A Boomer Lifestyle Blog

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Mary Poppins to the rescue

I am feeling very optimistic about my confession of yesterday. There are several areas of the problem I can relate to in my own life. 

Like my son, I was the single working parent of 2, so yes, I know how incredibly hard it is.  Also, like the oldest Grand Girl, I was the introvert and my middle sister was the talker.  I would take a book and run and hide from her.  My sister and I laughed about that this weekend.  My sister also shared that in the classes Directors of Day Care Centers are required to take she learned a lot about children (and adults) who need to talk and children (and adults) who just don't want to hear it. 

We also talked about these generations of children after us who were not able to go outside and play.  I worry because children now have no place to be loud and boisterous and just plain unruly without their every sound and action being monitored in an enclosed environment. 

There is something to be said about laying in the grass with your good friend complaining of your siblings, parents, teachers, etc.  You release.  You blow off steam.  No one hears you and no one tells you not to talk like that. 

I didn't have brothers for a long time so I'm not sure what boys got up to but my friends and I had all kinds of pretend games.  In particular, I remember playing pirate.  Where in the world did that come from?  At any rate, we used boards and sticks and whatever objects we found laying around and ran and played to our heart's content. 

I may be wrong but I believe children just need to get out of their own life sometimes. 

And, I have to confess, I so remember my sisters and I saying things like - "she is on my side", "she touched me", "she keeps looking at me".  So, this thing with the Grand Girls bickering is not unfamiliar to me either. 

I know my son is a great Dad but he is not, of course, perfect.  He spends a lot of quality time with them even after he comes home dead tired.  I'm sure I will see some areas he can improve in.  Just by asking and accepting the help he is ready to make improvements.

Dear Olga - you did not go to far.  I shared my situation because I knew there could be different suggestions because of the different life stories we have all led.  I want to have as much information as possible to work with. 

I want to start with the quickest most direct solutions.  I don't believe I have all the answers.  All the suggestions I receive will be my library of information.  If something doesn't work it will be discarded and new ideas tried.  Even though I see many parallels with this situation and my own life, I know that what worked for me then may not be the ultimate solution now.  Trial and error. 

My hope is that with a little bit of support my son will have the strength to pick up the reigns again and the girls will have more direction and better able to entertain themselves - quietly. 

Now as soon as I buy an umbrella, I'll put on my Mary Poppins hat and be off to help the children. 


  1. I know that you know that children react to family changes - if they perceive the changes as negative to themselves, they might act out or retreat into a shell. Good that both you and your son are open to discussing this with each other. Both of you might also try talking to the children individually (privately - so there is no shame). More than one talk is probably necessary - problems don't happen overnight and solutions take time. They have to realize how their behavior impacts not only other people but also themselves. As a former teacher (and parent), I wonder if your son might find help meeting with their teachers (or a counselor)? You are a blessing to this family right now even though it's hard for you. However, it's your son's responsibility (and their mother's). Hopefully, he delays choices about his girlfriend until the girls (and his life) are more stable. I'll be thinking of you. My family has also gone through some crisis times - it's not easy and nobody can tell someone else how to handle their problems. I'll be thinking of you.

  2. Can you tell me why kids can't go out to play in their backyards anymore? Tag? Dodgeball? Softball? made up games? I did this in my backyard. It wasn't dangerous. We used to spin one another and see who would fall down and who could stay up. Where I live you can still ride your bike and go to a creek etc. I realize that isn't the case for most kids and even if it is safe, their parents would never allow it. But backyards should be their santuary and I'm so sad that is gone too now. Oh the mischief my tomboy sister and I could get into in our own yard! (and we did lay on the grass and try to find people and things in the clouds)

  3. It was absolutely the same for me. The problem had been that they lived in an apartment when the parents split. Son took them swimming every evening and said they went to park often. Now they are in a lease house and he will look to buy a house next year. Again, I don't have all the facts. What time do they get home in the evening? Are there lights in the backyard? Does he encourage them to play in the backyard? Getting the backyard playable is a priority. Busy street so no front yard but backyard can work just fine. I think that by getting them outside where they can make noise and move and play, things would be so much better. And besides backyard is free!

  4. Thanks, Barbara. All the best for the year ahead.