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  • Writer's pictureA. Guru

The Testy Tween...

I'm almost certain you assumed I was going to refer to my new preteen! Nope, this is all about the new "in-beTWEEN". Being an oldest child, I've never really considered the experience of the middle child UNTIL Joshua became one. Furthermore, through him, I understand my sister even more. Funny how life works...

Having #GabbyMack was a wonderful experience for the whole family. Joshua was especially excited about being a big brother! He would march around with his chest out and his head up high chanting, "I'm not the baby anymore!"(he was the baby of our family and among his cousins)...

None of us expected things to change very much as I strive to give EACH child individual attention and love them the way they feel love. Boy, was I wrong. A new attitude was on the horizon. It's like a switch flipped on, lol. My PERFECT (literally) child was sweet turned sour. A true sour patch was brewing. Taunting his older sister ( he's super witty, so it was hard not to laugh) and feeling left out no matter how included he was. I couldn't understand how and why this was happening. So I had to stop and think... What changed?!...

While I still gave him care and attention, my view of his need for me immediately changed when the new bundle came along. Without really realizing it, I was sending a message of "you're older" in a way of abruptly removing myself from the tasks he had come to know as regular daily life. As an adult, when life changes, you can easily develop a skewed view that fixated on a new life happening. A new baby, new marriage, new schedule are some instances that can completely change the trajectory of life; even when there amazing events. You have to be mindful of those you love. Compassion is key to taking the time to understand how life changes affect them. Any preexisting circumstances (kids included) automatically your choices not just about you. That's the biggest mistake one can make. How you handle the response to feeling attributed to change, will make the difference between phase and forever. It sets the stage for reception or rejection. Consider this...

I realized that while this was a blissful time, there were some ill feelings Joshua was having. Instead of forcing him to accept this new normal and disregarding his feelings (even though in many parts I felt they were baseless) I chose to unpack them at a rate comfortable for the safe care of HIS emotions. Doing this allowed him to express his emotions and feel comfortable enough to say when he's having a rough day. Three things that helped to dispel feelings of being left out:

  • Scheduled "US" time

  • Weekend Ice Cream Social (talking over sweets)

  • Prayer (letting him control the topic of the prayer helps me to gain insight into hat's really on his heart)

  • New routines that still involve me but speak to the elevation of his maturity

We are all a work in progress and we all need different things. Children are not exempt. While he's still sour patching it some days ( I blame his dad. He's his father's son. ha, ha!!! I'm messin', kinda.) he understands its just a mood and NOT because he is forgotten. This understanding cause him to quickly dispel the funk and love even harder because he doesn't have to question the importance he holds in our lives. Perspective and perception is everything. Clarity is a golden ticket!

I encourage you all to think deeply on the sour patch in your lives; especially if they are your 2.0's (your kids). Let it be a phase not a forever!

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