Following a lovely Mother's Day with Livvy things are now just a little too quiet round here.
Yesterday morning Livvy left with the rest of her classmates for a five day residential trip to Ringsfield Hall an Eco Study centre set within 14 acres in Suffolk. Here she will take part in the Earthkeepers programme and have a chance to enjoy some beautiful open space, build dens, play in the tree house and generally have some good old fashioned outdoor fun.
Whilst the thought of having five child free days to myself is rather lovely, in reality I am finding it just a little bit too quiet and am finding myself worrying about her. Whilst she is pretty independent on the whole and happily stays overnight with friends etc, she has found it very hard to settle at this school and often feels like the odd one out. By nature she is an extremely thoughtful, warm and caring child who has the greatest empathy for others. She is most comfortable in a one on one situation or with a small group of friends. She is not a child who will push for something "herself" and will often lose out to the louder more dominant children.
As a parent, I have always found that a tough one. How do you teach your child to be giving and thoughtful of others but at the same time ensure that they also give due consideration to themselves?
I was trying to explain this to her recently and was using an example of "last biscuit on the plate". Livvy would always ask if anyone else wanted it first which is commendable but why is someone else more worthy of it than her. OK, a biscuit on a plate is probably not the best example but I'm sure you get my drift :) My suggestion was that she should instead ask if anyone else would like to "share" the last one.
Apparently on Friday some of the girls in her class "decided" who was going to get the top bunks in the dorm at Ringsfield this week, Livvy was upset about the lack of fairness and couldn't see why they couldn't draw straws or something to give everyone a chance. I do think that is the hardest part sometimes, making yourself heard. I must admit I did have a quiet word with the teacher yesterday asking her to make sure they did a lucky dip or something. She had assumed that the girls would sort it out themselves - er well no actually, their idea of sorting it out is taking the best for themselves without any regard to fairness and the quieter ones will just have to go along with it! To me, that just reinforces the dominant/accepting behaviour. I know children have to learn these skills for themselves but I do think it is vital that adults keep an eye out for it and act where necessary.
Oh dear, can you tell I suffered from these very same self esteem issues as a child :)
Anyway on a lighter note, I have these great new fabrics to play with courtesy of Superbuzzy
I love the way the red jumps out at you in this colourway:
I promised myself I would paint the floorboards and redecorate Livvy's bedroom but I seem to have rather over extended myself socially so something tells me that just isn't going to happen. Of course, next week I shall be berating myself for not having done all I set out to do but sometimes a girl just needs to go out and have some fun - right?