Thursday, May 15, 2014

Middle Child Play Dates

Let's be honest, the middle child has a tough gig. Harrison is our middle. When Hannah arrived, our pediatrician gave us the advice that he is now a big brother and a little brother, a very special role in the family. We have been doing our best to keep that attitude and language with him but it is hard. It is also pretty easy to see how middle children get "stuck" sometimes. 

Harrison "monkeying" around on his playdate at the Zoo.

Hadley is so vocal and eager to push her agenda. Hannah on the other hand has such immediate needs that she is often quite compelling. Then there is sweet Harrison. Not quite as skilled of a negotiator as Hadley and more self efficient than Hannah. I am starting to see this dynamic in action. Mike and I have really made a concerted effort to make sure he is heard, he gets what he needs and he has special time with each of us. 

One area I noticed lacking was his social calender. He isn't interested enough in play dates yet to proactively request them. But when Hadley was three she had lots of social interactions planned by me or our nanny. So Hadley continues on her social parade and poor Harrison is stuck at home with a baby. 

So I reached out a friend with a little guy the same age as Harrison who also has a big sister. We both chatted about how these second kids get less play dates just by the nature of the big kid's demands. Then she offered to do play dates with Harrison and her little guy when the big sisters were at school. This has turned out to be so awesome. Both the boys get so excited for their very own play dates. I am lucky my friend is carrying the load since our nanny still has the baby which is pretty limiting. 

I am so grateful for a circle of friends and families willing to pitch in to help each other. I hope to return the favor in a way I can someday soon. 

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