I started this post as a draft a few weeks ago following a month or so of some fairly sustained toy-snatching by Jac. He had been going up to Jamie and stealing whatever toy or Lego model he was playing with at the time.
Our first thoughts were that he wasn’t getting enough attention from us, or certainly not enough positive attention. It’s easy to fall into lazy patterns where not enough attention and focus is given to the boys, so this was a kind of wake up call for us.
We are going to try and spend more time interacting and playing with the boys to avoid some of the scuffles and arguing + toy snatching by Jac. It’s probably a lack of direct attention so there’s an easy way to solve that one!
So, we gave that a go with some success but unless one of us was sitting right by Jac, he would just go back to stealing things, so obviously not a very sustainable solution. I had an idea that instead of being some more complicated reason, that it was more likely to be something simple. It seems most things are simple at their source and tackling that source issue can solve a whole range of related problems.
The problem seems to have been to do with Lego. Jamie was getting a lot of positive attention for the great models he was building but it was also something which we were stopping Jac from getting involved with, given that the Lego had been given to Jamie over the last couple of years. Jamie was also saying that it was special to him and getting upset when Jac even touched any of it. Making Lego models was also something I was doing with Jamie which Jac was obviously picking up on.
There were obviously a few quite emotional connections to the Lego, so instead of constantly stopping Jac from getting involved, we started making little models for Jac at the same time and over a short amount of time, Jamie got used to Jac having a little go. This was much better for everyone than the snatching, so everyone accepted it easily. Jamie even started complimenting Jac on his models and playing with him more, as it was something which they could share and play with together.
What I might introduce is the idea that as soon as the original Lego model is built and then subsequently taken apart, everyone can use the pieces to build whatever they want. The new model only stays together for a matter of days anyway.
A bit of a splurge on some semi-educational toys, games and books.
The main thing was a wooden castle, with some wooden figures. The idea with this is to try and get the boys to share and play together more, as it sometimes just descends into bickering and squabbles. There’s enough space around it and they’ve already had fun playing some games, like Jamie’s ‘castle monster’! This basically involved the castle eating all the fruit and toys till it was full up!
There was also some wooden fruit, which are split into sections with Velcro pads holding the sections together. This can be usd for teaching fractions, colours, shapes, food, cooking and imagination. There’s also hand-eye co-ordination with the cutting and putting back together.
Finally, some science and things to do type books which will give us some creative ideas. There were also some Grimm fairy tales and the Just So stories.
We went over to a friends house (who is also a work colleague) on the weekend and managed to pick a load of unwanted second hand toys and clothes for the boys!
I can’t get over how generous they are. There was a whole load of clothes and coats etc and a selection of pop-up tents, with connecting tunnels. They all fold down to a single ikea-sized bag and are very light. They’ve had loads of fun with it already and the cat has been eploring as well.
There was also a cool water aqueduct toy made by Brio which both boys were quite impressed with. Jamie got a bit possessive over the crane bit of it and even took it to bed with him!
We had a bit of a result with some new toys on the weekend. Claire went over to our colleagues yard sale and got some cool used toys for the boys.
The idea was to get rid of a few of the larger toys we already had and an hour after putting them out to the front of the house, two of them were gone. Jac spotted his old car and wanted it back, so not quite all of them gone!
So, they got two Flintstones type car things, a sit on tractor, a JCB type digger, some small blue chairs and some small cars. All that for £3.50!