I’ve heard it described that raising kids at different ages is sort of like different formats of tests, if you will.
The baby/toddler years is like a true/false exam. It’s obvious, your job as a parent is to love them, protect them, feed them, etc.
As they get older, during elementary school years, parenthood moves from true/false to multiple choice. Which schools are best, how to juggle after school activities, how to manage online vs offline etc.
The teenage stage is more like an essay test.
The answers are not in front of you. In fact, there may not be a right answer at all.
We have three children. The oldest one has entered the essay test stage. She is dealing with them as an adolescent and we have them as parents. Sometimes the three of us work together, sometimes we freestyle. Each moment seems to reveal new choices, new opportunities, new challenges, new risks, new experiences. Some feel familiar and many are completely new ….even though I was a teenager once before.
I’m excited for her and this new stage of life. It’s truly wonderful. In many ways I am looking forward to it. But the old days were pretty damn great as well. And definitely much simpler.