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Rising Father

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Do kids grow up too fast or do we?

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I often hear parents with older kids say some version of… “all children eventually stop wanting to do fun, cute, and “little kid” things like cuddling, being affectionate, reading stories before bed, wrestling, playing with toys…etc… and these kids will inevitably develop into boring middle schoolers who stare at phones all day and only talk about Minecraft”.

Could it be that we parents get tired of these activities ourselves? We force this change on our children because they have no other option?

I would argue that kids end up with too much responsibility, and we are often the ones who push them in this direction.

I’m starting to notice it in myself to be honest, and trying to catch it whenever I can. Sometimes I get tired of walking around on the floor like a bull, getting my knees bruised and scraped. I catch myself complaining when my now 70-pound son jumps up on my lap, or whining that he’s getting too heavy to throw up into the air when he asks me to. He asks me to read him a bedtime story every night, and it is me who sometimes says “let’s just do it tomorrow”

All of these things are on me. Even at his young age, he wants to relive his magical memories and it is me who is getting older and changing.

Kids don’t grow out of these activities naturally, and they often miss them the most when we try to push them away from an age-appropriate way of life. My own kids tell me they enjoy the times when we cuddle up on the couch with them, read stories before bedtime, or just wrestle around our living room.

It’s possible that we ourselves get bored by doing the same old activities with our children. Maybe we are tired of cuddling, reading stories, and wrestling on the floor.

It’s also possible that we parents force these changes on our children because they have no other option.

We can change this and make the most of every moment in a child’s life by doing those things now when we want to do them with our kids. This is where true happiness lies: in making memories with someone you love so much!

I think it’s important for us to keep in mind that childhood lasts only a short time, and then all too quickly becomes past tense. I don’t want my daughter or son to look back at their childhood years as days spent sitting around watching TV, playing video games, staring into screens while texting others (or mindlessly scrolling through social media feeds).

I am working to catch myself whenever it seems easier to “do that tomorrow” and be in the moment with them right now. The little requests might not always seem important to me, but if I think back to my childhood, those little moments were the most vivid and meaningful. Tomorrow will come and the day will come when my daughter won’t be asking me to push her on the swing, or my son won’t want me to throw him into the air.

Time to enjoy the moment.

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