All posts tagged competitive

Mommy’s Hug Jar

Published November 11, 2014 by thefamilyof5

The trouble with 3 very needy children is that there is never enough of me or enough time to give them all what they need. In fact it feels like the more I give the more they demand, it never seems to be enough.

I went on a lottery funded workshop recently about ‘Supporting Siblings’, the focus of the day was how best to meet the needs of siblings of a child with special needs. This is a little bit more tricky for me due to all 3 of my children having special needs. However I did take away something useful which I was able to adapt to suit our family.

A suggestion was made that we try out a ‘special time’ jar. A jar or box that contains a selection of short activities that take no more than 10 minutes, things like read a book, watch them dance or sing a song, paint their nails, watch TV together etc things like that. This would enable the sibling to let their parent know that they were feeling left out or feeling lonely and needed some attention.

I really liked this idea but the more and more I thought about it, the more I realised that It just wouldn’t work here. The minute 1 daughter bought me her box of activities the other 2 would decide they also needed my time turning 10 minutes in to 30 minutes, and you might not think that 30 minutes sounds like much but that would be 10 minutes of me trying desperately to give a child 1:1 whilst her 2 siblings do all they can to get my attention on to them. It would also mean that it would be in constant use, a race to get to the jar, a competition to see who can use the jar the most, an argument over who’s had the most turns. A headache for mommy!

So I started thinking about how I could adapt this to suit us. Giving the girls 1:1 time is pretty much impossible, even when Daddy is home we’re still out numbered. So I decided it needed to be more manageable, less likely to create competitiveness and more likely to keep us all happy! So that left me with a Jar of Hugs!

I like the idea of a jar with an endless supply of mommy hugs, big girl and middle girl are less into hugs (unlike baby girl who would hug me all day), so it has the potential to encourage them both to become more tactile in a fun way. It also means that even if they all decide they want the jar at the same time, we can still have a ‘group hug’! It gives me the freedom of being able to say ‘mommy needs a hug’ so I can also show them that mommy’s need hugs too, in which case Daddy can step in if none of them oblige! And more importantly, it gives them the opportunity to get my attention in an appropriate way!

So here it is, my mornings creation, an empty jar filled with left over valentines confetti and decorated with stickers from their craft box! I never claimed to be creative! 🙂  Wish me luck!



A recipe for a happy dinner time!

Published March 23, 2014 by thefamilyof5

There’s a theme over at The Adoption Social this week for their #WASO link up, I won’t deny that my heart sank when I found out that was ‘Recipes’.
Baking days with my girls was something i’d really looked forward too, hell I even practised with some basic cake and biscuit Recipes and bought lots of baking ‘stuff’ before they came home in preparation.

Sadly, for now, it’s just too much. There’s too much competitiveness and controlling for it to be a fun experience. In fact food in general is no fun, their reluctance to ‘try’ new foods, their poor eating habits, their controlling behaviours all make for a pretty miserable dinner time.

However, for some reason eating out always seems to go much better, I suspect it’s their compliance, their need to make sure the world around them doesn’t ‘notice’ them, because if people start ‘noticing’ them, well who knows what they’ll do?!


So our recipe for a happy dinner time is simply to eat out, and we do, often!


The Supermarket Challenge

Published March 30, 2013 by thefamilyof5

A conversation that took place today whilst trying to attempt a trip to Sainsburys………

Me: right let’s go, can you carry the bag for me please baby girl
Big girl: do we need 2 bags?
Me: no one will be fine.

*we get in the car

Baby girl: can we get a trolley?
Me: yes a small one
Baby girl: but I wanted to sit in it *sulks
Big girl: can I get the trolley cause she’s carrying the bag, its fair then
Me: yes ok
Baby girl: I didn’t want the bag *sulks
Big girl: can I push the trolley
Me: no I’ll push the trolley
Big girl: oh I thought I could push it *sulks
Baby girl: if we get some shopping can I put it in the trolley
Me: yes you can help me
Big girl: we could take it in turns so its fair
Me: yes ok
Baby girl: can I give the shopping to the lady?
Me: yes you can help me
Big girl: can I put the shopping in the bag?
Me: yes you can help me
Big girl: if we need bread can I choose it?
Me: we don’t need bread
Baby girl: we might need cake?
Me: we don’t need cake
Big girl: can I carry your bag?
Me: no I’ll carry it because it has money inside
Baby girl: can I carry the keys

Me: *insert therapeutic reply (what I said certainly wasn’t therapeutic)

* we arrived at Sainsburys

The conversation continued along the same lines with lots of ‘can we get’ ‘I like’ and ‘those look yummy’ etc.

Next time, I’m going alone! I only needed Cream Eggs!

All kids do that……..kinda!

Published March 11, 2013 by thefamilyof5

I had a meeting today with the psychologist from the ASD place that’s working with us to address big girls sleep issues, yes she struggles to sleep too, its not just middle girl!

However, I’m not blogging about big girls sleep or middle girls, I want to tell you about my meeting, well not even really the meeting but more some of the things that the sleep psychologist said to me.

She said those words that all adopters loath to hear ‘all kids do that’ but then she added something very important, she said ‘but with your girls very more so’. She gets it!
She talked about competitiveness and how most kids are competitive, but how its more extreme with kids from backgrounds like my girls! She gets it!

She talked about attention seeking and how all kids do it, but with children like mine its so much more intense and difficult to handle. She gets it!

She empathised and validated everything I said! It was really quite surreal, if I didn’t know better I’d say she was an adoptive parent herself!

I’ve never come away from a meeting and felt that the professional I’d seen really ‘got it’, but she did!

I often struggle to find ways to explain how parenting my girls is different to parenting a birth child, its so complex that I struggle to find a simple explanation. A good friend of mine shared with me what I consider to be a wonderfully perfect analogy of adoptive parenting.

Apples and Onions
As parents we all grow our children, many are apples, few are onions, growing our children is in many ways the same, but with onions its more complex because they have so many layers, therefore it is different!

There are so few that really ‘get it’, let’s spread the word! 🙂

CAMHS part 2 – session 2 & 3

Published September 15, 2012 by thefamilyof5

I’ve been neglecting my blog lately, I’ve so so much that I want to say but don’t seem to be able to put order to any of it so you can make sense if it. But I’m going to have a try.

Session 2 with the new CAMHS therapist was with all of us. The girls immediately made themselves busy with the toys in the room as usual. The therapist suggested an activity. The ‘squiggle/doodle’ game, whereby the girls were to take it in turns to draw a small doodle on a large piece of paper and to see what all of their doodle’s together would look like.
Before long it became competitive ‘I want to do a long doodle’ ‘its my turn now’ ‘you’ve done yours let me have my turn’ ‘I just want to add some more to my doodle’ ‘I know my doodle is long but I haven’t finished yet’ ‘I want to draw my doodle very slowly’ ‘ hurry up its my turn’ they collectively drew a wiggly square. Not sure what that revealed aside from a complete lack of creativity and immense competitiveness.

The next activity was to add the magnetic words to a picture I.e ‘floating’ could go by the balloon in the sky. ‘Barking’ could go by the dog etc. So again, ‘taking it in turns’ began with a grapple for words until their hands were too full to hold any more and ended in a frantic rush to get all their words on the picture first. No idea what useful traits this revealed.

Session 3 was just me again. We chatted about the psychologists suggestion to have baby and middle girls assessed for ASD. She was less enthusiastic about the prospect I felt but said she’d look at it more once she knew the girls a bit better. Fair enough I guess.
We chatted mostly about the issues we’re having with middle girl waking baby girl. We shared idea’s about why there may be some resentment issues and she decided it was best to meet with middle girl and see if we can get to the bottom of it. We have an appointment arranged in a few weeks for middle girl and I, the therapist plans to arrange some kind of relaxed play activity for middle girl to do that will help her to understand what the issues are and why she insists on waking baby girl.

So all in all we’re no further along really. I still have 3 very tired traumatised girls and no real idea of how to best help them.

Sleep, again!

Published March 26, 2012 by thefamilyof5

I get tired of writing about the same issues and you must tire of reading about them too but it seems there are a select few issues that just continue to hound us.

Sleep is one of them. My 2 younger girls share a room, thats about the only thing they do share. Their relationship is a competitive one and almost every day Im reminded of this by them both in some way shape or form.

Sunday morning it was competitive coughing. At 5.45am. They take it in turns, they score points for loudness and how dramatic it sounds.

They sounded like they both had the plague,  and if I hadn’t known any better I’d have gone running in to check they were ok, but I did know better. So instead I put a pillow over my head and attempted to go back to sleep.

After what seemed like hours and hours we finally got up. I very calmly asked my girls if they were ok as they sounded very poorly. I said I was so worried about their poorly coughs that I thought it was best if they had a little drink of water and then go back to bed and rest for a little while. They were not impressed, but that was my plan.

They didnt rest, their antics continued.

So a little while later I got them up and reminded them that they’d been sent back to bed to rest and catch up on all the sleep they’d missed out on, but as they had chose not to rest at all they would now need to spend the whole day resting.

And that’s what they did.

Well, what sort of mommy would I be if I allowed my very sick children to exert all their energy playing, we didn’t want their chronic coughs to worsen now did we! 🙂

I’d love to say they woke in great moods today after their day of resting, but they didn’t.

Their coughs have miraculously gone though! 🙂 





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