All to often I get asked, "how old is your son?" I reply with his age and I get one of several responses..."such a fun age", "good luck with that age or stage", "oh the things you have coming ahead of you with that age". My thought to it all? Every stage and every age has it awesomeness and struggles.
My son hit toddler age and people warned me about the tantrums, struggles, them saying no. All the struggles and not so good side of it all. What I have found is that my little toddler has an ever blossoming personality. He is so affectionate, loves to help, and has a lot to say. Sure, there are some struggles, but the fun and awesomeness far out weigh those struggles.
It's all about perspective. If we constantly focus on the negatives of an age, then we miss out on so much of the other stuff going on. Likewise, if focus on the negative, then our moods tank and we complain all the time, and we end up bitter about the situation. Most of the time, the struggle is just a phase. While in the midst of it, it seems like it is going on forever. But before we know it we will look back and see that it passed rather quickly, and we all survived.
Why not focus on the positive as much as we can? That way when the struggles or the negatives come around we can easily take them in stride. Sure, we may turn to other moms to open up and that is okay. Sometimes we just need the reassurance that everything will be okay and we aren't a terrible parent. Its not always easy to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And talking with someone who has maneuvered through the tunnel fairly unscathed helps us get a glimpse of that light.
I have heard ages phrased like this: terrible twos, troublesome threes, frustrating fours, and so on. What if we thought of the ages a little different. What if we thought of it more like this: tremendous twos, terrific threes, fabulous fours, fantastic fives, and so. Interestingly enough, I can come up with those phrases a lot easier than the others ones.
I have known adults who set up a motto or mantra for the day, week, month, or year. I have done yearly ones. Well, imagine how the year could look if we did that for or with our children (depending on how old they are). My son will turn 2 next year. My thought is to put a sign up somewhere that says TREMENDOUS TWOS. Sometimes we need a reminder, especially on those tougher days. Then we can focus our attitudes and efforts on all the tremendous things going on.
What fabulous age is your child or are your children?