I subscribe to the theory that a child's base personality and traits are formed from their life experiences in their first seven years of life. During this period, they form their schema of life. How life and the world around them works and what they can expect in response to their actions. So, turning seven is a BIG deal and it's the time when I do a bit of stocktake on how the Grumpy Old Man and I are fairing in the parenting stakes. It's when I write our first parenting report card...
Bryn was born on my mum's 55th birthday and this year we decided they should spend their birthday's together for the first time! I had been promising Bryn a solo trip to South Australia for about two years, and he'd waited [mostly] patiently all that time. On Wednesday we flew from Melbourne to Adelaide so he and his Amma could spend their birthday together.
|Sitting on Amma and Grandad's bed in their caravan.|
|Our cabin was very comfortable. On the first night he decided he'd rather sleep in my bed than in the bunk.|
|He woke me at 4.30 on his birthday - three minutes before he actually clocked over to being seven!|
|We spent the day going to the Rocking Horse Wooden Toy factory and the Melbas Chocolate factory - and we had KFC for dinner, too. He said it was his 'Bestest Birthday EVAH!'|
|The queue for booking into the flight the next day was long and he was fairly patient, but did ask me, 'Is this EVER going to ENNNND???'|
|The night after his birthday we had a birthday dinner at home with all the boys; hotdogs and cake!|
|Finally, it was time to open presents; Lego, lego, lego, an iTunes card and these über cool Moshi headphones - or as he likes to call them 'Cans'...|
Well, for the first time, I feel like we might actually rate an A! With Erik, I felt like we got so much wrong and he paid the price of our mistakes (he developed chronic anxiety). Lukas had slightly better parenting because we were beginning to get a grip on the needs of little people for stability, security and lots and lots of patience, but we fell short all the same, and I felt that he didn't quite get the standard of parenting I would have liked him to have.
For Bryn though, I can look back over the past seven years and see that we met his needs 95% of the time. We were much more patient with him than with the first two boys and our expectations were far more realistic. I think we were also much more fun parents - we laughed more and were more light hearted. He was 'heard' more than his older brothers, but he also had better boundaries and better consistency in our expectations of him.
He has none of Erik's anxiety.
He has none of Luey's anxiety (which is far less than Erik's but exists surrounding issues of fairness and being heard).
Bryn is self-confident and kind hearted. He expects the world to love him, and it does. He has a glass half full attitude to life and recognises his blessings (to the extent of any seven year old). He makes friends easily and can maintain friendship well. He has a good sense of his abilities and isn't afraid to try new things. He is able to laugh at himself, and is willing to learn from his mistakes.
He's a great kid.
So, yep, I reckon we get an A for this kid!