The first year that both kids were off to school we started a little tradition. Jeremy and I dropped them off for a day of learning and then skipped off to a brunch date. We absolutely love brunch, so it seemed fitting to celebrate this newfound freedom with one of our favorite things.
This year was a little different. It was our last first day of school. With a tinge of sadness, we decided to book end our tradition (over pancakes and eggs, of course) talking about all the fabulous memories and the things we’ve learned (so far) being parents to these two awesome human beings. In the moment, we each named one thing that we’ve learned.
Jen… “Love, respect, and value your kids. Listen to them. Learn from them. Have discussions with them. Elicit their opinions.”
Starting this when they’re young creates a great precedent for when they’re older. And if there’s one thing that teenagers want it’s that they want to be respected and valued. They don’t want to be treated like little kids anymore. Also, I find it fascinating (and a little scary sometimes) to hear what goes on in the mind of a teenager.
Jeremy… “Recognize the seasons.”
Parenting a five year old needs to look different than parenting a fifteen year old. That might sound like common sense, but’s it’s not easy to make those transitions in the midst of life. And just so you know, seventeen year olds don’t like to be talked to like they’re six.
I found it interesting how the one lesson we each named that day went hand-in-hand. Of course, there’s many more things we’ve learned, and if you asked us today what the one thing we’ve learned is, we might name something else. There’s so many things to learn when it comes to parenting!