Thursday, April 4, 2013

Parenting older children

I've been thinking this week about my role as a stay-at-home parent, now that Isa is getting so close to school age.  I also came across, recently, these two excellent blog posts about parenting small children:

They're both just beautifully honest about how hard it is to take care of little kids, and I can relate to everything they're saying.  Though I'm not a pastor or a writer, trying to do anything adult (work. exercise. financial management. shopping. etc.) while being an effective parent to preschoolers and babies is hugely frustrating.  

I'm kind of shocked to discover that I'm starting to get beyond this phase.  My kids are older now (10, 8, and 6).  And though they are still needy in their own ways, they can also be astonishingly independent.  Baz and Ayla have just left the apartment to go visit their friends, at 9:00 at night, by themselves.  Isa knows how to ride the subway and navigate an iPod.  When they get home from school, we often all retreat into our own pastimes.  

Ayla really wants nothing more out of life than to be left alone with a pile of library books.

Baz's latest thing is studying all of the lyrics to the Matilda soundtrack.  (when he's not playing with his Erector set, Legos, or various Spy devices). 

Parenting at this stage is a different set of skills than it was 5 years ago.  I seem to spend a lot more time arguing with them and nagging them to do things.  They have real homework and real grades to worry about, classes they dislike and quarrels with friends to grapple with.  I struggle to remember the toddlers they were, in some other lifetime.  


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