Being a parent is tough. Everyone knows that.
It’s also one giant game of watch mommy contradict herself.
“Don’t yell, use your inside voice”…..
Oh you just colored on mommy’s white couch?! Inside voice not so much.
“Don’t hit your sister”…..
If you do that one more time, mommy is going to get the spanking spoon.
” You should know better, you are THIRTEEN YEARS OLD”…..
Focus on being a kid. You are ONLY thirteen years old.
Sounds familiar doesn’t it?
As I mom, I struggle with lots of things but quite possibly the hardest of them all is knowing the difference of when to prepare my kids, and when to let them be little.
The other day my husband and I were chatting in our room, folding laundry when our twins came running in hysterically crying because they were going to die. We were both caught off guard and were like why are you even saying that? Well they were quick to confess that their sister had just told them they were going to DIE. She comes in very fact of the matter, “everyone dies, I was just teaching them how everyone dies” and of course that was followed by more sobs and, “Are you doing to die”? “Is Uncle Matt going to die”?” Are WE going to die”? It took a good bit of consoling (and some possible ice cream bribes) to get them to settle down so that we could then talk to Megan about what was age appropriate, and while yes, she is correct that everyone does die, that it wasn’t something her 4 year old brothers could wrap their little brains around and that we didn’t need talk about such grown up things with them, and we need to just let them be little.
It then got me thinking though just how many times I myself am guilty of not letting my kids be little. My oldest recently wanted to talk about HumanTrafficking because she had heard it on the news and kids at school talking about it, and while I tried my best to give her facts and tips on safety and not be scary, I know it was still a lot for her 13 year old mind. I can just go ahead and add that to the list of why my kids will need therapy.
We were discussing this past weekend in our Bible Study class about this very topic and someone compared it to giving your child a 100 lb suitcase to carry. You wouldn’t hand that to your 5 year old and ask them to carry it around. And likewise there some things that are just too heavy for our kids to carry. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves to Let Them Be Little.
There is going to be plenty of time for the grown up stuff. The tough talks. The life lessons.
I think it’s important to remind ourselves, that yes, we are all trying to raise good humans and prepare them for all the facts of life, but that sometimes we need to protect their little hearts and let them be little and carry that extra heavy baggage just a little bit longer.