A little while ago I wrote a post Premature Empty Nest Syndrome about feeling a little un-needed now that my boys are growing up. However, this week I have been thinking and there are actually a lot of advantages of older children.
The complete lack of them needing any type of toilet help is a blessing, that you can only appreciate after years of nappy changes and potty training mishaps. Who knew that someone could make you so happy, just by being able to wipe their own bum?!
I better point out here that at 10 and almost 12 they have been doing this for years – just in case they give me stick ;)
The boys now have a brilliant cheeky sense of humour, and they get understand a lot of more adult jokes. I actually love this, as they really crack me up and love to wind me up if I say something vaguely rude by accident…. they are basically becoming more and more like Si, minus the worst of his jokes.
Although we do need to take a few bits and pieces for Type 1 Diabetes care obviously, this is nowhere near what we used to have to carry. We only need to pack spare clothes if we’re off to the beach or off to the water rides at Camel Creek. If they fancy a drink or something to eat whilst we’re out, we can often just buy it.
Both of my boys are tall enough not to need booster seats or any type of car seat any more. Gone are the days of fiddling with car seat straps and trying to squish people in between the car seats in the teeny gap. They do their own seat belts up…. if you have ever had a two door car as a parent, then you will know what a difference that can make to your day.
You can make them tidy their own room… admittedly they WILL try to hide everything under the bed, behind the book shelf and anywhere that takes almost as much effort as actually tidying their room, but you can ask them in the vain hope they will do it. They can also do more chores around the house, especially if there is a new XBOX game that has been released that they really have to have.
A new game can buy me several hours of their labour…. okay several minutes interspersed with a certain amount of moaning and pretending to reorganise their toys, but it’s better than nothing.
When they stop believing in certain mystical beings (of the bearded festive variety….) you get the credit at last for the hours you spend choosing gifts and getting everything ready. I know some people are upset when this ‘milestone’ is reached, but I was all about the glory and claiming the thank yous for the years gone by ;)
A bizarre one to put I know, as this is the cause of a certain kind of hell for a lot of parents. However, when you have tweens who have just started on the hormonal path who have outbursts and come out with some ridiculously dramatic things….. in all honesty I find it hilarious.
I’m not sure it improves their moods at the time, but it seriously does tickle me, just the drama of it all. It makes me a little nostalgic for my own teens, when everything felt like either the end of the world or the most amazing thing ever. Stressful at times, but mostly just hilarious.
Not only can you always know where they are by ringing or texting them – if they bother to answer…. – but you need never shout upstairs to them again. They can pretend not to hear me shout, but I know one or other of them will be glued to their phone, so there is NO excuse for not responding. I love getting one over on them….
I Love You’s
When you get an ‘I Love You’ from an older child, you know they really do mean it.It isn’t just automatically said, because you taught them how to say the words, they mean them and they know exactly what they mean. Unless they’re after something in particular, then you can doubt their intentions of course.