Being a Mom or a Dad is one of, if not the most important job you will ever do in your lifetime. There are no set qualifications required, but you will enter into a journey fraught with love and passion. Yes, you will make mistakes, you will discover very quickly that there is no such thing as a perfect parent and anyone who tells you so is lying. However, one thing is for sure, just when you think you have it down pat your children will fall in love and enter into their own partnerships. From baby to adult in a finger snap. You will be left on the sidelines wondering where all that time has gone, only some twenty years ago.
The Changing Role of Parenthood
Your role as a parent will evolve and it will change as your children grow. You will physically see this change literally unfolding before your very eyes. It can be both beautiful and mind-boggling just how fast they change from a crawling little bundle of playfulness, still in diapers, into a small person beginning to explore this place we call our world.
He or she will soon be searching out different activities to stimulate their evergrowing passion for discovery. They will quickly have friends of their own. Friends who will also teach them sometimes the complete opposite of what you have taught them. Then the day of reckoning comes. A day which happens to all parents. They will become much more independent, sometimes even shirking off it seems everything you have taught them. You sit back and watch, terrified as you watch them scale their first tree and that is even before they have started school.
Then, something happens, and it happens to all parents. The day of judgement occurs, your every reason for living starts kindergarten, let's just call it school. You are about to place your cherished cherub into the hands of a total stranger. Unless you home school like so many today, you will lose complete control of your child for at least 6 hours every day. There is nothing you can do in most cases, so you just stand out in the morning sunshine along with your child awaiting the dreaded yellow school bus.
This dreaded moment will become the start of another chapter in your ongoing journey as a parent. So when the bus arrives, you just watch as your loved one climbs onboard giving you a single wave, then leaving you standing at the roadside with tears streaming down your cheeks as you watch the bus disappearing from view.
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Those Teenage Years
At 12 years of age, your children are now hopefully almost fully grown and emotionally stable. They are at that age when they not only want to be part of the family, but they also want to also help with the family chores no more. All is good, but beware simmering just under the surface is a young adult waiting to break loose. It is only natural, however when a child first enters into what we call their teenage years, many parents begin to feel the pressure. For perhaps the very first time your young charge displays that he or she is an individual and does not always want to be entirely under the parent's guidance. They want to explore life, their way.
So with the above in mind, it is crucial to establish some kind of rules. Be careful, as all children are different, and all will act out in their own way. They will all require different rules, but what is suitable for one may not be right for the other.
It is also essential to sort out the non-negotiable rules, basically anything with health and safety and of course, the well being of your child in mind. Then you have the other controls. The ones you can allow a bit of wriggling space for. Things like what time to be home from a friends party, or what time they should go to bed. Remember, no child is alike, so it is vital with the non-negotiating rules that they are adhered to, they must be explained to your youngster why they are in place and why there is no room for negotiation.
We are now coming to the end of our parenting journey, and yes, we are still learning. We have tried our best, and our charges have come of age, all ready to fly the nest. Then, just when we thought we had discovered how to become the perfect parent, it happens, like a firework exploding in the sky. You find yourself in a church, dumbfounded, tears trickling down your cheeks. Just like the last time when he or she left you for the first time on that big yellow bus.
Your offspring have gotton married, and they will soon start off on the journey of parenthood. Good luck to them, and remember all is not lost, for one day you will be holding your grandchild in your arms. One of the most satisfying moments any parent can possibly have. Your journey has come to an end, but another one awaits just around the corner.
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