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Old 09-16-2008, 03:08 PM   #1
Heather Micaela
Rose Garden
 
Bar/Bat Mitzvah picture with husband Michael.
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Within sight and earshot of the Disneyland fireworks
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Default A radical idea - viewing kids as babies till 5

I don't know if I have stated this outright before, but after learning that the Biblical Hebrew concept of an infant is up till age 5 I have made a conscious effort to expect less of my children and avoid "you ought to know better". While I would never tell my children they are babies and I encourage their growing up, it is amazing how much more smoothly life runs when I realize just how young even a 4 year old is.

I find it fascinating that National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) calls children "Young children" till they reach 8 and essentially asserts that we should treat 5-6-7 year olds as we do preschoolers. The funny thing is that at 8, I declared myself a big kid without knowing that someone else already defined that age as a cut off.

So going a step further I see that acknowledging them at 4 as really still being babyish helps me show much more grace and reminds me to not have them grow up as fast. And for some reason at 5 they almost instantly gain the maturity of a "young child."

(That is why I had the chorus of "Let Them Be Little" in my siggy for a long time.)

Anyway I wanted to share some reasons I found viewing them as babies (but not treating them like babies) to be helpful:

* I do not get angry at potty accidents
* I expect that there will be messes and food dropped
* I realize that they need help with anything that requires responsibility (like cleaning up)
* I don't get as frustrated with tears and tantrums
* I allow them to be clingy when they need to be
* I don't feel the need to push them to their own bed if they are not ready
* I remember that they cannot do a lot of things and I cant get frustrated for them needing assistance
* I don't criticise them for being selfish - they will grow out of it
* I don't worry about their lack of independence
* I don't care if they don't want to engage in activities without a parent there


I could go on.

And while maturity is gradual I think there is also some validity of not expecting real maturity to emerge till 13. This is another milestone age I have seen (in others' kids ) as being significant.

(Edit: My oldest will be thirteen soon and I am seeing that difference emerge.)
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Heather

ESFJ T4 Messianic
Joshua-13
Christina- 11
Amalia Linda-8.5
Trinity-7
Gabriel-5
w/ADHD, ASD & Dyslexia
Taylor Jordan11/15/04 SkyeDakota10/12/05
Life is a pile of good things & bad things The good things don't always soften the bad things but the bad things don't necessarily spoil the good things

Last edited by Heather Micaela; 05-08-2014 at 12:04 AM. Reason: update sort of
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