I was asked to write about behaviour and sibling issues. The difficult thing is that anything pertaining to these topics is so individual.
They talk about siblings being like chalk and cheese. My two certainly fit this description when it comes to personality and behaviour. I see one of my roles as a mother as accepting my children for who they are – both for their talents and their flaws.
I believe an important part of my ‘job’ is to nourish my children, encourage them and help them reach their best potential. Not just academically but within their relationships, their emotional intelligence, their motivation, their ethic, etc etc.. the list goes on and on. I don’t think this is truly possible without them having self confidence and self awareness.
Cameron is a sensitive boy. He is intelligent and cautious. He has always been selective but curious. He always wants to help and is gentle and caring. Cam craves guidance and is full of questions. Even as a young toddler he was forever asking “what’s that?”
Almost any sense of danger, anger or upset (including even gentle discipline such as simply talking through an issue) is met with sensitivity or tears. This is one of my biggest hurdles as Cameron’s Mum. He is introverted and quick to fold into himself emotionally in order to deal with anything confronting. He is perceptive and clever so not much goes over his head.
As a sibling, for the vast majority, he is a beautiful role model and big brother. His sensitivity and gentleness is the perfect contrast to Lucy’s fiery passion and determined but happy nature. Cameron is brilliant with Lucy so long as he has the ability to help me take care of her and he is heard. Lucy is only 13 months old so her Lucy-centric behaviours are expected and understandable. She loves her big brother so wholeheartedly and just wants to do everything that he does. This can mean lots of tantrums, messes and general upset – from all parties!
Lucy is a happy girl with a passionate personality. She is fearless and defiant. Her determination is incredible. How headstrong she is, is the main reason I struggle moreso with her than Cameron with behaviour – even as a baby! She loves fiercely and you will hardly ever hear her cry (growling or throwing a tantrum, however, is a regularly occurrence). She is inquisitive but would much rather learn and master things on her own than have any help or guidance.
Every single one of the many traits of each of my children is completely accepted by me. I can see the positives and potential in every mannerism and characteristic. Of course, I struggle; particularly when the attribute is something that reminds me of myself (Cameron’s anxiety and difficulty socially.. Lucy’s fearlessness and determination) but that’s the beauty of parenthood. I’m forever learning.
Some resources that I have drawn upon when I feel like whatever I am doing is not working (perhaps it isn’t age appropriate or it isn’t dealing with the root of the problem) are Elevating Childcare and Aid to Life.
With respect to dividing my time between my children, we do mostly everything together. Cameron is content the majority of the time so long as he is involved and heard. Lucy is happy just to watch sometimes and they get along really well. There are times where Lucy requires my full attention but most of the time Cameron is either helping, doing an activity or independently playing. Cameron, being an affectionate child, does get jealous sometimes of all the cuddles that are involved with the care of an infant/young toddler. But a cuddle is all he needs to be off again playing or to resume an activity.