Everyone gets nervous when it comes to parenting. We all have our ideas of how it will go, what we will say, what we will and will not allow our kids to do, etc. but when it comes down to it we have no clue what we will do when certain situations arise. Some parents are better with babies and little kids (like me!) and others are better with older kids (definitely NOT me!).
I have been a babysitter since I was 14 years old. That’s a long time of practice with little kids. I love babies and little kids. I have been around all different kind of littles (boys, girls, quiet, loud, shy, outgoing) so I am pretty good at adapting to what a particular kid needs, how they act and what can work good for them. If I don’t know, I can use trial and error to figure it out fairly quickly. All this to say, I am not intimidated by the younger kids.
However, once they reach a certain age I am lost! The major attitudes that come with being an older kid/preteen are like nails on a chalkboard to me. I didn’t relate to a lot of preteen/teenagers when I was growing up so stands to reason I am going to struggle with this in my parenting of my own kids.
My oldest is an 11-year-old boy. There are so many things I have no clue about with him. He is a preteen so that’s out of my comfort zone as far as my experience. He is a boy and I’m a girl, I don’t need to explain the differences there with puberty right around the corner. He can be argumentative and I am a peacemaker. I used to be able to help pick out his clothes. Not any more! He is very artistic and loves to draw. I don’t have an artistic bone in my body. He likes japanimation type shows and I can’t stand them.
The one thing that we do have in common is he is sensitive and moody at times. I can relate to that a lot more than his dad. I can understand when he is having a moment and needing space to deal with his problems. I understand him needing/wanting alone time especially since his brothers are all at least 4 years younger than him. That’s a big gap as you go through these different stages in life.
Parenting is hard work and I don’t think I realized how hard different stages can be for different parents. I know my husband is much better with our kids the older they get. When they were babies, it made him really nervous while I thrived at that stage. Now he is more in his element and I feel all out of whack. I feel like I can’t do anything right. I need help in this stage. I know I will be doing a lot more research on this stage.
Being a peacemaker is hard when it comes to parenting. You have to make your kids mad at you at times because they need to understand what is right and wrong. And that’s ok! Our sinful nature makes us want to do the “fun, exciting” things which can be the absolute wrong thing for us. I want my kids to be happy and thrive in life. For me it’s not necessarily a matter of trying to be their friend as much as it is to keep the peace in my house (which is not easy with 5 boys!!!).
We want to raise our children to be good, respectful, decent human beings. Our job is to “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 We want our kids to respect us as parents so they will respect whatever authority figure comes in their lives and ultimately respect God. They don’t have to like what we say or allow them to or not to do but they do need to respect the decision.
What is your “Uncharted Territory”? Leave me a comment or message me.