We focus a lot on developmental milestones for our babies and toddlers. During childhood and adolescence, children continue growing physically, emotionally, mentally, and socially. Our roles as parents expand and change too. Growing as parents to fit the development of our children on into adulthood should be intentional.
Growing as parents changes our roles, but not our title. Balance is key; the intensity of your love will never dwindle, but the way it shows itself will evolve. Consider these examples:
Listen more, talk less.
We babble to our babies and teach them words by using them. But as our babies turn into pre-teens – by way of every stage in between – listening takes precedence.
Be a sounding board for your student as he makes decisions. As he sorts out new options, challenges, risks, and opportunities, your listening ear will benefit him more than rules or even your assistance. Trust that he can find the right answers on his own, and then be his first congratulator when he does.
Temper your worry with confidence.
As children gain independence, it’s natural to worry. From a parent’s standpoint, a child just growing up is rife with risk. Peers gain more influence. The world is volatile, from international politics to hurricane season. And if crime doesn’t keep you house-ridden, a pandemic will.
But we can keep the worry in check by understanding that this is your child’s journey, and even the bumps in the road and the detours can be a good thing. Hardship betters character. These formative years will set a foundation for habits, interests, relationships, and values that your student will continue to build upon for the rest of his life.
But he’ll always be your baby.
A quote attributed to an anonymous author says, “There are two gifts we can give our children. One is roots, the other wings.” Your student’s process of growing up relies on both. Watch as he gains new experiences and makes mistakes, but stay close and aware. Know his friends, talk to his teachers, offer support where needed, and cheer loudly from the sidelines.
Growing as parents requires intention, flexibility, and finding peace when reality falls short of expectations. If you would like to partner with a school that understands the complexity and beauty of raising kids, contact us at (480) 641-2640 or (602) 274-1910 to get more information about our K-8 nationally awarded charter school of excellence with an advanced learning curriculum. In addition to online learning, we have campuses in Phoenix, Glendale, East Mesa, and Mesa.