Saturday, October 09, 2010

Kai Bear; Advice Needed

Okay, let's see. I love my Kai Bear. I need some advice on parenting this 4 year old boy. Kai will usually play with another kid in the same manner and energy level as the other child. He can play nicely and quietly with his cousin Annika and he can play rough and tumble with his big boy cousins. Now, let's say there is a classroom of kids. All are behaving nicely, Kai behaves nicely. Let's say one kid acts wildly and misbehaves, well, Kai gravitates to that kid immediately. He will encourage the behaviour and test some of it out himself (just like he does when Koen misbehaves).
I know that he is far from being a teenager but my fear is that he will do that when he is older. Why am I afraid of it? Maybe because I wasn't as goody goody as my husband:) As a kid however, I was not one of the wild ones. Ever. When I went with Kai on a field trip this week, I was so disappointed. I have never felt so rejected by him and at a loss of what to do. He completely ignored me and was so caught up in being silly/not listening with another boy (although he did listen to his teachers). It was impossible to separate them because the other boy was there with his grandparents who couldn't hold on to him (we were hiking through the forest). At one point, I took him to the back of the line (and he screamed and acted like he was dying) and we just left when everyone was having their snack. Usually on a hike we can talk about what we are seeing and he finds me interesting and engaging but it was like I was the most annoying person in the world and he didn't want to be anywhere near me. Since when am I not the coolest, smartest, prettiest, fastest, strongest mommy in the world? He's only 4. Isn't he supposed to think the world of me a little bit longer? Maybe my expectations are just too high. I mean, his behaviour wasn't terrible, it just wasn't what the rest of the class was doing and it wasn't what I wanted him to be doing.
And what can I possibly do about his friendships? There are some really good buddies of his in preschool whom he loves and who I love. And then there are kids that might not be the best influence on him based on Kai's personality (is that mean to say?). What can I do about it? I can discuss a lot with him but this is something that he has a hard time with. I have to say though, that when I was trying to keep him away from that other boy and he was pushing me away and saying he didn't want to walk with me, I was hurt. I can handle a lot of his words but for some reason, that field trip left me feeling really upset. Maybe it's my hormones? Maybe I was tired? Maybe it was a one time thing. Your thoughts on this are welcome.
Dare I say that he is less monkeyish? He is still climbing on everything and making a mess BUT it's not a mess that requires a carpet cleaner to clean up. He is so sweet. Except when he drags his foot when I am trying to push him on the bike, then, I don't find him so sweet. I make him walk. And then he takes 10 years to get home and I get soooo frustrated.
Getting him to say `happy birthday' gives a better smile than `cheese!'
The boys loved the pumpkin scones I made. I loved them too and I don't even like pumpkin!

Okay, I know you're only supposed to publish nice and flattering pictures of yourself but I am so perplexed by my belly! I seriously look 3 months pregnant. Now, my free T4 is currently in the hypothyroid range making me cold and fat (while still maintaining the jitters of the hyperthyroidism) but seriously, a pregnant looking belly? And this was first thing in the morning. Crazy. I miss my constant metabolism more than anything. I was normal for 30 years and I don't think I appreciated it. Having a wonky metabolism is so frustrating. I have a maximum weight that I am not `allowed' to go over. I'm 1lb away from it. Great. And no, I'm not publishing that weight. And no, I'm not pregnant.

We rented a paint sprayer and Gary primed the whole basement in two hours and then he also did the whole ceiling. Below (on the left) you can see the colour that we will be painting the basement; Silver Fox. If you don't like it, please don't tell me now. We already bought the paint:)
All primed and ready to go!! I have to say that even though renos aren't fun, it was not nearly as stressful as I thought it would be. Maybe that's because we only did the insulating, drywall cutting and hanging, and painting:)

Okay, I will def. have a thanksgiving post on Monday because I have a billion things that I am so thankful for.

And if you have any suggestions on Kai and friendships and behaviour, please let me know!

Love, Louise


  1. I love your outfit in the picture of you! Very cute!

  2. wow...what a field trip! no advice, but i can guess that would be a tough one to take :(
    hmm...we should compare non-pregnant bellies, cuz i look about the same right now. i'm at my 'max' weight right now, but have been 1-2 pounds over it in the past week or so. ARGH!!!!
    i LOVE the paint color!

  3. The good thing is that Kai did listen to the teacher and that he knows how to behave well. I would talk to him about how you were hurt by his words and actions, but also tell him how much you love him and that you forgive him. You can keep reminding him how important it is to pick good friends who behave well. I imagine this is just a funny stage he is going through. Other suggestion? Just keep praying for your children and for wisdom for you and your husband!!

  4. Ohhhh, the friend thing....
    I have to sympathize with you tons here, because I wrestle with this constantly. Ayden has an especial friend whose parents buy every toy and gaming system out there because (I'm dead serious: the mom tells me this repeatedly) it keeps him busy and out of their hair! Plus the mom smokes IN THE HOUSE. So my kid wants to play there 4 times a week (their kid never wants to come to our house because we have no electronic systems or games--imagine using your IMAGINATION while playing?!), and when we let him go he comes home stoned on computer games and smelling like smoke.

    The kid himself is sweet. But still! I wish Ayden would pick a different friend!

    Matthew is more easily influenced by whatever his peers are doing: I worry about him as a teenager! He has no brakes when it comes to following rules when others are breaking them. Like, none. Not once in his life have I seen him follow a rule if a peer is breaking it. We complain that he never thinks for himself! And we worry how far that could take him.

    BUT--I believe this really strongly: the more you push your kids away from someone they love or admire, the more they gravitate towards them. As much as I can, I try to get kids invited to our house as opposed to letting my kids go to their houses, and I try and arrange playdates or interactions with kids whose families I like and relate well to. I want my kids to know I accept all their friends and I try and get to know those kids and their families, whether I relate to them or not. I don't talk to them about selecting friends wisely: not yet. I didn't like those talks from my mom and I haven't worked out exactly how I'll approach this with my kids. I hated the judgmentalism inherent in my mom's words and statements, though I always knew she was wise.

    I think that, in the end, there is no magic formula for raising kids who don't get into trouble as young adults. The best we can do now, is to build strong attachments with them, establish clear lines of communication and have few or no taboo topics of conversation, and encourage them to think critically and to accept themselves for who they are. If a kid knows and accepts themselves, they are more likely to go against a group when poor decisions are made. And if they can think critically, they can discern when poor decisions are being made.
    So in short, I think the best way to encourage a kid not to be influenced by their peers is to build a strong attachment with them, and a solid sense of self, and a solid sense of discernment/critical thinking skills.
    Steering them away from certain peers is not, in my honest opinion, wise.

    But there are lots of differing points of view out there! I fully acknowledge that this might work for me/my family, and not for others. =)

    Hang in there!

  5. Thanks for the advice, team!
    Carol-I forgave Kai today and it was a weight off of my shoulders and his. How did I not do that earlier?
    Mel-you are so right about not telling him to stay away from certain friends because I remember my mom doing the same thing (and rightfully so!). Suddenly parenting it getting a bit scarier to me:)

  6. time for a coffee with a 2boys mom?