Monday, March 28, 2011

Mamas letting their babies grow up...

Monday, March 28, 2011
This is a picture of my two oldest 4 years ago. Man, I can hardly believe how quickly they get big. Last night we encountered one of those "growing pain" moments when kids try to grow up faster than their parents are ready for them to. My oldest is amazing. I've already told you about the challenges she posed for us early on in her life, but now she's a gem. She brings home straight A's, gets good behavior reports from everywhere she goes (school, church, library), she's a great friend and a loving daughter. So, why is it so hard for me to let her grow up? She wants to learn how to bake and sew. She is working hard at showing us how responsible she is. And yet, to me she's still my little girl. So today's mom-day post isn't from me, it's for me. How do you start letting go? How do you give them room to learn to make decisions, to suffer consequences so they can grow, to reward them for their growth and learning? She hates being the oldest. She says it comes with few/no rewards. I'd like to change that for her. I don't want to let her stay up much later because, like her mother, she requires her sleep to function. I'd love to hear ideas on how you reward your children with privileges as they gain the capacity to do more. Also, with a younger brother only 2 years behind her, how do I differentiate between the two, since they often get lumped into the same category by default? I know there are many out there who have been down this path already, or been through it as a child with ideas on what to do/ what not to do, or those who have siblings learning these things. Any suggestions, ideas or solutions would be greatly appreciated. I know as a family we are starting to turn a corner, and as much as it frightens me to let my children start venturing out into their own space, it terrifies me that I will handicap them forever if I don't start giving them the opportunities and strength they will need to be strong capable adults. Help a girl out? (and her mother too. ;) )

6 comments:

Crafty Girls said...

Oh Amy, I wish there was an answer to this dilema! My oldest is on his mission, and I am torn with emotion of letting him go. I have always been a very protective mother, hence, my 18 year old daughter does not have her license yet! Then, my younget boys, 10, 9 and 8 I haven't even let play out front for fear of the white van with no windows showing up! I want to protect them, and my problem is that I protect them by doing for them. Totally wrong! For your daughter, maybe make her feel more like an individual and seperate her and her brother more. If your son goes to bed at 8:00, let your daughter stay up until 8:30 - that sort of thing. I also truly think that the answer is, close your eyes, say a prayer and have faith.

On a totally different note...what is the Point of View thingy your doing? Can I do it too? I LOVE the skirt you made!

Have a great day and know that you are an awesome mom and your daughter was taught well!

Irene

Karen said...

Sometimes, I just have to take a deep breath and let go. (and you know that doesn't really happen very often... :))

As far as some of the things she wants to try... what's the worst that can happen? she burns herself? the food is horrible? This pep talk is for me as much as you. I HATE turning things over and losing that control. But the fact of the matter is, I think I've handicapped my kids in lots of ways by keeping too much control in areas that I need to just let them try and let them fail or succeed! I think this issue is one of the most difficult ones to deal with in the mommyhood spectrum.

It all comes down to a matter of discernment. We must discern whether we are feeling true feelings of warning, or just that discomfort of being pushed beyond our comfort zone. And the only way to truly discern, is to be close to the Spirit - which you are.

Love you doll!

A.Vang said...

Hi there! I have almost your exact situation only jump ahead a few years. My oldest a girl 13 and her younger brother 11 both amazing kids! However my daughter is so shy and my oldest son super outgoing. It is so hard to seperate them and find the age appropriate time for "growing up". I try to make sure I set aside plenty of time just for them to talk and just get to know each other all over again every single day. They change so much! I just try to take it day by day and pay attention to them so they can help me decide what they are ready for. It is so hard especially when we also have a 9,7,5,3 and one year old they all need time for themselves. Have faith! You are obviously an excellent mother!

Rachel said...

I'm a newish reader so I don't know exactly how old your daughter is, but I'm guessing about 9. That would be the perfect time to begin teaching her to sew & cook. Maybe you don't want to let her lose with a knife yet, but she can definitely help with reading a recipe, measuring, even mixing. She could help write the grocery list & find items at the store too. If you are nervous about her using a sewing machine maybe she could do some counted cross stitch or embroidery.

Gwen @ Gwenny Penny said...

You know mine are too young to have any advice for you on this one, but I will say don't be too hard on yourself. Growing up is a process of both of you letting go a little at a time. She's still young. You raised her well. Baby steps:)

As far as differentiating between her and your son, I always liked the idea of milestones matched up with age or what grade I was in. When you get to this age, you get to do this or that. Hold each of your kids to that. For example, I had to be 8 to get my ears pierced, so my sister had to wait until she was 8, etc. Just an idea.

Karla said...

wow...your request is like a challenge to all of us..."how do (or did) we do it?" My kids are 31 & 33 now, the younger (boy) being more academically gifted, the older being more social. And I'm still not sure how I did it, but I think giving the kids responsibilities and getting out of their way helps. I work one evening a week, and the kids were responsible (within parameters) for making the evening meal for the family. And cleaning up. They worked it out between them. And they are great adults. p.s. It wasn't always a smooth path though.

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