I have been contemplating about writing and felt inspired when I saw my friend’s blog. As a working mother of two active and mischief boys, I made sure that I find time to plan my boys’ birthday party, which is also the biggest event in our household every year. This helps when their birthdays are just two days apart and do they have common friends at pre-school.
As the boys get older, they started to form their own opinion on matters and this goes without saying on the theme of the party. Having gone through two fun theme parties with their event planner mommy, they began to develop certain expectation. It made me want to share my thoughts on motherhood. There goes……….establish certain expectation. Ethan, who was turning 6 and Elijah 3, has different ideas. Each insisted on their own likes, “Big Hero 6” for Ethan and “Cars” for Elijah which escalated to shouting matches. Not a good start, fortunately, mommy have some tricks up her sleeves.
Instead of insisting on my way (which was very tempting), I thought that this was a good opportunity for them to pick up some negotiating skills.
“The results of teaching children to negotiate conflict can be profound. Children begin to learn that others have needs and wants, which are important. They also learn to identify their own needs in situations, how to be assertive and respectful, and to communicate effectively. As well, when negotiating conflict respectfully, children learn to cope with uncomfortable situations in a direct and open manner, where appropriate boundaries can be set, and everyone’s needs are considered. ” ~ Maximize Your Talent
I made the message very clear to the boys that they have to decision and agree on one common theme else there will be no party. Each tried to muscle into having their own way for a start and progress to throwing suggestions to entice each other when they did not make any headway. It was fun to hear their conversation and how they point out to each other how attractive their choice was. I did give a little push and suggested the latest craze “Starwars” and they both immediately jumped into it.
Planning the Party
Now that the theme has been decided, the boys were thrilled to work with me on the cake design and food they wanted to have. They also insisted on engaging a magician for entertainment. Right down to their attire, they got it figured on what they would be wearing, types of decor and colours for the balloons. Daddy was equally happy with their choice of theme and contributed to the party ware. Finally, a chance for his inner child to enjoy the occasion.
Working on the party
More times than ever as parents, we want the party to be perfect and tend to forget what the real joy is. The wake-up call came to me when we were putting the goodie bags together. I stepped away for a moment to come back and found that Ethan had paste dthe Starwars printout lopsided onto the goodie bag. I reprimanded him for his lack of patience to wait for me to guide him. He was very upset and reminded me firmly “But Mommy, it is my birthday and why can’t I do it the way I want to?” For a moment, I was dumbfounded and realised my folly.
As adults, we are too focus on the end results and many times missed out on what matter most. Ethan taught me on that day what matter most was his feelings and the moments we shared preparing for the party. I was able to see his joy being involved in the preparation work. His excitement in contributing to the little details like tying the ribbons onto the bag and ensuring all bags are packed for his friends. Begin younger doesn’t make Elijah think otherwise. While his motor skills are not as refined as Ethan, he was proud to be part of it in some way. He made the effort to line up the bottled water in order with his name and his bother’s on display.
“ENJOY THE MOMENT AND NOT JUST FOCUS ON THE END GOAL.”