Recently a friend and I have been having a few ‘challenges’ with our toddlers sharing with each other and generally playing “nicely!” They are the best of friends one minute, and enemies the next… frienemies you might say! If its not one, its the other and without a doubt there is much more of this to come as their friendship progresses.
During the Easter break we definately hit the wall though, but honestly this was the best thing to happen. Why you might ask? We feel so much pressure as parents to ensure our kids share and behave themselves in front of others, that sometimes we forget they are only little humans learning everyday.
When things go wrong, it can be extremely hard to not let this affect your own friendships, and at times under the watchful eye of other parents, it can sometimes feel like the only option is to seperate the children, (but then again this can be upsetting and really hurt both the parent and child).
I’ve heard many cases similar to the one I am writing about, and I can honestly say after going through this with a very close friend, the best option is to work together and just be there for each other. Talk about these things out in the open and assure each other that you are a team and can try and tackle these issues together.
For the time being, it might be you have to supervise the children until they learn and keep guiding them in the right direction to share and play nicely, after all, even as adults we find it hard to share sometimes so there is a still alot to learn for these little humans.
I gave my friend the biggest hug (both with tears in our eyes), and we knew at that moment we were in it together and it felt so much better than feeling alone.
The same weekend, I had a challenging walk home with my daughter when she decided she had watched enough of the Peter Rabbit film and asked to leave the cinema… so off we went until about 5 minutes after we left, you guessed it – she decided she would like to go back inside after all!
You can imagine what happened next…. the whole of the mall ended up staring at me like I was the ‘devil mother’ and did not know how to look after my daughter. The whole episode ended up lashing for about 10 minutes and I can truly say I have never felt so alone at that point. It really upset me that everyone was staring at me with my daughter following me in some sort of mad rage.
We have all been there at some point… (or maybe not just yet if they haven’t reached that age). I am going to be honest and say that I too have been one of those starers myself and I now feel very guilty for that because instead of being a spectator, I should have been reassuring those Mums and Dads that parenting IS hard work and we are all doing the best we can with bringing up our children.
Regardless of how many perfect bed times there have been, there will be a failed one. Regardless of how many good days you’ve had, there will be a challenging one. Regardless of how many times you say no, there will be a moment of “just have it,” because let’s face it, we know that parenting is full of ups and downs but we know that its all worth it when we see them blossom and grow.
Lets work together as a team more… We are better in numbers and we all have our challenging days and after all, we are all trying our best for our children to nurture and protect them to be the best they can be.
So next time you see a parent having a tough day… try just giving them the reasuring look or a few words “Don’t worry, I’ve been there too” as thats all it takes. You never know how alone that person might be feeling and you could be making a huge difference to their day.
Written by British mum Fiona Blakey
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