One of my children often asks me, “Mom, what was your favorite age for us?” And I always say the same thing: “I’ve loved every age you’ve ever been, and right now is the best!” In truth, the age of nine wasn’t my favorite with either one, but there were enjoyable elements even then.
It’s easy, especially when your kids are in the “terrible twos” or that smart-aleck almost-tween age, to wish that “phase” completed. We set our sights longingly on some future day when “things will be better.” But the truth is more balanced and more practical. Every age of every child has good and bad elements.
If we’re going to do the Intentional Parenting thing and be obedient to verses like these below, we need some kind of game plan.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. -Ephesians 4:29
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today.” -Hebrews 3:13a
Turns out, it’s relatively simple: embrace what’s happening right now.
So don’t get caught up waiting for the kids to be potty-trained or start Kindergarten or have a driver’s license so you can stop chauffeuring them everywhere. Instead, embrace the now: Actively search for things to enjoy at the age your children are right now. Focus on that. Focus on making memories and laughing and affirming your love for them. This kind of focus will carry both you and your children through the…lets call them “rough patches” (like 9-years-old was for me).
While you’re enjoying what you have right now, watch for how God is working in and through your children—working for their spiritual growth and for yours!
Interactive idea: Look through some old pictures with your children. Tell them a funny story about themselves or just talk about what you loved about them when they were that age…and that age…and that age. If your children are grown (or close to it), consider making a scrapbook—manually or digitally—with a picture of them from each year. Use candid photos you took rather than staged school or portrait studio photos. Include a hand-written note with a special memory from that time—the kind of memories that can’t be caught in a photo. It doesn’t need to be something important, just something treasured.
That’s all I have to say today. Not because I don’t have time to write more but because you’ll need to supply your own examples here. Take the extra minutes you would have spent reading this post (because it’s usually longer!) and recall something you loved about your child when they were two or three years old.
Have something you really loved about your child at a certain age? Please share it in the comments below. Your words could encourage another parent who’s facing that time right now!