One of the things that parents think about when they entertain thoughts of having children is whether or not they can actually keep up with the demands of parenting. Although there are some people who do not think twice about procreating, most people think about everything else that comes after the kids are born.
Building a family and raising children is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. To say that it requires tons of commitment and dedication is an understatement. You have to be willing to deal with everything that comes with growing up with your kids. This means addressing all their needs from birth to grave. Yes, your kids will always need you even when they could already stand on their own and have raised their own families. In all these, you have to be willing to give without expecting anything in return. You have to learn when to nurture and when to give them space to make their own decisions. Yet, when dire consequences happen because of bad decisions, you also have to be willing to offer your shoulders to cry on and your wisdom to push them forward.
During the time when they still cannot support themselves, you have to be able to provide for all their expenses. This time is called the critical years when your children are fully dependent on you. Ideally, they should be able to provide for themselves when they get out of school and secure gainful employment. Not all children, however, are able to enter the workforce right away. This makes it really important for you to prepare them early on. Teach them the value of money and earning money the honourable way. Teach them to manage their finances so that they will eventually be able to provide for their needs. Instilling financial discipline is part of the responsibilities of parenthood. Growing up with your kids also entails preparing them for the future and weaning them from your financial support at the right time.
Taking care of your children’s psycho-social needs is also part of growing up with your kids. You have to understand how they think, feel, and act in various situations and given certain challenges. Support them emotionally in everything they are going through without coddling them or overly protecting them. Remember that you are supposed to play the supporting role in your child’s life and not the starring role. Let him experience the ups and downs of life. But, take the time to prepare him physically, emotionally, and mentally for these experiences. When the time comes for you to let go, be generous enough to do so and give your child the gift of going through life with the assurance that you will be there through all his joys as well as all his sorrows.
RJ is growing up so quickly each day. Looks like adolescence is taking place earlier than the past generations. Just last week, she asked me if she can grow her nails. Oh yes, she has changed a lot…her choice of music, clothes and even her hobbies. There are also times that she doesn’t listen to me because she thinks she is old enough to handle everything by herself. I undersdtand it is because she is now on her tweens, she’s experiencing not just physical but also emotional changes. I must admit, I find it difficult to adjust at first. It was hard for me to accept that the girl I used to cradle is now beginning to be independent.
Tween by the way are boys and girls who are between the ages of 9 and 12. In other words, tween is pre-adolescence…a stage of having mood swings, of developing strong will and of increasing independence. This is also the stage wherein the kids spend less time with their parents and more time with their friends. If you think that your tween trusts her friends more than you, don’t worry too much. It is because your tween thinks that you, the parent who molded her values, abilities and talents and given her boundaries, is the least person to agree on certain issues he/she wants to talk about. Understand that your tween’s world is getting bigger and complicated. He/She feels compelled to whine about restrictions. Instead of worrying too much and nagging, why not give your tween responsibilities and allow him/her to make some decisions? You’ll be surprised that your tween can handle certain things. If your tween feels that you trust him/her, it would be easier for your tween to talk to you when something goes wrong.
Also, getting to know your tween’s friends, their parents and being involved in his/her activities will make you worry less.
These pictures where taken during the farewell party in school last March 17. RJ said she is excited on summer vacation but sad at the same time because she doesn’t know if her classmates are the same set of friends she will have. Our girl is not just moving up to the 3rd grade, looks like she’s getting a bit mature too because vacation is not the only thing she cares about now.
It amazes me that RJ knows a lot of things now. She is the one teaching me the computer games and when I asked her how did she learn that, she said “I read the instructions.” Sometimes when I am wrong she is prompting me with “You are wrong, Mama.” There are also times she says “Let me, Mama. I can do this.” She is also the one choosing what she wants to wear. I am afraid my daughter needs me less everyday. Sad but that is the reality.
Time will come we can not take her to the park and play bubbles with her. I am proud and glad that she is maturing gracefully but sad at the same time because she is moving up and growing up so fast.
So as for now, we will enjoy every minute of her childhood. We will take her to the park and play with her, I will let her teach me the computer games, I will snuggle with her while watching her favorite movies and I will tuck her to bed and tell her story about how she was born. I will kiss her more often and will hold her tighter.