Life Begins at 5 then again at 10, 13, 16, 18, 21, 30 ..
Life Begins at 5
My oldest turned 5 today. He truly believes that life begins at 5 years old. He was naming all the super cool things that he can now do at the age of 5 that he couldn't do at the age of 4. It also helped that kindergarten orientation was tonight.
The idea for the milestones of a child's ages was from a friends comment and it got me thinking of how those age milestones affect our lives. The milestones in our children's' lives represent different stages that the kids are in and the stages we go through as parents.
At age 5 we are now officially old enough for kindergarten. We transition from being a toddler to a school age child. Parents learn to let go a little to a tiny part of the baby that grew up so quickly to a child. As my baby turns 5 it seems like yesterday that he was learning to walk and talk.
My new 5 year old can participate in activities, sports, and school. He can get dressed himself, brush his teeth, do chores, tell me what he needs, and comprehend what I am telling him to do.
Oh My double digits. This is a big milestone for kids. Having taught 9-10 year olds for many years I see the excitement when they finally reach the double digits. This is a time in the kids lives where they are starting to assert their independence and experiment in voicing their own opinions and the opinion that are modeled for them.
I love this age and love teaching this age. The kids are fun, have a great sense of humor, and are at a really crucial stage where they still greatly value adults but are starting to form their own self.
And we have hit the teenage years. The drama, the suspense, the intensity, the struggle, and so much more. Teenagers are a challenge and very few will disagree. Once a child hits the teenage yeas they want so desperately to be independent and adult like, but at the same time are very much still in need of their parents.
They can drive! Watch out world here they come. They can drive, work, and think $10 an hour is a fortune. Oh to be 16 again. Hopefully you have raised a responsible young adult that is ready to take on the world but isn't afraid to ask your advice every once in awhile.
Let the voting begin! These 18 years olds are on the edge of life. Sitting between graduating high school, going to college or starting the real world. The decisions that an 18 year old makes may lead the directions of their lives. That is a lot of pressure for someone that we still look at and see a 5 yr old that is ready to head off to kindergarten. In a blink of an eye our child has grown to an adult and now needs to make adult decisions that affect the road that they travel from this point further. Whether college is coming in the fall or starting a job this young adult think they have the answers even when we can see the bumps int he road ahead.
Lead with guidance and love but remember the inner child and the heart of the little one you raised.
In the US the legal drinking age is 21. I personally believe that if you are old enough to fight for our country you should be old enough to drink, maybe because I was raised around men that served our country in various wars whom shaped my thinking at a young age. I highly doubt a young service man would ever be refused an adult beverage in an American Legion Post.
Despite what I may feel or believe that legal drinking age is 21. The age of 21 is a right of passage for so many young people. How my child handles the pressures of drinking and surviving their 21 birthday will be a measure of what I have instilled in him his whole life. I don't want drinking to be a rebellion for my children. Moderation is the key for anything but children also need to know the risks of being in a family where addiction exists and is real.
My dad called me the other day and through our conversation he said something to the affect of you are over 30, you're an adult. Wait what? I have been married for almost 10 years but I don't think my parents truly thought of me as an adult until I hit 30, although I don't think I truly realized I was an adult until I hit 30. Sure I was responsible owned homes, had kids, jobs, etc but I don't think I felt like I was truly an adult until I hit 30. Does adulthood begin at 30?
The milestones of life give us places to start to think about our future, our lives, and our choices. Think about the person you were at each age and what advice you would give yourself at that age, then apply it to what you want to tell your children to lead them.