June 23, 2011

The Expert Answers

My poor mama has had the most miserable time with her computer lately. So there was a little delay answering these questions, but the wait was worth it. And now the expert speaks...

1) Jackie at The Mathey Family
Your mom sounds like an amazing lady! Here's my question (which came easily since Jared and I were just discussing it last night): Does birth order affect personality? I'm interested in hearing your Mom's answer! :)

Birth order is a very interesting topic. I don't know if you have looked it up online but there is a great deal of information about it. It may be fun to do that. Here is what I will add to anything that you may read. As with all of the theories that are available to us there is still room for our own thinking. Birth order is certainly something that has merit as you may have seen as you were growing up in your own family. The oldest has advantages than the others, the youngest has others to learn from, etc. Treating each child as an individual is so important. Watching your children and seeing their individual needs is such an important piece of growing. I really believe that parents can help balance out the birth order by providing opportunities for them to shine. Just know that you probably won't get it perfect but you can absolutely get it right. Enjoy every minute of the children, they grow up way too fast.

2) Lisa at The O’Gs
 My son is nearly 27 months and he talks a lot, but we still don't understand a lot. He understands a lot and there's things I've heard him say once but he's not a repeater. If we go "say I love you" he won't say it. He says a lot of words, but I am not sure if he should be more of a repeater?

What you will find out about children is that they do everything on their time. As long as they get their needs met they are fine. They will do whatever is needed to make that happen. Remember that all of what they do is new to them. What makes sense to you may not be something that they need so they don't do it. You will just be surprised one day when it all comes together for your child. I do know that language is based on need. So I would say to be sure and give your son opportunities to let his needs be known. As parents we tend to jump in there and figure out what they want with out really making them try a little harder. Be sure to give him chances to say more. Even if you know what he is saying you can ask for more from him. Not to the point of frustration but you may be surprised at what he can do.

3) Cheryl at Mommy Pants
 You must be SO proud of your mother - what an inspiration!

Today I posted about wondering if my daughter is going to turn into a Queen Bee/Mean girl. She's entering kindergarten next year. What's the most constructive way to correct "mean" behavior, especially if we don't witness it but hear about it from a parent of the girl who came home in tears?

Interesting question. I would talk to her for sure about what you are hearing. You have a few things that can work with this. The first is the natural consequences of her actions which I would explain to her often. If she is mean to someone then they won't play with her. The other thing you might try is role playing. Set it up with her that you are going to treat her the way she has been treating other children and the talk about it. Then act out something simple like taking a toy without asking. Do it and then ask her what she thought and how did she feel. You can do a lot of situations like that without hurting her but definitely teaching her that there is a consequence to her actions. Once you show her the wrong way then be sure to show her the right way to do something and talk to her about the difference. She may not get all of the implications but she will get enough to make a difference. Hope this helps

4) Christina at And for Good Measure…
 At one point do you just have to let kids be kids...for example if my son (5) comes home from preschool and says that so-and-so was picking on him, at what point do I intervene? I don't want to be that doting/annoying/over-involved mom who is constantly butting in, in normal "child's play" but I don't want it to get to an unacceptable level to where Manuel is brought to the point of tears. He starts Kindergarten in August and I need to know at what point to step up and at what point do I just let kids be kids. He's only came home once and mentioned a school aged child (they have before and after care for K-5th grade at his daycare/preschool, so he was referring to an older boy), but I'm curious what your moms thoughts are. Any thoughts, ideas, etc. would be much appreciated.

Love your question. I work in an elementary school and this comes up so often. I would first say to always give credence to what your child is telling you. Find out as many of the details as you can and offer him a way to solve the problem himself. If that does not work them for sure ask for a conference with the teacher or the person in charge of the after school program and let them know what is happening. It is very possible that they may not even be aware of the problem. Children can be very clever is in when and where they are misbehaving so the teacher may not see it. Remind your son to tell the teacher if he has not been able to stop it on his own. The teachers are always walking that fine line between tattling and reporting. Bullying should aways be reported. What defines bullying is someone still do something to you after you have asked them to stop. The best you can teach your son is to stand up for himself but know that help is available whenever he needs it. Don't hesitate to let the teacher know when you need help with solving a problem. Your comfort is just as important as your son's

5) Heather at View From the Shoe
 Why is my daughter such a (lovable) pill? Is it because she is the 5th, or is it just how she is wired. Can I assume she will turn out fine since the rest of them have and I didn't know what i was doing with them either??

The odds are in your favor that she will be fine due to your parenting. Being the 5th is not easy so she may just be vying for a position in the family. Four older siblings can be daunting. I would say to always celebrate the children's uniqueness, it can be the best part of them. Actually, learning to appreciate all of yourself makes you so much stronger. It sounds like you are doing a great job. I love that you see her as lovable even when she may drive you crazy some times.


So there you go. My incredible mama. If you have any other questions, feel free to either post your it in the comments or email me at unofficialmom@gmail.com if you have a one but want to remain anonymous.