Act your age

I had a conversation with my good friend this week.  She said she felt like she was being too hard on her oldest child who is 4 years old.  She said she put a post-it on her mirror saying, “He’s 4!” to remind herself to let him act his age.

This really got me thinking.  As a mom of young children, my main goal is to teach my children to obey and learn responsibility.  But there is a fine line between teaching them to be responsible and expecting them to just automatically be responsible.  Only, I am not sure exactly where the  line is here.  The teaching part is a process.  Sometimes I want to skip the process and go straight to the result.  Maybe the solution is something like: believe the best, expect the worst.

I know you know not to walk through the house with muddy shoes, but I also know you are only 5 and may have more important things on your mind.

I know you know not to leave your trash in the back of our car, but I also know you forget sometimes (I do too).

I know you know our morning routine, but I also know you are only 7 and we all have a dragging morning every once in a while.

I know you know how to come in this house (hang your jacket up, put your shoes away, get your lunch box out), but I also know you are only 5 and you are easily distracted.

I know you know not to throw the pillows off the couch and act like it is a trampoline, but I also know you have more energy than you know what to do with.

Sorry to run my point into the ground, it is just a real source of contention around our house.  The thing is, if I believe the best and expect the worst, I will find myself with more patience for them.  If I anticipate that I will need to remind them to hang up their towel every single night, it is just part of the job.  If I don’t remember this, I start to feel like a failure.

I think I need a post-it on my mirror too.  After all, you are only 2, 5 and 7 once.