Even though my kid is only ___ years old, they can ____.
My kid is already ___ years old, but they can’t do ____.
All of these point toward an alarming trend. Childhood transitions have become the ultimate field for competition.
I am going to go out on a limb here and say that sometimes, this has more to do with us as moms than it does with our children. We can preach all we want about how unique and special each of our children are until we want them to ____ by a certain age.
After four kids, I’ve noticed that there is no schedule as to when kids will make it through certain transitions. Our society forces some of them on them but we can withdraw the push if we choose. For those kids who seem like they’re in a hurry to grow up, we can give them some extra room to breathe. For those who “are behind”, we have to ask ourselves where the pressure is coming from — society? Us?
I have two kids that have graduated from high school that are now in college. Their experiences in high school couldn’t have been more different and so have their first years of college. The two that are still at home are receiving some of the wisdom that was learned watching the oldest two go away to school.
That’s the nature of learning as a parent. We pass down what we have learned from one kid to the other and hope that it helps make childhood transitions easier. However, it’s just a theory because remember — they’re all unique and special!!!
I love what the Apostle Paul says about competition. He states in Romans 12, “Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor” (9-11). The only place that we should be trying to outdo one another is in how we love our neighbor — and even then, Christ tells us to keep your left hand from knowing what your right hand is doing! (Matthew 6:3).
This is not what the world teaches us. It tells moms that we should pit our children’s accomplishments against others’, to exclaim from the mountain tops the sacrifice we have given to help them succeed. I want to challenge that notion today by holding fast to what God tells us in His Word. He won’t steer us toward discontentment, only toward peace.
So, moms let’s put down the stopwatches and the charts. Let’s teach our kids to value the self-discovery process of each transition. Show them the love and care they need to get through them on their own time.
After all, to compete means there is a winner and a loser. Let’s win, instead, the race of love, losing pride, gaining holiness in the process.
Do you want to read more about how to embrace your unique mothering style? Read about how God created you just for your children in our book Mothering From Scratch: Finding The Best Parenting Style For You And Your Family.