Monday, March 24, 2014

Harris

(this is life with Harris- he's usually upside down!)

I grew up in a household of all females (my Dad died when I was 3 months old) and I didn't have a strong, influential male presence in my life to speak of.  So when Harris was born I wondered if I'd have any idea of what to do with a boy.  However, it turned out to be a non-issue.  In fact, we used to joke that if I could unzip my skin he would crawl right in!  He was always a cuddler, loved to be held, and would tell me 20,000 times a day that he loved me.  And I loved it.  Harris has always been my baby and I think I've treated him as such instead of noticing that he's getting big and his world and interests are changing.  And while he will always be my baby there are a few things that I'm trying to adjust in my parenting of him...

He's still a loving child (most of the time!) but at 9 I've definitely noticed that he usually prefers his Dad to me.  Bryce is the first one that he asks to go outside and throw a ball, to read to him, to ask a question of, etc.  Also, the hand holding doesn't usually happen in public any more.  It's made me a bit sad but I've decided to try to do something about it instead of feeling left out.  First of all, I think it's great that he connects so much with his Dad and I know that it's important and necessary, but I also think I've contributed to it.  I got in the habit of saying, "Go ask your Dad" or "Maybe later I'll play" and I think I said it so many times that he just stopped asking.  So my goal this spring is to get out there, stretch myself a little more and learn to throw a ball!  I've realized that as a Mom to a son the only way I'm really going to keep a strong connection is to show interests in those things that interest him even when they don't hold much interest to me or are out of my comfort zone.  For me this is going to mean working harder to be involved in what the children are interested in doing (hiking, sports, music, etc.)  instead of letting it always be a "Dad thing."

Harris is not always a big sharer of information, after school we will often get the "fine" answer to the "how was school today" question.  I'm trying to do better about asking more specific questions and then being 100% attentive when he answers instead of trying to multi- task (which I'm really not very good at doing!).

Also, Bryce and I have inadvertently gotten in the habit of doing gender specific things with the children!  I take Grace to ballet and he takes to baseball.  Bryce learns what computer games the children are playing while I... don't.  Some of this is just the way things work best for us, but I think we could do better and mix it up a bit more.

Tell me, how do you keep a strong relationship with your children?




7 comments:

  1. This is so hard! My mom always said the difference between raising a boy and a girl is that girls get dramatic and hormonal and boys just pull away. Ugh. So hard. Ez and I are really close still but I do think it is because I have done like you said and gone out of my way to do things that I wasn't usually inclined to do. We take a karate class together which is really a great bonding (and one of the only sports you can participate in together). Trying to get involved in things definately has pushed me out of my comfort zone, but I have found that I like some of these things too after trying them. (I loooove our karate class). Maybe you will find some great new hobbies and activities! xo

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    1. Bryce and Harris have talked about taking karate together! Maybe I should do it instead! That would be killing several birds with one stone- time together and exercise!

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    2. Having a history in dance, you would probably excel at it. Much of it is learning the steps and coordinating your body!

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  2. Back when I was pregnant with my first boy, a friend of mine told me that at first my boy would be a mommy boy...but that eventually there would be a switch and that it can be heart breaking for the mom. She told me to read Raising Cain. I read it ...and loved it! But her warning has helped me more than anything. I nodded during your whole post! I love your ideas of how to intermix the two! Luke is just 8...and so he is also at the beginning of the transition!

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    1. I'm going to look up that book, thanks Sherri for the recommendation!

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  3. Anna, this post made me tear up. I love how introspective you are when it comes to parenting. I hope as my little guy grows, I keep your words close by.

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  4. Thank you Amy- you are always so kind!

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