Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Learning the hard lessons

I always knew ‘sharing’ was a big thing for children, but our two boys have really brought that home for me. Literally.

When we had Jackson a year ago, my husband and I admittedly hadn’t worked on the sharing concept much with our oldest child, Max. It didn’t really impact us until Jack was old enough to play with some of his toys – at which point Max decided he needed to play with the baby toys too. Like any good parents, we made a rule: Max couldn’t play with the baby toys since he had plenty of his own big boy toys.

Why would a 4-year-old want to play with baby toys, we wondered. It made no sense.

But our struggles continued. We assumed it was about sharing – we hadn’t taught Max before, so we were paying for it now. Simple as that.

Well, as oftentimes happens in parenting, we soon had a light bulb moment and figured it out. Turns out, Max wasn’t overly amused by the baby toys, but he had a little jealousy of his younger brother and the baby toys were new – which made them interesting.

Once we realized this, we removed the rule and bam – Max wasn’t as intrigued anymore. Sure, we still have to work with him on sharing, but we also make sure to make comments while Max is playing with his toys just like we do for Jack, which helps with the jealousy.

As usual, I learned something important from my child: just like adults, children can be pretty complex. Lesson learned.

What lessons have you learned from your kiddos?

Aleshia Howe is the communications specialist at Texas Health Foundations and mom to 4-year-old Max and 1-year-old Jack.

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