The Hailey Herald

The Hailey Herald

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Finding a Balance

I always feel I second guess my parenting with Hailey at this age much more than I did with the boys.  Too much free play time, not enough free play time, right supplements, too much therapy, not enough get the picture.  I have the same internal conflict with much do we do with groups with Down syndrome and how many do we do with all typical.  I know I've repeatedly told everyone how Hailey is more alike typical than not.  I do believe that raising Hailey thus far has not been harder than the boys at this age...just a little different.  However, I think each of the boys were different.  The same discipline that worked with Brayden has not worked with Ian. 

I don't want all of Hailey's activities to be 100% with children with special needs.  That isn't a true representation of the outside world.  However, I don't want Hailey to think she is the only one that has Down syndrome or is "different"  (yes, I hate that word to describe this, but at the moment, I can't come up with another word to explain it). 

Up until now, most of Hailey's activities have been all "typical".  The boys' sports, swim lessons, etc.  We have participated in a few events with our local Down syndrome group, but not a bunch so far.  I would like Hailey to participate in a few of the sports organizations that the boys have participated in, but I am well aware, there may be a point that we may want to consider a different route.  We were approached this past weekend at the grocery store, for Hailey (when she gets a little older) to join a special needs cheer/dance team.  I haven't decided how I feel about that yet.  It's a little early to form an opinion on it, but I guess I am glad that I know it is an option.

I have always been curious about the Special Olympics, but have never known where to start.  A member of one of our Ds groups posted a message about the Young Athletes Program (for ages 2-4) with the Special Olympics starting a session this past week.  I didn't know much about it, but thought it might be a good experience for all of us.  I signed her up and when the night came, I had both boys with me also.  I thought they would moan and groan when we got there.  There was a lot of dancing, jumping, and singing.  They were awesome big brothers (maybe a little rowdy), but they participated and worked with Hailey and didn't bat an eyelash.  I love those two :-)  Hailey seemed to enjoy it, but in true toddler form, didn't always listen and did her own thing :-)

So...bottom line....we will probably find a happy medium with Hailey's activities.  I would like her to have a broad range of friends.  I'm sure we will find a balance between the two that works for her and our family. 

Um...excuse me, Ian....I'm supposed to be doing that!


  1. I am glad that I am not the only one who has trouble finding the balance! For the first 2 years, I did all typical events. Then, it became apparently that Ellie was more delayed than her typical peers and that their activities may not always be appropriate for Ellie. Now, we do our monthly Ds playgroup and more 1:1 play dates with her typical peers.

    My Aunt Peggy spent so much time with her Dad and other older siblings. She went everywhere with them and learned from them. Yet, for things like dances, sporting events and whatnot, she preferred to be with people "like her". Not necessarily with Ds, but with disabilities. She wanted a boyfriend (which she had for a long while). She wanted to join the bowling league with her group home. She had a happy balance, but it was dictated by HER.

    I imagine that as Hailey grows, she will make those types of decisions, but when they are younger, it is up to us parents to let them know that they are other people out there also with Ds. Like you said, finding a balance can be difficult--too many typical vs. Ds activities.

    Your boys, they are amazing. Can I borrow them?

    1. I always love your insight because of Aunt Peggy! With Hailey's personality, I'm sure she will be dictating things sooner than I would like! Thank you, they are pretty amazing! Today, my 9 yr old and one of his friends spent almost 2 hours playing with Hailey! I'm very lucky to have them all 3. I would gladly lend them :-)

  2. I hope to have Ben take part in both kinds of activities too! I need to find out if there is a young kids special olympics group around here.