Friday, June 19, 2009

Best Big Sister

I'm behind on just about everything so instead of doing much about it, we spent the day swimming at my parents'. Sometimes when you are feeling overwhelmed it's just easiest to pretend you don't have a care in the world :-). I did start editing the pictures from California and hopefully will have enough done for a post tomorrow, but in the mean time, I just had to write a little about Ella.
(I know this is blurry, but it just captures what I'm talking about perfectly)
Ella LOVES Addie and Preston with all her little heart and absolutely can't stand for them to be upset.
In some ways I definitely take a tough love approach to parenting. It drives me crazy to see kids who always get what they want and parents who give in to their children all the time, which unfortunately is pretty common these days I think. I want my kids to understand the concepts of rules and boundaries, of consequences, of responsibility, of manners and of course the pride and joy that comes from making good decisions and treating others well.
The reason I bring this up tonight is that Addie has taken to whining and crying CONSTANTLY. It started before the trip and only got worse during and after. Although I know much of it stems from the disruption to her little life by the addition of Preston and then being away from her home and her mom for so long, I also know the longer we allow it, the more she will feel it is acceptable behavior. So, we've been cutting her some slack and gently encouraging her to "use her words" to express herself, etc. Today she was crying all afternoon at the littlest thing (for example we were driving to the store and I asked her if she wanted her water and she burst into hysterics). After the girls had been tucked in tonight they were playing in their room for a long time (they are still adjusting back to our time zone) and eventually I went in to tell them it was time to get in bed and go to sleep. Addie burst into tears, crying and screaming. So, I calmly told her it was time for bed, set her on her bed, told Ella to come with me and shut the door. Ella went to lay in the guest room and Addie continued to cry in their room. She cried and screamed and cried and screamed some more. I had no intention of going in for awhile and poor Ella could not take it. She kept coming in to our room to tell me I should give Addie some water or would tell me what Addie was yelling (in case I couldn't hear). It was so sweet to see the genuine concern and empathy she felt for her little sister. Eventually when Addie started to calm down and I went in to talk to her I let Ella come and give her hugs with me. She is equally concerned when Preston gets upset and will come and tell me to feed him right away (because he must be hungry)!!!
Addie and Preston are lucky to have Ella as a big sister. She is always there to comfort them when they are upset and I know she'll always be there to protect them too. I was just feeling so proud of her tonight!
Here are a few pictures of the kiddos from during the trip to hold you over...


Annemarie said...

What a sweet girl Ella is. And you, my dear are a GREAT mom!

Katie B said...

That is so sweet of Ella. Addie and Preston are lucky to have such a loving big sister

Amy said...

Ella is so sweet! I hope Addie gets back on track. Lauren had a really hard time when Jared came. After a few days of giving in we had to become stern and she's been fine ever since. Good luck and hang in there.

Kayley said...

that pictures of Addie is really cute! I'm so weird- I started crying when I read about how sweet Ella is. :)

Sarah S said...

You are lucky to have such a sweet little girl as your oldest child! I love that she cares so much for Addie and Preston.