Half term and I have my boys for three days but my eldest is invited to ‘Go Ape’ with a friend, he is desperate to go so I say yes. Now here is the issue, what do I do with my other child?
I think it’s a great opportunity to have some ‘us time’ and do whatever he wants to do. However, this causes a problem because my eldest now feels left out as, his brother is getting to do something with Daddy that he isn’t. I try to explain that he is going to enjoy time with a friend but in a way that isn’t it, it’s about his brother doing something he feels excluded from.
As a child, my own parents were separated, and I remember as a child giving up cubs and boxing because they happened on nights I would get picked up by my Mum. Even at an early age I wanted to spend time with her and sometimes felt activities I also wanted to do simply got in the way. I don’t want my boys to experience those torn emotions. But how do you balance that with making the most of time you have when you have two or more children?
So what did we do? As my eldest was picked up there were cries of ‘it’s not fair’ from the youngest and why wasn’t he going to ‘Go Ape’ – Oh the irony!!!
We had decided he wanted to go climbing, so off we went to a climbing centre. Great choice! If you have a child over 4 they are allowed to climb. I would recommend this to anyone, just have a go. It’s great, especially if you do a group session with the whole family. We just did the self-system – hook up your child and just let them climb!!! About 35 minutes produced a tired exhausted and pleased child. So a bottle of water in the car and off to meet someone for lunch. After lunch we had to do a little shopping. Shopping always stresses his older brother (as it’s a waste of time and it ALWAYS takes soooo long!) Afterwards, we went for a swim, which included lots of time on the water slides before going to collect his brother.
My youngest enjoyed the day but also realised it was a bit of us time, mixed in with normal boring stuff. It was a lovely day and when we picked up his brother it was nice that they both had days that they enjoyed. There was no squabbling at the end of the day, and what was nice was finishing the day watching BGT together.
Once we had overcome the boys own perceptions of what was fair, we all had a lovely day.