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Month: April 2016

Being a First Born, raising a First Born

Being a First Born, raising a First Born

Head strong? Determined? Motivated? If you are a first born child, chances are you’ve heard this before. First borns everywhere will nod in union when they hear themselves generally being described as children, teenagers and adults who want to succeed, do the right thing, be good at what we do. Sometimes we are early achievers. Sometimes we cannot deal with doing a job, unless it’s done well. It’s no secret that your birth order can have an effect on your personality and your relationships . As a first born myself (I’m the eldest of four), it really has made me think about the way I interact with others, but also the way I feel about myself. It has made me accept certain things, but also feel frustrated about the way I behave.

According to parenting.com, as leaders of the pack, first borns tend to be:

  • Reliable
  • Conscientious
  • Structured
  • Cautious
  • Controlling
  • Achievers

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At first glance, these traits can mostly be seen as positive. However there are also some traits that find us feeling frustrated, cautious and stressed. First borns can be perfectionists, afraid of failure and overly worried about making mistakes. As a first born I have always wanted to be the best at what I do. I’ve never been good knowing when I’ve done  a good job, and have always really relied on praise and feedback from others to help me know that I’ve done well. This has been frustrating as I know that external affirmation of work is not always possible. I need to be able to feel good about what I’ve done in myself, and in my own heart. Some people might see this as needy, and I do too. It’s annoying that I need to be told that I’ve done a great job, in order to feel that I’ve done a great job. Whether it’s work, cooking a meal, designing a print. I’m always searching for someone to tell me it’s great, in order for me to think it’s in fact…great!

This has made me think about Ella. In her I see much of myself. This is obvious I guess, but her being a first born girl, just like her Mum has made me aware of traits  in her that are positive, and traits that are not so. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that I’m motivated and always up for a challenge, but I also don’t want my daughter inherit my need for praise. I see her wanting to be a ‘good girl’. I see her wanting to get things right and not dissapoint anyone. There is a fine balance, and as a Mum, as a First Born daughter who is also a Mum, I want to make sure that I raise her to feel empowered and powerful in her own abilities. To trust her judgement. To know that she can achieve anything, but to also feel good about herself and her efforts. Not worry about what others think.

Ella is also highly emotional, just like her Mum. I don’t know why but there must be something inate about feeling every emotion, about crying at the drop of a hat. All I know is that both Ella and I are females who cry. We cry about everything. Whilst this helps us to be sensitive towards others, it also makes life hard when we feel every thing. This first born trait is one that can cause a great deal of stress, especially when you are aspiring to be good at what you do.

A few years ago I did the Myers-Briggs personality inventory and for those of you who know it, my profile came us as ENFJ.

E = Extrovert (I get my energy from around people)

N = Intuitive (I am big picture, I don’t worry about specifics)

F = Feelings Based (I make my decisions based on what I feel, not on what it logical)

J = Judgement (I make decisions quickly, not dwelling)

This has honestly changed my life, particularly at work. It has helped me to understand myself, the way I make decisions and the way I work with people. I would recommend it to anyone. Being a Mum, it has helped me to understand that I need to foster these traits in my children, but also help them to move on from them. I need to help my children to be aware of feelings, but also to understand logic and reason. I want Ella to be able to trust herself. I want Ella to be able to make decisions because they are the right, not because they please people.

I am really proud of myself in what I have achieved. I’ve done my Masters, become a Deputy Principal, created two small businesses, I’ve got a beautiful partner in my husband and we are raising a beautiful family. I’m a great friend, and love my family with all my heart. I’m a good person and always try to do right by others.  In many ways being a First Born, raising a First Born is both exciting and frightening. I want her to be like me, and yet  I also don’t. Particularly in the way she feels about herself, and feeling good enough about her own self worth. Not needing validation from others. This is something that I’ve grown to know about myself that I want to improve. That I am enough. It sounds deep, but it’s really important.

I want her to feel proud of herself and not to worry if she stumbles along the way. Maybe she can teach me a few things in the years to come.

 

kate

*Photography thanks to Kate Di Blasi Photography

Product Review: Leisure Learning / Smart Games Developmental Toys

Product Review: Leisure Learning / Smart Games Developmental Toys

Sometimes an email finds itself in my inbox, and it’s fate. I have recently been looking for fantastic developmental toys for my children, specifically Hudson who, with his hearing loss, is at such an important age and stage for oral language development. I was looking for toys to help my children use their hands, talk about the process of what they were doing, and essentially allow them to play and talk together. I was thrilled then to receive an invitation from Leisure Learning try try out some of their toys. A family and local business, Leisure Learning carry a extensive range of EDUCATIONAL GAMES, as well as toys for toddlers. Their range includes Infant/Preschool, Wooden Games,Craft, Games, Puzzles, Dolls, Learning Toys, and much more.

I selected two vary different types of toys to try. The SMART MAX construction set, and TUB FUN FASHION, a wonderful selection of foam shapes for the bath. I am honestly blown away by the simplicity of these toys, and the way that my children have time and time again, loved playing with them.

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Here is a summary of each below:

SMART MAX:

SMARTMAX magnetic balls and bars allow kids to explore the fascinating world of magnetism in a safe way. Kids can explore magnetism and gravity, whilst learning about shapes and colours and developing spatial perception as they build 2D and 3D shapes and structures.

The giant SMARTMAX pieces are an ideal toy for young children. The attraction and repulsion of magnets will amazing and fascinate as they build and play. Older children will maximise their fun, building towers, bridges and other super-sized constructions.

SmartMax magnets have the correct strength for their purpose and are made out of the highest quality material that can be found. These magnets can carry up to 60 times their own weight.

SMARTMAX bars have different colours as a code. Larger bars have stronger magnets than smaller ones.

Extension kits of bars and balls are available separately.

These are honestly the bomb. Instantly curious and wanting to pick them up straight away, Ella continuously makes an endless array of structures and creations. She honestly amazes me. Her knowledge of space, 3D structures and her ability to problem solve has been wonderful to watch. I love these so much that I’ve purchased three sets for the juniors at my Primary School. Hudson has loved watching his big sister and having a go at making various things.

Seriously, one of the best developmental toys I’ve come across in a long time!

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TUB FUN FASHION:

These soft foam bath toys will stick to any smooth surface when wet. Mix and match fashion outfits. These have brought such fun to bath time. They are very sturdy and great quality. The kit includes 39 pieces and a drip-dry net storage bag.

Such a cute present for any child who loves the bath! I adore these and again, they have brought such laughter and fun to a time that my children spend together!

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To purchase any of the above toys, or to see an extensive selection of their educational products, head to http://www.leisurelearning.com.au/index.php?route=common/home

kate