Little Lessons: Sometimes kids fight over the silliest things

One night, after saying our prayers, JJ said his usual jubilant “AMEN” LOUDLY to the angst of his sister who has always expressed unhappiness over his noisy shouts of amen.

She was more upset than normal and ignored my usual “it’s okay, Vera, no need to get upset over this…”

So I had to bring her out from the room and explain to her that JJ enjoyed praying and expressing himself with a loud shout of praise and amen to God. It wasn’t that he was annoying her on purpose (though at the back of my mind I did wonder if there is that possibility too.)

I told her that we all express our love and joy in different ways, some through loud noises, some through softer words. None of us are wrong in preferring one way or another but we show love and respect by accepting and tolerating our differences.

I then reassured her that JJ loves her and that I do too. “We are unique and different but we love each other all the same.”

A hug and kiss later, she seemed much better. As we climbed back to bed, I thought about how she might have felt “unloved” because of how JJ  seemingly ignored her wishes.

All she seemed to need at that point was reassurance of love…and to know that it’s not true that behaving differently equals “unloving”.

I reckon this lesson will take many repeated reminders and experiences to really sink in, but I hope a small seed has been sown. And hopefully she’ll grow to appreciate the beauty of their differences one day.

Little kids can be rather rigid and insistent on their own ways at times. How can we teach them to be more accepting of differences? I learnt that it is a slow process, a process that begins with us communicating our love and acceptance of them, for who they are…

Do you have similar experiences too?

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Counting our twosome moments

I’ve reached a stage where I’m truly thankful for our twosome.

The siblings are enjoying more of each other, although there are still many fighting and toy-snatching moments that we’ve had to smooth over and help them with coping / negotiation skills.

Despite my growing belly, I actually prefer to go out with two, mainly because big sister has developed a sense of responsibility and care for little brother. For instance, if he’s up to mischief, she will come shouting for me and that is like a warning signal for me to go check on what he’s doing. Somehow, it comes to her naturally to look out for him, and protect him. And she does. (Well, as much as a little girl can anyway.)

Plus, with Vera playing with him or just doing whatever beside him, JJ’s usually happy enough to give me some breathing space of my own. Most days, I can read a few pages of a book or enjoy a cuppa. (More recently, I’ve been able to hop on a short bus-ride and take them swimming, and even do some mini-laps of my own while they play in the shallow water.)

two makes good company

Big sister also makes quite a good teacher, and would teach him to read the letters of the alphabet, simple Chinese words, or help him in some craft work. I must say, JJ’s language abilities have really advanced in the past 3-6 months, and much of it is due to Vera’s chatty-ness and good work in helping him along!

learning ABCs

However, when it comes to food – JJ’s first love – he still finds some trouble sharing with his sister. The photo below was taken some months back, and you can glimpse from JJ’s frown that he really dislikes having to share his food. Even today, his first reaction would be to frown and say “No!”

two yummy

It’s funny seeing the both of them “interact” with baby J (yes, that’s what we’re calling him for the moment) in my belly. Because JJ likes to mimick Vera, he has caught some of her love and curiosity for baby. If she starts to pat my belly (a gesture of “sayang” or love) or talk to him, he will quickly run over and do the same.

As I’ve been mentally prepping myself for the arrival of baby #3, seeing their love for him gives me the feeling of comfort. When baby arrives, I think big sister and newly-minted “big brother” will be really happy to see him! (I just hope that we’ll still be able to give the two older ones the attention and love that they need…)

holding hands

I just adore seeing them help each other out at times.

It reminds me of what family and raising children are all about.

What a privilege it is to see these flower blooms grow and unfold day-by-day, overcoming challenges together, soaking up the sun…

I’m excited, a little jittery, but looking forward to the day two becomes three (or five, depending on how you look at it).

What are you thankful for today?

Linking up with Mum in the Making’s Grateful Gatherings.

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