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Life is too short to eat bad food! Sharing great recipes, farm life, stories and photography from our Northern California dairy farm.

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July 28, 2011

Parent Lesson #506

My kids, age four and six, 22 months apart, are not twins but sometimes I think I can imagine what it feels like to have twins.  They do most everything together, from playing Legos, riding bikes, helping me bake or cook, watering the garden, you name it. 

My youngest, Paige is a total animal lover and handler.  Bryce, the six year old, loves animals as well but doesn't get as up close and personal with them as his sister does. 

Until just recently. 

On a recent day trip to the beach for Paige and I, Bryce decided he wanted to stay home with Daddy and work.  At the time, I pleaded with him to come to the beach with us explaining to him what a great time we'll have searching for jellyfish and reminding him we only visit the beach five or six times a year.  But I am so glad he didn't take the bait. 

For this day, the day he decided to stay home and work with Daddy, was a pivotal day.....for Bryce and for me.  A day where Daddy gave Bryce the responsibility and honor to own his very own calf.  One that he could name and care for every day.  Bucket, the name given to this calf by Bryce, would be the first calf  to begin Bryce's own herd here on the farm.

Bryce has been to the calf barn many times, but this time was different.  Maybe it was because Paige wasn't there with him, receiving half the attention, or maybe it's because he's almost seven?  I don't know.  But I'm sure the way Dominic made his son feel special and more grown up on this day had a lot to do with it.

This was a pivotal day for me because I was reminded that giving my children their own {and different} responsibilities is very important.  Responsibilities that help to individualize them from each other......even when they spend most of their time together.....parent lesson #506! 

Bryce was SO proud when Paige and I returned home from the beach that day, he couldn't stop talking about his new calf and how she loved to lick him and want attention from him.   He couldn't wait to introduce us to Bucket.

The competition is fierce between Bryce and Paige and she of course wanted her very own calf, but thankfully was content just naming a few of the other calves. 

Okay parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, what do you do to combat the constant competition between siblings?

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to leave a comment, I love to hear from you!. Have a fantastic day!

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Anonymous said...

Yup, that's my boys. They're 25 mos apart - to the day. Even my friend who has twins says that she considers me to be a "twin mommy" bc it's the same routine for both. Give them both a drink, change both diapers, give them both a banana. . . I dunno about the sibling competition. We haven't run into that yet, but I'm sure it'll appear in time!

Anonymous said...

I just think it's lovely when children are lovers of animals. :-))

TexWisGirl said...

how sweet!

Jen at Cabin Fever said...

Unfortunately you can't combat the constant competition, really. Speaking as the oldest of three very close daughters we are constantly still competing with one another and we're "grown up"

Now instead of it being who gets to play with what its who has a better job, etc. While we aren't mean over it the competition constantly drives us to keep working harder to succeed in life.

My best advice is to praise your children equally and often, it dulls the spirit of competition if you know that you're making your mom and dad proud being just who you are :)

Cabin Fever in Vermont

Tami@NutmegNotebook said...

That was a milestone! I think each child needs their own time to shine with each parent. It's not easy to arrange always, but what a difference it makes!

Dicky Bird said...

Jen at Cabin Fever had good advice! I only have 2, both girls, not as close in age as yours. I always tried to be fair with each, same type and amount of presents for Christmas, etc. However, life isn't fair, nor is it a competiton - 2 statements I have always told them from little on. I'm sure they will quote them to theirs someday. Yes, praise them equally too. Blessings from Wisconsin.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Growing up with a sibling that was 15 months older than me, we were in the same grade, and people thought we were twins. I felt at times that it was hard to find my own identity. But looking back, I can see that my parents did the same as you, and I think we turned out okay. :-)

Weekend Cowgirl said...

It's the best life for kids. Yay Bryce! There is always competition with siblings... it's the law of the land!

trump said...

Love that picture, so cute......Just to share with you folks, i have a new post today on Amish Stories from the Terre Hill days even that was just held in Lancaster Pennsylvania. It was a very hot day but i was able to get i think a few good images from this event. The town is populated with a mix of Amish and old order Mennonites which only adds to its charm. They even have what has become famous in Terre Hill their "outhouse race". The town sits on a hill so it overlooks Lancaster farmland in almost all directions. This is one of my favorite towns to visit because its free from commercialism, so if you are looking for a really all American kind of town with the added bonus of seeing its Amish and Mennonite residents at work and play, then this town is for you. Thanks folks. Richard from Amish Stories.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I'm not seeing a lot of the competition yet, but I'm sure I will!

Unknown said...

Our girls are two weeks shy of being two years apart, but like yours in some ways, the younger one is more adventurous while older sister is more timid. That means they are usually ready to do the same things at the same time like take off training wheels and learn to swim for real. The competition isn't too bad, but our calendar is marked for the nightly line leader up to bed, and we do have to monitor whose turn it it to do what on a couple other activities. It's a never-ending balancing act that will usually drive us parents crazy, but it's not such a bad crazy....yet ;-)