I am the youngest child of 3 boys in my family. I always looked up to my brothers. To this day I still do but in a much different way. Now before I lose you this isn’t going to be one of those I had a horrible childhood and while my brothers were outside playing I was stuck inside looking out the window at them while finishing my chores. That’s simply not true. I had a great child hood. Grew up the first part of it in south florida with great friends in a cul-de-sac that I still have great memories of. I just hope that Natalie gets that its ok for her to take the reins and lead.
By now I’m sure you’re well aware I stay home with the girls everyday. I get to watch them soak up everything like a sponge and then when we least expect it they wring it all out like a sponge. It’s awesome to watch. It’s fun to watch miniature versions of you running around all day. Even the bad stuff its fantastic to just think about I helped create that.
Back to my point. The other day I took the girls for a walk before we went to go surprise mom at work. In typical fashion Kendall ran ahead to the lead and Natalie waddled as fast as she could to keep up. Every so often Kendall would turn and say “come on Natalie” and stop for a few seconds for her sister to catch up. While all this was going on of course I got a few pictures to send off to mom so she knows whats going on.
Having two kids close in age has its challenges. I also won’t neglect the fact that it also has a ton of advantages from hand me downs (toys or clothes) to I have not wasted one single diaper so far. While I was looking at the pictures Kendall and Natalie were outside playing and Natty was trying to figure a toy out and I instinctively said “Kendall show your sister how to use her toy”.
That was my ah-ha moment, we always tell Kendall to help or show your sister. We don’t let Nat-Bat figure it out. We don’t allow her to trial and error, we don’t give her the chance to have the independence of I did it all by my self. We don’t let her fail. I’m a huge believer in its ok to fail because you can learn from it. One of my favorite quotes of all time is by Michael Jordan himself.
I understand that I’m not ruining my kid with this (at least I hope not) but it probably isn’t the greatest thing I could be doing for her. I want Natalie to know that its ok if she leads the way, or picks the activity we do next. It’s ok to have your own voice and make your own shadow. Not that I feel like following in Kendall’s shadow is a bad thing, I just know that Natalie could leave behind a pretty badass shadow her self.
A very touching blog. You have a wonderful story telling style.
Thank you for the kind words.
Always good to have your kids be bad assessment and conquer the world and you are right the only way to achieve this is to fail and try again
Thanks, I’m hoping it pays off.
Such a great post! And you are an awesome Dad! Lucky little kiddies you have 🙂
Great post…love the quote as well
From another stay at home dad. Nice write
Thank you very much. It’s greatly appreciated.
Love this! I’ve never thought of things like this, probably due to the fact that my 3 year old is more bold and head-first into things than her older sister is, but it makes sense now as to why her older sister is the way she is. She has an older brother! We’ve probably used a lot of these phrases too! Now I will be paying more attention to our words, and while we want my son to be a leader, we definitely also want that of my middle daughter and want that hope for her! Thanks for saying some of the things we sometimes don’t think about!
I’m glad that you liked it. We’re all in this together so I’m glad my experience could help. Thanks for the follow. Have an awesome night.
I love the idea of letting your kids try and fail. It’s really the best way to learn! Awesome post!
They really do get the most out of it. Trial and error can teach so many lessons from not getting frustrated to problem solving.
I think it’s great you are encouraging Natalie to strike out on her own. As the youngest of three growing up in the dark ages (1950’s), I didn’t really make my own way until forced to do so when we moved my junior year in high school.
Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad people have been receptive to it. Makes me feel like I’m on the right path.
Love this perspective. I have two girls close in age- just 17 months apart. As you noted about your own- my “little one” is actually pretty mighty, too. Cheers to parenting!
Thanks for following. It’s actually kind of changed how the house hold dynamic has gone. Little less arguing and little peace and quiet.
Thank you for reading from my blog.
It seems to me you’re on your way toward having two balanced, independent thinkers in and as your daughters. As you say at the start and reinforce in the conclusion, “I just hope that Natalie gets that its ok for her to take the reins and lead.” Kendall turns; her sister catches up. A great image, by the way. I imagine there will be times when it goes the other way round. And each will make decisions on her own.
Thanks for sharing and for all you do!
Thank you very much for the kind words. I’m really glad that you enjoyed it.
Oh I love this and can definitely relate! Awesome post!
Also, glad you hear you had a good relationship with your older brothers. I have 3 boys and I hope the same happens for my boys.
Thank you for the nice words and I’m glad you liked it. The older we get the closer we get also. I’m sure at times my mother thought we hated each other but she couldn’t have been more incorrect.
You are doing a fabulous job. It’s good to let them know they have a voice and that their opinions count. It’s okay to fall but better to rise up from the learning. You will be surprised how far reaching such positive teaching will take them.
Thanks for the comment. I’m hoping it all pays off but I feel pretty confident it will.
My three are close in age and are teens (well, the youngest will be soon) and I try to make sure that I don’t put all the expectations on the oldest (since he could do everything first), but that’s an interesting point about letting the others learn by their own failing. They are lucky that you care enough to think about such things.
Thank you for the kind words. I’m hoping it pays off.
Hi DSD. I am a younger sister and I totally get what you are saying about constantly asking the elder one to help and look out for the younger one. By the time I was 18, my elder sister was pretty much acting like my third parent and that would drive me up the wall. I kind of put in a lot of my own effort to wriggle out of her wings and form a bond of equality with her. I did this also because I was so desperate to take the reins for my own life. I came upon this idea by reading and watching that almost everyone I know had taken on their own reins and did not unnecessarily depend on others.
I came to your blog after you had recently like a post of mine where I announced that I had a baby out of wed-lock. The profile name “dadstayedhome” excited me so much that I had to come over to read more about your thoughts and experiences. Great blog! Great decision! Great effort! I have been meaning to write about our discussions at home about who must stay to take care of the baby and who must work. Currently, both of us work because of our financial situations and also because both of us like to work. But, I work from home and the LO is five months old and demands round-the-clock care. I hope to step out in another few months, but the flip arrangement has been tricky for us even though my partner would love to stay at home with LO.
Power to you. Hope a lot of men would be like you. A lot of women are like your wife, but they are not able to step out because they don’t have men like you or like mine who enjoy taking care of children.
Thank you very much for such kind words and taking the time to read my blog. Your words mean a lot to me, being a parent/SAHD is a job most people don’t understand. I present many challenges and it’s very nice to know that other people have maybe gone through some of the challenges that mine has. One of the biggest reasons I started the blog was when my wife and I decided that I would stay home I did research and I could find a ton of stuff about MOMS but not much about Dads. I wanted my kids to have it all. I wanted them to know that mom or dad can do whatever needs to be done for a family. Once again I truly appreciate the kind words.
Congrats on the “aha” moment. 🙂
IMHO, I think it should be balanced. Remember you are teaching Kendall to be responsible and care for her sister too. So, I think, there should be a balance. Let them each (and you) learn something new, something continuing.
Personally I think you are doing a great job, because you CARE. That alone is half the battle.
Thanks for the comment. That’s a great way to look at it.
I love the badass shadow idea. Very nice piece.
Thank you very much.
You are quite a sensitive parent to notice the little things like how often you ask your older daughter to help. Not all parents even have a second thought about things like that. I think you have two extremely lucky girls.
Thank you for the kind words. They and their mother are the world to me and I just want to do the best that I can.
As a feminist, former teacher and mom to a wonderful and strong daughter, your words have the power to transform a life. GirlPower is an important feeling every girl needs growing up in our society. Kudos to you. You;re getting Natalie off to agreat start!
Thank you for taking the time to comment. It has already started to pay off some around the house. Have a GREAT day and weekend.