As many of you know, it is a bit crazy at our house these days. We are still searching for a new nanny (topic for another post soon), we got a new puppy, and our sweet son turned 7 years old! All of this going on at once, has been challenging! We can’t escape the fact that our TBP likes things a certain way. He likes an orderly house with a predictable routine. He likes small amounts of chaos, followed by plenty of “recovery time.” Come to think of it…we are all a little like this in our family.
Puppy…we are in love with our new addition! She is beautiful, smart and a nice balance of crazy and calm (I still strive for the crazy/calm balance thing). People expect that our son would have fallen in love with this sweet new thing. I guess that you could say that he has…almost. Having sensory issues and a puppy that barks, pounces, runs too quickly at times, and has accidents in the house are all offensive to him. He also has a deep loyalty to our 13 yrs old terrier and doesn’t like it when others give the puppy too many compliments for fear that it will hurt Stella’s feelings. Don’t get me wrong…things are progressing. It just takes those of us that are slower to transition, a bit longer.
Party…I had previously posted (Real party) that we were trying a new strategy with our son’s birthday party this year. I am happy to report, that the smaller party was a huge success! Our TBP was more engaged, talkative, and happy than other party situations! We had 6 adults (including us) and 2 children (including the Birthday Boy). Our son wanted pizza and a Mine Craft cake.Each boy wore the Mine Craft shirts that we ordered and they played the game happily side by side.
He knew the guests that he wanted, the food that should be served, the decorations that would be displayed, and the design of the cake.
He was the “crafter” behind the Mine Craft party. From now on, I need to trust my son when he describes the type of party that he wants ( within reason of course) and listen.
Presents…I am moved by the generosity of our friends and family, but sometimes so many new things (all at the same time) can be overwhelming.
As I mentioned earlier, we like orderly; however, orderly doesn’t match the description of my son’s playroom. I tried to “downsize” the current toy & Lego inventory to make room for the new and this didn’t go over well. I explained that even stores have clearance sales. Again, I was unsuccessful. So I tried a different strategy…showing him a commercial for an episode of Hoarders. Extreme? Maybe…but it did seem to get him thinking about his hoard vs his preference for a clean and organized environment. I was able to get a few things in the donation bag. Many toys & games didn’t make it for what he considered valid reasons. “Why should I have to get rid of my things when they spent time and money getting it for me?” “Won’t –feel bad if we give their gift away?” “Don’t you want to remember me playing with this toy as a little boy?” That last one was a cheap shot, but effective. I have been told by some friends, that my mistake was trying to have him involved in the thinning out process. My girlfriends say that the discreet one-thing-in-the-bag-at-a-time approach is the way to go. Maybe when he is older, he will voluntarily hand over the Spiderman costume that comes up to his knees. At this point, he can’t.
From us, he received a Flip video camera so that he can write and record his own Mine Craft tutorials to upload on You Tube.
There is a lot for us to celebrate. First, Summer (the puppy) is adjusting and so is our TBP. Second, the slimmed-down style of party, brought larger amounts of joy and happiness. Finally, our son loved his gifts and we were able to decrease his inventory enough that he had room to play with them. We feel very lucky and blessed!
Glad the party was a success. My children also seem to get sentimental when we are ready to get rid of things. All of a sudden they love the item again. I think it is better to not even tell them.
I think you are totally right! All of a sudden, there was a total love fest about some bristle blocks that he hasn’t touched in 2 years!
When it comes to thinning out the toys, we use a kind of transition phase. I have some plastic tubs that we will fill with toys and put in the attic. Then a couple months later, we will get them out and check out what is in there. The ones they immediately grab, we keep. The ones they ignore, go in the donate or garage sale pile. This seems to work well because they part with them that first time a little easier when they know it is not forever.
I let my older son have more decision making in his last birthday party and it went really well, also! He picked the kids he wanted and a theme. He worked with me to pick the food and the items for decorations and goody bags. It all ended up far more simple than I would have done, and he loved it more because he had a say in everything.
Great pics! The puppy is such a cutie!! 🙂
Yes…the puppy is pure sweetness! Of course, she makes the typical puppy infractions but no regrets. What a great idea for dealing with toy sorting! Your comments will really add to this discussion-thank you!!:)
I love his thought process in putting up some very mature reasoning in defense of his toys…especially the last one. Because he is so smart…you will need to be able to justify your decisions and thought process…not because he will be defiant…but because he will be picking your brain for concepts. Some parents get offended when their child “challenges” them (although some do…sometimes). A particularly bright child is not only looking for fundamental reasons, but how a certain answer was derived, so he will understand the thought process behind it. Feel honored when that happens. A bright child will only ask those he thinks might have the answer…and those he trusts.
From what I have read about your son…his thought process is very mature (as indicated by his responses). He is exceptionally bright. You will be challenged in finding enough of the right material to keep him challenged and interested in the coming years…however, when you see him shine through your efforts…both of your lives will take on a whole new depth and meaning.
Shiroi-it is as if you know my son! One of the biggest changes in our relationship is our ability to have a conversation about the reason for rules/decisions. Previously, there were times when we used “because I said so” and as you can imagine it was very unsuccessful! This strict authoritarian approach didn’t make any sense to him…which is why he struggles with many teachers at school. Some of them don’t appreciate having to explain themselves to my son.
We have tried to educate family, friends and teachers that the questioning that he does, is not meant as disrespect. Some still don’t understand.
We have been told that we will soon need a homeschooling program or private school. As a public teacher, I believe that most students can excel in good public schools. Last year was a struggle for my son and so we are open to adjusting his schooling if this year does not start out well.
Thank you for your continued support and thoughtful comments! Your intellectual approach adds so much to this continued discussion!
Hello there. I laughed when I read that you also have a new puppy. We have our very first dog (he is still a puppy) and he certainly adds a new dimension to our family! I am glad that the party was a success for you all.
@The Bright Side of Life
Yes…we are thrilled that the party went well. Those that know him well, said that he was the happiest at this party!
Our 7 month old labradoodle is a great dog-but some of those puppy issues take some getting used to…until trained;)
Yay! Glad that your son enjoyed his birthday party.
Your new puppy is so adorable. We just sat for a dog that is similarly cute. Our son liked having a dog around the house. That is so sweet that TBP was worried about hurt feelings for the older dog. Very sensitive kid. 🙂
Yes…the puppy is cute, but really annoying my son today with the barking and toileting accidents. He also is bothered by the attention that I must give the puppy. Learning to live in harmony altogether 🙂
This is so wonderful! I am so happy to hear that your son had a fantastic birthday! It sounds like it was truly perfect for him. I think it’s cool that you were able to get both boys the same tshirts to wear at the party (and even have them sit next to each other while playing). Seriously a sweet par-tay!
It takes adjusting for any family member when a new dog arrives 🙂 How sweet of him to think of your 13-year-old dog’s feelings when Summer is being complimented. What a caring trait your son has.
So glad to be back and reading your warm posts!
Thank you, Patty!!
You are so right about the adjustment period! I think that is true with most people and for us, it just takes a little longer;)
So glad to have you back 😉