January 3, 2011

Ages & Stages

This is something I think about often. Does raising children get harder as they get older? I often think it does. But then sometimes I think it doesn't. Let me explain. Or at least try.

FYI, My kids are 6, almost 9, almost 11 and 12 1/2.

:::Disclaimer, in case anyone didn't know, I love my kids, I've loved them at every age and I will forever, complaining about things they do is a normal part of parenting. These are just observations from my experience, not fact.:::

Babies. When I hear about people struggling with a new baby, I think to myself, Please, that part is the easiest. All they do is sleep, eat, and poop. And cry. They do tend to cry. I guess looking back it's not as fresh in my memory so I'm probably forgetting a lot of crap. Like you loose sleep, it can be physically demanding, especially if you breastfeed. You have no time to yourself. Wow. I guess it's not so easy. The good part is they are so sweet and adorable when they're happy or asleep. The first smile? Euphoria.

The toddler age is worse. When they get to the toddler stage they just get into everything. They seem to constantly be making a mess or doing something they shouldn't be like sticking a hairpin into a socket, (Happened.) or dropping eggs on the floor for fun. (Also happened. Hey I never claimed to be mother of the year.) You have to clean up their solid food poo when they have accidents during potty training, which is not cute at all.  Really, whenever I am around people who have kids at this age I'm so glad my kids are older. They tend to be snotty sometimes, and they start whining.  On the other hand, toddlers can be hilarious when they start to talk and they are still really innocent.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Kindergarten age is a great stage. The kid can wipe it's own butt , feed and dress itself, and they are still excited about school and are happy most of the time. It might help that they do go to school for several hours a day as well. Kids at 5 or 6 still listen to what you say most of the time. They aim to please. The only down side I can think of is the incessant talking. Don't shut up, that bunch.

Now kids that are from around 7-10 start to realize, Hey, I'm my own person! I have ideas and opinions! I shall assert them! This can be good and bad. They begin to challenge you just because they can. Test their limits on things like ignoring you or doing as their told, but they are still pretty sweet and try to make you happy by thinking of creative ways to show they care. Notes and helping out, it's the good side of being free thinkers.  They start having their own sense of style as well and begin to care about their appearance more. Well girls do anyway.

For the tweens (10-13) They really start in with the attitude. Eye-rolling, sighs and complaints are aplenty. They start to smell in these years so hygiene must be stressed. The boy doesn't seem to be bothered about his looks yet but Girls this age really begin experimenting with their hair, clothes, products, skin care. It's all good with me as long as they shower and the good part is they can shower on their own, of course for a while now, so you just buy them deodorant and they're good to go.  Good part, tweens are really almost young adults so you can have actual conversations about topics and enjoy some of the same movies sometimes. It's great in that respect.

After that, it's yet to be seen for me. I'm definitely worried about the teen years as most parents are. I'll let you know how it goes.

14 comments:

  1. Oh sis, I've got them from 17 to 2.5. The eye rollin' has just begun! lol

    My 17 yr old got realllllly froggy for a while when he was about 13/14(and he is actually a very well-behaved, caring boy). His hormones for sure got the best of him and one day he thought he should challenege his dad. Yeah. He did.

    All I can say is it ended in this:

    Boys' dad: "Tell you what, why don't you go ahead and hit me the way your face says you want. Then I'll hit you and you can pick yourself up off from the floor".

    LMH(heiny)O!!!!! Really boys get this I'm-a-man-now-and-my-testosterone-is-ruling-me kinda attitude. :-D Girls I am learning get super snarky. :-(

    Then there is my friend B whose oldest is simply a gem. She doesn't complain, she obeys, she is so beautiful AND modest, a straight-A student and subhanallah... just a beautiful muslimah who fears Allah.

    So we can always hope we get at least one of those kind to equal out the others. LOL

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  2. My daughter is 3.5 and for me the baby stage was the worst one so far. It's true that I was without my husband for the first 6 months though, but even up to 1.5 years or so, I found it a lot harder than I did any time after that.

    I guess it varies!! I really am worried about the teenage stage though... I generally dislike teenagers to begin with.

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  3. My son is almost 15 months, and the baby stage was definately the hardest. As soon as he started crawling though at 6 months I found things A LOT easier, and they've only gotten easier since. I'm not saying now is easy, but I at least get 7-8 hours of sleep almost every night.

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  4. Anonymous2:59 AM

    Mona, My sis may be in for it. Ty has already hit the opinions of his own and challenging her phase, and he is three. But, he is constantly happy from the moment his eyes open, and excited about everything in life, so it may all balance out. ;0)
    liz

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  5. Umm Aaminah, you definitely have the whole range there, mashaAllah. I can totally see that happening with boys. I have a niece like the girl you describe mashaAllah.

    Candice, It defintly varies. No one likes teenagers but teenagers.

    Lala, Yea as long as you've baby proofed crawling lets them entertain themselves a lot more than when they can't move.

    Liz, Lol that's adorable, I love happy kids.

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  6. You have the whole range so you are the perfect person to talk on this topic. My little one is 3.5 years and he is great at the moment and very funny. The first year was the hardest for me. He didn't sleep through the night until just after his first birthday.

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  7. Ruby Tuesday, I love the things kids that age say! Yea the lack of sleep can really do you in.

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  8. This is interesting and funny. I also believe parenting gets more challenging as children grow up and develop opinions, beliefs questions, and not to mention hormonal outbursts!

    But I also see how boys do become more aware of how they look as they become teens. They get shy around girls lol. It's cute.

    Yes do update us on the teenage years! That should be quite an entertaining post, me thinks.

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  9. My little girls have aged me 15 years. The oldest is only 4. I can't imagine it getting worse. Pray for us new moms!

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  10. Shahirah Elaiza, I agree, it becomes less physically challenging, and more mentally challenging.

    Amnah, Alhamdulillah it comes one day at a time. :)

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  11. I actually love the baby stage. I know I will miss it when our last passes it by. My 3 year old stresses me out... She's already started on the eye rolling lol. Did it before she even hit a year, so not kidding... but teen scares me too lol. I know its just gonna get harder.

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  12. MamaKalila, babies are adorable and it's the most missed stage I think. God help us for the teen years!

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  13. Hey Mona! I'ma teenager (17) so maybe I can give some insight. My parents seem to think I don't understand anything and I seem to think they don't understand "anything"(ya3ni times changed) Well I don't know it's sort of different for me compared to your kids because my parents are immigrants moreover my mother, she tends to have the "back home" train of thought whereas my dad is way more westernized but still carries it around with him. There are ALWAYS clashes in between us because I feel my parents aren't giving me the ability to learn as I grow I want my parents to treat me as an adult but they don't seem to understand I am NOT a child. They have to give me some credit y'know? I think that's going to be a huge struggle during the teenage years. Especially when teens reach the "late teens" phase. Personally I want my parents to understand that while I am with a group of friends or I am invited out somewhere it would be nice for them to give me their trust. By this time I think most (I say this warily)teens have a set of morals and rules and it depends on what their outlook on life is but the problem is communication because of how I had to grow up with my parents I find it extremely difficult to have a conversation with them basically they have no clue who I really am. I think they'd be shocked to know their little girl isn't little anymore.

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  14. PerfectlyImperfect, Thank you so much for your input. I do remember feeling that way and it's funny how you forget when it's your own kids. They're just worried about you and maybe don't trust other people. I think if you have earned their trust group outings should be fine at your age. You sound really mature and I didn't realize you were 17. As for shock, yea most parents want to keep their kids innocent and are in a bit of denial about how grown up their kids are. Thanks again. :)

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