“I wish my babies would stay little!”
“They’re growing up so fast it makes me cry!”
“My kids just need to STOP IT. I can’t take this whole growing up thing!”
“Before I know it they’re going to be the dreaded TEENAGERS”
It’s almost back to school time, and my FB feed is peppered with comments like this. And it breaks my heart. Because the message it sends to the kids is that they are not as valuable any more as they grow! Every time a child hears “I wish my babies would stay little” they wonder if growing up and doing new things makes them less loved. If growing up fast makes mommy cry, they must have done a bad thing. Truth is, they can’t just STOP IT. Growing up and moving into new phases of life is exactly what they are supposed to do!
When we mourn the normal growth and development of our children, what message does that send? How could it impact their opinions of themselves?
For some reason, our society has no trouble telling new parents to “enjoy every moment!” but somehow as they grow it changes into a communal complaining about kids?
I’m not going to tell you to enjoy every single moment (because it’s totally unrealistic) but I would like to recommend a shift from mourning their growth into living in the moment with our kids. Sure, babyhood is great, we miss the little voices and the small hands in ours, but the enthusiasm and learning and accomplishments of later childhood are definitely to be celebrated! This becomes so vitally important as they enter the teen years. You don’t want your kids to think that you hate teenagers on principle, because that means you hate them and their friends!