I’ve had so many young parents ask me, “Doe it get easier?”. My response has consistently been “No. But it is different and that can seem easier.”
I think I’ve been lying though. It really has gotten easier. They get themselves dressed, they feed themselves, they pack their own lunches, they even make decisions for themselves! Yes, there is a level of guidance that I offer, but honestly? I’m kind of loving this part of parenting.
Someone asked me the other day, “Why do you give them so much freedom?”
Um, I want to raise adults? Yes. That’s the reason. They’re children now, and they get to act like children 99% of the time. The other 1% though is absolutely treating them like the adults I expect them to grow up as.
Craziness I know. I’ll call you in 10 years and let you know if Elizabeth survived. But I’m pretty confident in this method of parenting. After all, isn’t this what every parent wants? For their children to grow up responsible, respectful, and someone that other people want to be around? So why wouldn’t I start forming that adult now?
Elizabeth spouts off her opinion with such confidence at the tender age of 7 that it literally terrifies me of the arguments we will have in less than 5 years.
“Mom, was this song seriously released this year? It sounds like it came from the 80’s”
“It’s funk Elizabeth, which means it didn’t come from the 80’s, it came from the 70’s, but actually yes, this specific song was released this year”
“80’s, 70’s, whatever mom. It’s just not my style. Change it now please.”
Yup. That conversation happened. A few days after this one.
“Mom, why isn’t there a button in your car that you can push to let the stoplight know that we’re in a hurry and it should change quickly?”
“Well, can you imagine what it would be like if everyone had control of the stoplights? It would be chaotic.”
“No mom, not everyone, it could be like Bluetooth. Some people can afford it and others can’t. So the button could be the same type of thing.”
“It would still be chaotic Elizabeth, there are many reasons why the general public doesn’t have control of the stoplights.”
“UUUUUGH mooooommmmm! You don’t get it! It’s not controlling the stoplight, it’s just LETTING IT KNOW that we’re in a hurry!”
“So what’s the point if it doesn’t actually change the light?”
“YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING I SAY MOM. JUST FORGET IT.”
I’m okay with these conversations. Really, I am. She’s establishing… something. And it will assist her greatly as an adult. I’m sure of it.
Colm is doing the same thing, just on a five year old basis. For example, did anyone else know that white water rafting in the Boulder Creek is a bad idea because Whale Sharks have BIG mouths and they will eat you? Same idea as not living in the mountains. Bears live in the mountains, and they will eat you.
Raising adults. It’s really kinda easy.