My youngest granddaughter is fearless, adventurous and independent and gives one hundred percent effort into everything she does. When we go to the park she is the one that climbs precariously on the edge of everything, her tiny feet are just millimetres from slipping off the edge of climbing structures or attempting to stretch high enough to get up gaps in rope structures that are larger than she is high. Don’t even think about trying to assist her to get up onto the swing and lend a hand to start her off, the words ‘No Gran, I do it’ echo throughout the playground.
Her sister has always been a fan of pretty toys like mermaids, unicorns and her favourite characters are from the movie Frozen, however this one plays with cars, trains and her favourite characters are from the Paw Patrol series.
I admire her courage and the ability to just do things without the thought of the consequences, she is what we hope children of today will be, skills enabling resilience. Resilience she has in spades as she constantly wears the battle scars of her adventures, last week she arrived with a bruise over her eyebrow having walked into a table at daycare. She left with an even bigger bruise in the middle of her forehead and on her knee as she spun herself around on an office chair (one of her favourite fun things to do) so fast that her little body spun off the chair and into another hard object. Amazingly enough a small cuddle and an ice pack for a few minutes and she is away again off to the next adventure.
Today however she arrived with a skinned knee as she had just fallen off her bike at the local bike park and wanted to stay with Gran and rest up. Just the two of us spent the afternoon chilling out so that her knee, now beautifully covered with a very impressive dressing, could recover.
We lay on the bed together and watched one of her favourite movies ‘Moana’, the two of us laughing and singing together. Once the movie finished and the heroine had saved the world, we took a couple of selfies and blinged them up using the messenger application. Our favourite was one that made us up as angels with wings, glitter and shimmering along with long eye lashes.
Then off to the local dairy for an ice block, making sure we jumped over every crack and stopping to look at all the dogs on the way, two girls having fun.
Today was special as I got to spend some quiet time with my little adventurer. Everyday is special with grandchildren whether the play includes mud, slime or glitter.
Grandparents have the pleasure of celebrating these small amazing creations, all individual and special, all just wanting love and security.
Keep your grandchildren safe and love them all!
Although my grandmother duties often include patching up this particular granddaughter, her injuries are from life’s adventures; unfortunately there are so many little ones that are not so lucky as they suffer abuse from those that are supposed to love and protect them.
New Zealand has shocking rates of child abuse with figures quoted on the NZ Unicef website suggesting that on average a child dies every five weeks as a result of violence and the majority of these are under the age of 12 months.
Recent reports of a horrendous child abuse against a four year old boy who is fighting for his life in Starship Hospital and another five year old who has lost his, reminds us that ‘violence against children is what we need to address as a country’; too many of our darlings are being hurt physically, emotionally, sexually or being neglected. The problem is not easily solved, families, communities and supporting organisations all need to be part of the solution, and although much has been tried over many years the abuse still is happening.
We must try, lets all be vigilant and help save our children.
If you suspect child abuse report suspicions to the police.
The following numbers are available in New Zealand
Oranga Tamariki – Ministry of Children 0800 326 459
If you need help call
Parent Help Child Abuse Prevention Helpline – 0800 568 856
Family Violence Information Line – 0800 456 450