I admit it, I often wished my kids' babyhood away. My sisters both have babies/toddlers and I am watching them with stark, raving, envy. I thought that once the constant physical labor of having babies/toddlers/preschoolers was over that life would be so much easier and less stressful. It is maniacally stressful to have a baby. You can never tell for sure whether something is wrong or they're just having another freakin' growth spurt. But as just this evening illustrates, the parenting stress just morphs into something new and equally as frightening as your children get older.
This year I sent my oldest off to third grade, my girly off to second grade, and my baby boy off to half-day Kindergarten.
Next up is Ryann who is doing very well at school and is complaining that her work is too easy. During a recent parent-teacher conference, we were assured that Ryann is in the correct work groups for her skill level. How do you navigate that?
Finally, Max had a bit of a rough day today. He forgot his jacket at school, couldn't find his math flash cards, or his spelling words, and forgot his lunch at home this morning. Forgetting has become the norm for him and it is immensely frustrating for both him and us. I try to use natural consequences when possible so if he's forgotten his homework, I don't sign off on it and Max has to deal with his teacher. He was freezing without his coat today and I asked him to use his discomfort as a teaching tool and maybe he'd be more inclined to remember his jacket in the future. But I don't want my third grader to get "bad grades" because of forgetfulness and I don't want him to be cold but I feel like it's the right time to stop doing everything for him. How does a parent know it's the right time to loosen the apron strings a little? How do we do it effectively and retain our sanity at the same time?
Anyone out there with the right answers, feel free to chime in!