Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What Age?

On Owen's birthday, I wrote about how I don't believe in "The Terrible Twos." I think one of the hardest ages is the age I'm gearing up for now-- the newborn stage! I think lack of sleep is difficult and the inability to get up when I need to even more difficult! I'm one of those people who can't relax when the house is a mess so when Baby is nursing round the clock (and I have to sit and just look at all the clutter because it doesn't bother anyone else enough to straighten it), I get really stressed!

By around six months, things get easier. Baby is nursing only every couple of hours and is able to sit up for short periods of time while I cook or take care of the others. Twelve months is even better because Baby is learning to talk and walk and is generally a lot of fun!

I think the very hardest age of all is the period between 18-24 months. Around this time, Baby/Toddler realizes that he has a mind of his own and can challenge what Mama says. This is such an intense time of discipline and training! It is important to me to lay the foundation right away, though, because it is so much easier than going back and correcting mistakes later.

So, then we get to the twos and the threes and fours and so on. These years bring such joy! Obviously, childhood behaviors still need to be monitored and watched and corrected, but since the solid foundation is laid, it is more maintenance than anything! I have one child who likes to burst into tears when he/she doesn't get his/her way. I have another one who has a hard time listening and remembering directions. These behaviors are quickly (though not always easily)dealt with because they already understand what is expected.

For this reason, I don't worry about the "rebellious teenage years" either. It's not naiveté, but a belief that if a child has been trained in the way they should go, they will not depart from it...despite peer pressure...despite their own will... despite anything.

What age do you find most difficult of challenging?

For the discussion on "What "number" child was the hardest transition (0 to 1, 1 to 2, etc.)?", click here.

7 comments:

  1. I know what you mean about clutter and mess and not being able to relax! Ahhh! Drives me batty! Just sitting and not being able to get things done! Ahhhh! But yes, it does get easier.... Grayson is almost 9 mos and I can usually clean around the boys and get Chandler to help. I think from one to two children is the hardest, but I have only ever had two! It could be that I was home and never adjusted to one before!!!

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  2. I am in total agreement about 18-24 months being the "hardest" age. I have a 17 month old and it is very much training mode. She has realized freedom, she has also just learned to walk (FINALLY:)) I am also in process of weaning her, sooooo, I think it is a hard time for her, too. I look at the older children and they are so well behaved that it is always an encouragement to keep on keepin' on!!!

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  3. Well, thank goodness I am hearing this all early so that we can find our consistency and really have a solid foundation.

    Yeah Bible! lol

    Many blessings-
    Amanda

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  4. I really wouldn't know yet, since Suzi is my first. However, I feel I am at the hardest part (yet) right now. She is 15 months. Maybe it has just been a rough couple of weeks, because she has been going through horrible teething and is so picky about what she eats. I think that's the worst part; it hurts my feelings when she won't eat what I cook for her, and on top of that I worry she is going to starve. I am still breastfeeding, and it's the only thing preserving my sanity! When teethers, teething tabs and snacks all fail, I can usually still soothe her with a nursing session.

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  5. I'd have to say the 15-month to 21-month (give or take a few months, depending on the temperament of the individual child) is the age I found to be the most difficult. That's the age when I'm not totally sure when they're being defiant or just not understanding the rules, so I find it harder to make the call on what is appropriate discipline.

    The second most difficult stage (for me) is the day when they walk out of your house as an adult...and you know that their primary relationship is no longer with you, the mommy, but with their spouse. That is most certainly how it is *meant* to be, but that doesn't make it easy for Mom to let go!

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  6. I didn't mean for that last comment to sound whiny! I just mean that it is a definite turn in the path when a child becomes an adult. The "plus" is that you gain a new son- or daughter-in-law, and often some precious grandbabies to love. And your adult son or daughter can become a good friend!

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