The crazy thing about kids is that they grow up. And sometimes it feels like their little lives just whizz on by. Of course those days are offset by the long, terrible stretches of sleepless nights, nursing strikes, picking eating marathons and never-ending cries of “Mommy!!!”
Related: It’s Okay Not To Love The Baby Stage
I am now at the stage where both my girls are comfortably in school. They are old enough to do most things on their own, and we can have real conversations. I LOVE this stage. I posted previously about how I feel like I know very little about raising daughters, despite being a daughter myself. Pop over and read that post to hear my struggles from then: Raising Girls – There’s So Much I Don’t Know!
Of course raising girls through the primary school years has it’s own set of challenges:
- Being at school means they are developing habits and routines I don’t necessarily know anything about. Yes, teachers are there to chat with, but I never see them. The girls take the bus to school in the morning, and then go to after school care at the end of the day. That means I rarely interact with any teachers to know what goes on during the day. And frankly that’s how it should be. My girls need independence from me (and their dad) to help them blossom and flourish into well-rounded people.
- Giving them freedom like I had as a young child is not as easy today. So many people feel that kids alone means immediate, and imminent, danger. I don’t subscribe to that philosophy, but I have to be careful – Children’s Aid has been called on people for simply allowing their young children to do the same things today that they did as a child. I REALLY don’t want to be labelled an “unsafe parent.”
- School lunches – they were the bane of my existence for a long time. Now we’re on fairly settled ground, but my girls don’t eat as well as I’d like them to at school.
- Bullying. The threat is real, and not being with them means I only ever get one side of the story. While I worry about them getting bullied, I also worry about them being bullies. I’m pretty sure neither is happening with my girls, but the day may come…
- Academics – learning seems to be different now. Emma brings home math that I don’t understand. Plus my added challenge is my girls are in French Immersion, so I get a little lost with the language! But I still try to support and help them as much as I can (without doing the homework for them, of course!)
Related: Is It Harder Now To Keep Kids Safe?
In my previous Raising Girls post I talked about a few things that were a struggle for me. The number one thing being HAIR. I’m happy to report that our hair brushing (and washing) struggles have settled down. We still only wash hair about once a week (for hair health, but also for lice deterrent!) but we can get hair brushed once or twice a day. And for both girls. Emma has learned to do her own hair, brushing and ponytails, so that is a HUGE help in the mornings.
The other amazing change is bedtimes. Where we used to struggle so much as babies and toddlers, things have really settled down. Sure sometimes the girls fight the idea of going to bed, but it’s never so bad that we have to throw around real discipline. And now they “read” to themselves before going to sleep. I still read bedtime stories most nights (unless extra tv was bargained in place of a story from Mom) but it’s usually fairly short and they’re now happy for me to leave them with a goodnight kiss and a book to look at. If you asked me 2 years ago I would NEVER have guessed that this was coming so soon for me!
Related: Bedtime Routines In Our House
Do you have kids in the primary school years? Are they easier to deal with now – or harder? I know the homework business can get quite annoying, but I still am loving this stage of my daughters’ childhoods. I know full well we are quickly heading into the tween and teen years – which bring their own joys and struggles. Leave me some words of wisdom if you’re already there – or share with me what’s happening at whichever stage your children are in. I love connecting with my readers – the more you share, the better I can tailor my posts for you!
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