haven't spent time with one of the kiddos in a while, I take them. We may eat lunch at a place of their choosing, we might get a little goody, but the main focus is on them. We hold hands, laugh & have a great time. This even applies to a quick run to the store for milk. One on one time does NOT have to be a big deal, just make the child feel like a big deal, & it will do the trick!
***One thing that we have done for years is have dad take one of the kiddos to work week in Kentucky at the Camp Ground. The first time he did this, daughter #1 was a mere 3 years old! GAH!!! I worried the whole week! He definitely didn't do things the way I would have, she looked like an orphan the whole time, got scrapes & bruises from doing dangerous things....and...she had a blast!!! Since then, he has made the time in his schedule to take the kids. They have gone spelunking in caves, visited Fort Knox, & have eaten all kinds of junk mom wouldn't allow! The are all kinds of benefits to this time together for both the child & Dad! Try it!!!***
As for whether or not some kiddos need more attention than others...the answer is YES!! But that doesn't mean that the others will not benefit from attention.
I have never really had a "clingy" child (thank ya JESUS), but they all seem to go through stages of needing more attention than usual. I highly recommend two books that have been beneficial in determining the needs of our children.
The first is "The 5 Love Languages of Children" by Gary Chapman.
This book will change the way you deal with everyone you know! When you understand what makes them feel your love, then you can always make sure their needs are met!
The second book is by Kevin Leman & is called, "The Birth Order Book".
I truly used to believe that theories on birth order were a bunch of bunk....until I had multiple kiddos! I have not one, but two middle children!!! A girl & a boy...and they BOTH exhibit middle kid personalities! Knowing what makes them tick really helps me to read their moods. Honestly, they are the ones who are tricky. They don't say much, but kind of get pushed to the back...creating feelings of displacement within the family. When they begin to act reclusive, THAT is when some one on one time with a parent or some other special treat is NECESSARY!
As parents, I believe that continuing education is needed. The "What to Expect..." series was amazingly helpful when I was pregnant & had infants...but didn't give me anything on how to deal with a pouty 8 year old middle child. So, it became my responsibility to find the information I needed to help me with my situation.
Hopefully, reading this blog will be of some assistance to you in your role of parenting!