Each age has great and not so great parts

Each age has great and not so great parts

Twenty years, the time to get a child into adulthood, isn’t that long. Now, if you are in your 20s or 30s, you probably think I’m crazy. If you are soon to celebrate your 90th birthday, you may be nodding in agreement with me.

I’m somewhere between, old enough to have college-age children. From this perspective, 20 years went quickly.

However, if you had asked me on one of the days when I was up to my elbows in nursing, diapers, and sleepless nights, a day seemed to last a very long time. Twenty years lurked somewhere around infinity.

Each age has great and not so great parts. Focus on the great, work on the not so great, and experience it all to the fullest. You’ll find yourself and your kids in the next stage soon enough.

Babbling morphs into words. Words become sentences. “No” often follows utterings of “Mama” and “Dada”. I’m not sure if it’s because they hear “No” so often or if it’s a first statement of opinion.

Then, around 3, kids seem fascinated by “Why” and use it endlessly. They just seem to have an insatiable need to know how everything in their universe works. Pay close attention. Answer their questions. You want them to learn that they can trust you with their curiosity. As they age, it’s easier to keep those lines of communication open if you have established them early.

Conversely, as they get a little older, use those questions as a springboard to teach children to research and learn things on their own. Although I answered endless questions when they were little, our sons and I now enjoy discussions on a wide variety of things. I like asking the questions and learning from them.

Most bad behaviors, if dealt with correctly, won’t last forever. Pick your battles. Concentrate on the most damaging or dangerous issues first. Be consistent and carry out any promised corrections.

Look at it this way, if you promised a treat for a good behavior, you would do your best to deliver. If a correction is needed, do as you promised then too.

Avoid nagging in a bunch of areas at once. Kids may start just tuning you out.

Delayed obedience is disobedience. Most dogs can learn what “come” or “sit” mean. If they delay in doing so, they are quietly disobeying. Kids are a lot smarter than dogs.

Do what you expect your children to do. If you want them to keep their rooms tidy and make their beds every day, do so yourself. If you want your children to enjoy reading, let them catch you enjoying a book. If you want them to be hard working, don’t hesitate to plunge into a challenging task. Would you like them to be well spoken? Work on your own vocabulary and manner of speaking.

Take some time for yourself.

Enjoy a long lunch hour. Feed the kids first. Then, set them up with an educational show or toys that you save for special times. Teach kids to pursue their own interests during this time. Our younger son loves animals. At a young age, he could easily fill an hour pouring over animal and animal care books.

As a mother of young children, I wasn’t prepared for all the mental time my kids would demand. They seemed filled with things they wanted to talk about and questions they wanted to ask. I wanted to listen, to show interest, and to answer them. But, I needed some time alone in my own brain every day, so I had a separate lunch time.

Some parents may find this time during naps, but my kids didn’t nap well. If lunch doesn’t work for you, you might arrange a time to exercise away from kids. Whatever works for you, find some time to be you.

Keep the future in mind. Enjoy every minute you can with your children. You may someday find yourself agreeing that 20 years isn’t that long.

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