Whenever I hear parents at the start and end of school term worried about how tired and grouchy their children are, I think I’m relieved and pleased that so far N doesn’t show these traits. I’ve certainly lucked out with him, especially now he’s no longer waking at 5am every day, and mostly stays in his own bed. I just want to show that kids don’t always follow the usual expectations that we always hear, and that if your child is unusual (either in a good or less positive way). Children are all different.
Busting the child development myths
1, Not all children go loopy at or after birthday parties
Most parents I’ve spoken to have said that if their children get sugared up at a party (why oh why is it always greasy Haribos – bleurgh, and Fruit Shoots) it takes them ages to calm down afterwards. Some say their children won’t sleep. They’re just hyper.
Mine. Nope. I don’t think I can tell the difference. This might be because N is a bit of a stickler when it comes to eating a good spread of birthday tea. He loves chocolates and cakes, but he’ll happily chomp his way through savoury sandwiches, sausages, crisps, cucumber and pepper, before starting on any fruit pieces before getting to the biscuits and cake. So maybe the sweets and fruit shoots are just absorbed by everything else he’s eaten. I don’t know what he’s like on coca cola because he’s never had it.
2, It’s really hard to get children to talk about their day at school
Most parents moan they don’t know what goes on at school.
I count myself lucky because we’ve never had that problem. Ok, so sometimes I just have to time it right, but mostly N loves having a ‘what’s been going on in your day chat’. In previous years I’ve had to share my day before, but so far in year 2, he’s been happy to tell me everything that’s been going on. It’s my belief you just have to give the child the opportunity, wait for the right time, make it part of sharing everyone’s day, make it habit, and ask the right questions. It might take quieter children time to get used to doing it, but getting kids to talk about their day can happen quite easily.
Boys children love superheroes
Superhero parties are really popular, character toys and bedding is everywhere. And it’s really hard to find non-superhero pyjamas in some shops. Not all children like them.
N has watched precisely 1 superhero film – Spiderman. He thought it was ok, but he’s never asked to watch it again. And is quite vocal that he doesn’t like superheroes. I do worry that it could mean he’s a little left out (similarly with his dislike of football), but I’m pleased he’s happy to have an opinion that is different and to stand by it.
4, Children like fancy dress and face paints
You’d think this would be the case when you go to an event or attraction and see the queue for the face painting and the number of children running round with fancy dress or face paints on.
Not N. He does have some fancy dress costumes and I have turned up at nursery in the past to find he’s with his friends dressed up. But I can probably count the occasions in 6 years on 1 hand. As for face painting. He’s only ever once asked me when he first found the Snazaroo paints in the cupboard. He went straight in for a tiger (nothing like making it easy for my first time), seemed to like it, but has never wanted it done again.
He’ll also be one of the only children going to school on world book day or other fancy dress days, dressed in his school uniform. And he’ll be quite happy to do so. It’s a bit boring, but obviously he’s not bothered by being totally different, and he enjoys seeing what everyone else is dressed up as. And of course it makes my life easier not needing to buy or make costumes. He obviously takes after me on this one. I hate fancy dress!
5, Kids are always tired when they start school
You often hear parents finding their kids flaked out after the first day or week at school. Kids lying in, or struggling to sleep because they’re overtired. And it taking weeks for children to get settled in to school.
Nope. Not here. N has reverted back to sleeping til 6.30am rather than his old 5.10am which is good. And on occasion he might still fall asleep on a long journey in the car at weekends or on the sofa if he’s feeling a bit under the weather. But that’s more often than not in the school holidays rather than term time.
Thankfully N doesn’t seem phased by being back at school again. And it was the same the previous 2 years. He’s happy in a routine. Given the choice, he’d be happy to go out on the farm before going to school, and quite often if his dad picks him up from after school club, he’ll disappear out to help on the farm coming in around 6 or later. He’ll still go to bed the same time, and still get up at the same time. I think his body is just made to keep going a bit like a Duracell bunny.
And it’s the same with the end of terms. I don’t see a difference in behaviour, tiredness or grouchiness. He’s just N and keeps on going.
I am lucky. N’s an easy going boy and seems to be pretty level headed and evenly balanced in personality. I don’t know how that will change as he becomes a tween and teen, but hopefully we won’t see huge personality changes. But if you worry that your child isn’t like the norm and you’re wondering if he’s not doing enough or working hard enough to be tired, rest assured. Not all children do the same as everyone else.
How do your children fit into the myths about kids or not? What do they do that seems different from the majority of other children?