Parenting through the ages. I feel qualified to pass judgement on this now that I have a sixteen, twelve and six year old. I often read posts about how hard parenting is, there are parents discussing whether to go baby led weaning vs buy all the jars available in the supermarkets. There are drawn out discussions about nursery vs childminder, co sleeping vs putting them in their own rooms and I just want to tell those writers to chill out. It might seem a really huge deal right now but believe me but it probably isn’t.
There are much bigger decisions to come, much bigger, more life determining things to chew over. The baby stage is often the easy bit and here I will tell you why.
- Playdates when you have preschoolers are a dressed up event for yummy mummy’s to have a coffee together. You get to hang out with your friends eating cake and drink caramel lattes – what’s not to like?
- With teenagers you have to manage unsuitable friends, tweens and teens that your child is drawn too. Unsuitable people that they go out with and homes they go to sleepovers at.
- With preschoolers learning is through play. A little play doh rubbed in the carpet is nothing for what is to come. Homework is reading simple books and a few spellings. It doesn’t take too long and reading can be done just before bed and acts as a wind down activity too. The homework is multitasking and acts as a win win.
- Teenagers ask you to do simultaneous equations or present you with irregular French verbs that you need to help them rewrite. You fail, you can’t remember how to do Pi R Squared anymore and can’t really remember why you may ever need to know this. Your teen looks at you with a little less admiration. Your flaws are available to be seen and they realise that mum and dad are not the fountain of all knowledge.
Who are you?
- When your child is little you are the centre of their world. They adore everything about you and constantly tell you that you are loved. They snuggle on your lap and kiss your cheek telling you that they adore you.
- With a tween / teen they will challenge your decisions, they will not just accept your words. The look of love (although it is still there) is sometimes replaced with looks of disdain- on a good day.
Food and Drink
- Breast or bottle. Feed on demand or create a routine. Which formula or follow on milk to use. Jar or organically lovingly homemade.
- Swap this for teenage parties and the day they ask will you buy me some cider?
- Baby groups and pre school classes. You choose activities that you want to develop with your child.
- Teens and tweens take up death defying sports and adrenalin hobbies, you end up sitting in AE after yet another close encounter. At other times they play away and you don’t really know where they are when they are out with friends all day. Furthermore the day arrives when they ask if they can go on holiday with friends aged 16.
- One of the most frequent of discussions at playgroups and mother and baby groups is sleep or lack of it.
- However with a teen the worry is replaced with where and who they might be sleeping with.
The comparisons can continue but I will let you discover some for yourself! Hold that little person tight becuase they really are only little for a short while. Embrace the simplicity of having a little person because they road and the challenges will get a whole lot bumpier in the years ahead!