Brooks

Why I said yes (Shaping my kids)

Over the weekend, I asked Brooks to go upstairs, shower and get ready for bed, then he could open some gifts he received.  (He’d been begging to open them for hours, but we were trying to get the house in order, clean up, etc from a busy weekend at home but never at home).

About 2 minutes later, he comes upstairs to my room and says, “Mom, can I open one of my presents now and then right away I’ll go take a shower?  I’ll be really fast and hang my towel and get pjs on.”

Normally, my answer is no when my kids push back on something they are asked to do.  I don’t like to have gray area where they think that every time they whine or ask me to change my mind, I’m going to do it. That’s a slippery slope that’s hard to recover from.

But the way he came up and almost presented it as a business option made me smile inside.  (Gosh, this boy is just like his papa – a master negotiator.)

I said yes and the reason I did is because I want him to recognize when he chooses to take a little risk in a negotiation, sometimes it will pay off. Especially when he approaches it the way that he did – a reasonable compromise and a win-win for both of us.  (He did in fact, take a quick shower, hang his towel and get PJs on right after he opened the gift.)

I also want him to experience WINS.  I feel like I can often come across as a NO mom.

Can I bring all my pokemon cards to the grocery store? No.
Can I have a piece of candy tonight? No.
Can I play outside after we come back from dinner? No.

I want to have my kids feel like they win, too.  That if they approach things reasonably (without crazy whining and complaining), they may be able to argue their case.  I don’t want to turn my kids into little Gingers because I like them better as one-of-a-kind Brooksies (or Landons).

I’m trying to do a better job saying yes.  And letting them figure out what approaches result in success in our house.

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Gotta go bathroom.

Brooks is the master of having to go potty at the worst times.  We’ll remind him regularly- when we’re leaving the house, when we pass a bathroom at the store – Brooks, do you need to go?

And it’s always “no”.

And then we get to enjoy this:

Yes, that’s my first-baseman in full potty dancing, holding himself form!

I even got some video and he literally dances around between plays, then the ball is hit to him, he runs to get it, finishes the play, then starts potty dancing again!

 

First game.

I love using the blog to keep track of milestones and highlights.  Occasionally I’ll find myself taking a walk back to remember first steps, first time on the slide, etc.

So, of course, I need to document Brooksie Bear’s first t-ball game.  It was a long time coming for him, with a rain out first game that had him in tears because he wasn’t going to be able to wear his uniform and play.    This after a few canceled practices because of rain and cold weather.

He was beside himself to finally get out there:

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And he did such a great job.  He stayed focused on the batter and didn’t get distracted by the grass, dirt, flowers, bees, etc that so often distract 4 and 5 year olds 🙂  He was so focused – which is a little outside of his personality.  It was so cute to see him ready to go.
After a year of sitting on the sideline always watching his brother play, he was so thrilled that he was the guy in the field and at bat.

And of course, the best part according to B:  batting and the snacks!!

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Brooks Says: I keep telling her…

A real conversation in our car the other day.

(Sidenote: My mother-in-law is overly generous and is always bringing toys, clothes, shoes, gifts, treats, etc for our kids when she visits.)

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Brooks:  When is Grammy coming down to visit us? I want her to bring us some presents.

Me: Brooks, that isn’t a good attitude. I don’t want you to expect gifts every time Grammy comes down to visit.  You should want to spend time with her, not ask her to buy you stuff.  I’m going to tell her not to bring any gifts next time she comes down to visit.

Brooks:  I don’t know what’s wrong with her.  I keep telling her to buy adult stuff, but she keeps buying kid stuff when she comes down her.

 

 

Brooks says: Getting big muscles

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This boy is too observant.

Brooks looks over at Dean one day, while Dean was doing P90x, and said “dad, if you want to get really big muscles, you have to take your shirt off.”

So now, whenever he wants to exercise with daddy, he takes his shirt off.  I guess Brooks realizes all the guys with really big muscles are usually shirt free showing off their six pack.  And he’s right – you don’t see many obese guys dying to show off their bod with no shirt, just the ripped ones!

Five year old correlation.

Parenting battle: Leaders vs. Followers

On a recent run, I had a realization about my parenting. (I think most of my realizations in life come on runs. I think that’s where God likes to talk to me.)  Lately, I’ve noticed my firstborn is really starting to “follow the crowd” at school.  He’s skipping out on participation and theme days because all of his friends aren’t participating.  This same boy who just a few months ago loved to do all the “extra” activities has now decided that he’s too cool to participate because his friends don’t want to.

I’ve tried to reason with him that it’s actually great practice to stand up and do what you do, even if your friends don’t think it’s a “cool” choice.  After all, the battles he’s facing now with peer pressure are nothing compared to what he’ll face in the next 5-10 years.  I want to set him up for success in life by being able to confidently make his own choices, even if no one else is making that same choice.  The ol’ “if your friends are jumping off a bridge” conundrum.

My realization came less with how things are going with Landon (my firstborn), but more with how I’m handling my secondborn – Brooks.  Brooks is the epitome of “leader” – that boy doesn’t follow any crowd.  When everyone else is playing a game, he’s completely content to go do something else he wants to do.  He has this cool confidence with his choices.  And the challenge is trying to “break him” of always doing things his way.

I realize that I have to be more careful with what I’m teaching him.  He’s a leader and outside of the box thinker, and I don’t want him to learn to “be part of the crowd”.  It’s really the balance of pushing him to lead but also helping him recognize times when he needs to follow (i.e. when the class is working on an assignment is not the best time to ‘do his own thing’).

I admire Brooksie’s confidence and the way he doesn’t do the same thing that everyone else does.  But with that means he’s going to defy my directions more often and push harder to do things his way.

Alternately, while Landon is a rule follower and often very quick to obey anything I ask him to do, I’ve also found he’s quick to follow the guidance of his friends.

Thus my parenting struggle, pushing one to disobey the rules a little more and gain more of his own voice, while finding small ways to keep my independent spirit in line so he isn’t always trying to run his own show and he knows when he it’s time to comply.

Two sons.  Complete opposites.  Parenting challenge.

 

Reading labels

I’m glad that my kids have learned a little about health and food nutrition in their short lives.  Both of my kids did a nutrition and health series in their preschool and when Brooks did the study last month, it really enforced healthy food habits and label reading at home.

I’ll often be in the kitchen prepping dinner, they’ll say “Mom, look, this has 11g of protein.” or “Mom, this ketchup has too much sugar in it.”

It’s also funny to see their perception of things that are unhealthy and not understanding how to read the whole label yet.  “Mom can I buy these potato chips, they only have 1g of sugar?”  Ummm… how about the 72 grams of fat?!

The other night I was upstairs with the boys getting ready for bed and we were working on some of their new bible verses.  I told them if they could recite 2 verses by the end of the week, I’d give them a special treat.  Without missing a beat, Brooks replies, “Mom, can we get money treats and not candy treats since candy is junky and not healthy?”