Thursday, January 23, 2020

Just Because Kids Get Older Doesn't Mean You Stop Telling Them The Same Damn Things

I giggled at the email I had received. It was from the middle school Language Arts teacher, who informed parents that hoodies were a problem. The kids can't stop playing with them during classtime and they will begin getting them taken away. It wasn't so much what the teacher had said that made me giggle, but rather the image that ran through my head. I was picturing a room full of pre-teens and young teenagers flipping their hoods up and down during classtime. I giggled because it seems like the same damn thing I would have to tell a four year old.

Then I really started thinking hard about it and I realized, I still have to tell older kids things I thought they would realize on their own. Like, shut the bathroom door, don't flip your hair in someone's face, you're stepping/sitting on someone, say excuse me rather than trample your way through. It's a known fact that toddlers and preschoolers are developing spatial awareness. Apparently this rings true for 90% of kids older than 7 that I 've met. 

Before I was a parent to a middle schooler, I would have guessed I wouldn't be worrying if hoodies would cause problems, that necklaces and bracelets would still be pulled on, rings wouldn't be lost and/or swallowed (apparently 12 year olds have done this, according to a social studies teacher who has banned jewelry in the classroom). When I heard about the twelve year old who swalled her ring, I was reminded of when my oldest was ten and accidently swallowed a Lego because he bit on it to get it apart. I was shocked then and I'm still shocked now.

Kids make it their mission to keep parents on their toes. Apparently their entire lives. I spend many moments these days wondering what the hell is wrong with my eleven year old. Is he supposed to be this way? Is this really how middle schoolers are? Am I doing something wrong? After a particularly rough day with him this week, receiving that email was the best thing. Not only did it make me laugh, it reassured me that I was not alone. Everyone's kids are doing stupid things. Not just mine.

For now I'm assured that I'm not the only parent telling my older kids the same damn things I had to tell them when they were toddlers. It doesn't fill me with hope, but it does make me feel less alone. And I ask again, why isn't this shit in the parenting books??!!? 

** I do want to note, because my posts lately concerning my middler schooler has been about the stupidity that seems to hit this age group. Yes, there's a lot of stupidity, a lot of learning going on, but also a lot of growth. It's pretty cool to see everything we've taught him and everything he's learned come out in his personality. Sometimes that's just overshadowed by swallowing Lego's, forgetting phones, and shoving past people instead of waiting their turn.