This one, infuriated me the most. It really did.
You cannot compare children to each other. Every child is different. Some are more “likable” and others are less “likable”, if you want to put it that way.
They think Little Bun is ill-behaved because he is SHY. His main language is English, so when people speak to him in any language BUT English, he clams up.
He is SHY.
He is INTROVERTED.
He is NOTHING like Little Cousin.
Little Cousin is likable because he is easy-going, he is friendly, and not as shy, and his first language is French all the way. His parents speak French to him, he has French in Paris, and is constantly surrounded in FRENCH. Of course he speaks FRENCH perfectly.
Little Bun is the opposite but it doesn’t make him any less likable.
HIS first language is ENGLISH. So hearing French from all sides? He is confused AF right now.
I can see good and bad points in Little Bun, as a result and I am not saying he is perfect. He has flaws, like all of us, and has to work through them like all of us. But now?! At the age of FOUR? We are going to come down harsh on him and make him even more self-conscious and upset?
He prefers quieter environments, and would love to stay at home and read as he gets older, I can see that.
He isn’t as loud, is shyer, I can see that he is intellectually already showing signs of being curious, interested and intelligent, and is just different. Not better or worse.
His cousin, is a little calmer, doesn’t want to really do anything but sit around and play with toys, and just goes along with whatever is happening and seems to have less of a will of his own unlike Little Bun who is very strong-willed, opinionated and constantly arguing with me which I LOVE in an adult and want to encourage as an individual but it is very trying as a mother.
So. His cousin is more likable and Little Bun is not, in comparison…
I hate this f**#%(ing comparison of children because it hurts as his mother, to see him not shown as much affection or love because he is less outgoing.
I kiss and hug and love him so often I hope it makes up for the way people treat him, in that they ignore him, and/or are always scolding or trying to force him to do what they want without coaxing him out of his shell first.
He isn’t necessarily treated badly, but the difference is clear and he can see it and feel it. It will just get more pronounced as he gets older, and his cousin gets everything over him.
Society prefers and favours those who are outgoing, extroverted and ‘likable’, and while I can help him grow out of his shell and learn techniques to be more sociable, it is only starting now at 4-years old.
It isn’t like he is 13-years old yet and can understand social mores and manners.
He is still, a child. Not a baby, but a small child and children need time.
They are CONSTANTLY saying how much better the other cousin is and it is getting on my nerves because he can understand what they are saying even if he is only a child. You can feel the negativity, and you can feel that people don’t respond to you in the way they do to others.
They also have rose-coloured glasses on when it comes to habits and behaviours of my partner versus his other brother…
They are saying things that aren’t even true because they believe it to be true, and everything they do is so much better than the way we do it — the way I raise Little Bun, the way I talk to him, the way I allow him to come to me and nestle into my chest when he is feeling insecure about things and just needs my arms around him to reassure him….
I apparently have to push him away, make him be more independent, and pull back from him to make him “a man”. There is PLENTY OF TIME FOR THAT.
He will soon, in his pre-teen and teen years, perhaps not want me any more, and I will look back with regret on these days that I didn’t cuddle and give him as much love as he wanted.
I will consequently, give Little Bun the same love and space that he needs as he gets older so that he grows to become his own independent person.
I think we are all forgetting that he is only 4 years old, not 14. Not 40.
As an example, the family keeps saying how much Little Cousin eats, how he is such a good eater.. and that is a lot of BOSH. They’re praising him for something that isn’t even true.
I’ve seen this kid eat, and it is barely anything because he has to be COAXED to even eat a bite, and ends up getting a flavoured yoghurt out of desperation of getting SOME food into him.
In a typical day, he starts with chocolate flavoured milk, a biscuit, a flavoured yoghurt, then maybe 5 olives for lunch, two bites of pasta, two bites of mashed potatoes, and for dinner, a roll of bread and three bites of dinner if you are lucky. Done.
Eats well? I don’t think so. Not by the definition, when you actually objectively compare him to other children who truly “eat well”..
Little Bun is the definition of a kid who eats well and we are very lucky – just in one day, he can eat 2 yoghurts, a banana, 2 pieces of cake, 2 lunches (his vegetable stew & pasta, and then whatever we eat for lunch), plus a huge helping of dinner, a mango, half a peach, and two biscuits as a treat.
Where we drew the short stick in that he doesn’t like to sleep alone, and is shyer, less outgoing, a little more willful & stubborn, clingy.
There are good and bad points in both children, they are different and yet both ‘normal’.
There is no one definition of a good or bad child based on personalities.
Time will only tell as they age if they will become good adults and citizens.