Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Why I love 5 year olds...
I've been meaning to write something about how I love 5 year olds. How I love their wonderful, enthusiastic, childlike innocence and joy! And since Gemma just turned 6 I thought I should do something about it soon!
5 year olds are really a wonderful age. After life with three kids age 3 and under I've felt like I've been buried in toddlerhood for many moons. And it seems as though at 5 there is a glorious glimmer of light at the end of the forever long toddler tunnel!
The terrible twos aren't so much terrible as they are a lot of work - just watching them constantly, keeping them from danger, beginning to instill the basic concept of "No don't touch a hot tea kettle", all while seeming to always try to keep them from things they want to do yet have no capacity for yet!
Three I find much more difficult than two. Something happens at age three which brings out so much strong will within a kid. There becomes a new level of stubbornness that they feel they must exercise over any and all requests or new situations. There have been so many times when my kids have been three, especially the boys, where they've made me so mad by their sheer willful disobedience coupled with excruciating tantrums that I thought I didn't really want to live with my kids anymore. I guess three is just a tough time for littles...but it feels never-ending sometimes for the mom.
By four they begin to understand new things at a deeper level of recognition which is refreshing, they've got more individual likes and dislikes which bring about such new insights into their own unique personalities but they can still flip their lids in seconds and revert to full blown tantrums. But then flip the switch again and throw you into a loop with speedy learning and hilarious ways of expressing themselves. But it all feels very up and down at four.
But 5, oh 5 seems so glorious in comparison! They've suddenly developed the skills to do basic things themselves, and even take an interest and dare I say pride in doing things for themselves. The likes and dislikes develop even more into strange, funny, and likable traits. But what I love most about 5 is how the simple innocence of children is in command of their demenors. They approach new things with smiles and leaps of joy. They live completely in the moment, enjoying fully the tiny things that make life wonderous. The feeling of grass on barefeet, sunshine on a chilly morning, singing songs for the heck of it. Its a contagious joy that they bring everywhere. They're cheerful most of the time and like being friendly. Its such a beautiful golden age of young childhood. Just enjoying things for what they are. Not needing to know more than but simply whats just in front of them.
Their imaginations begin to soar. I love watching the pretend games or assigning characters to siblings with or without their will. Intricate little worlds or simply taking care of their "baby" while using words like "nursing" "swaddling" and "quiet time".
Gemma at five was fun, frivolous, feisty, affectionate, inquisitive and always enthusiastic. Her tantrums and difficulty in expressing herself seemed to vanish completely. The odd tantrum was seen of course but it was rarity even during times of crazy family upheaval and new sibling addition! She began to take more interest in getting along and organizing her little brothers and helping out mommy and daddy. All pluses in my book!
So even though I've so far just had one experience in the new era of a five year old, I'm still fairly amazed at how much fun it can be. Sometimes it feels as if toddlers can be only the opposite of fun...so I think for the sake of my mental health and making it through the long haul of 4 more kids yet to make it to the ripe old age of 5 that I should at least remind myself of a more pleasurable age in childhood development! Its also nice to appreciate the good at any age, because that's what we'll remember when they're grown up - I hope - and that's what keeps us going.
(I'm expanding on the idea of childhood stages according to age from this great book series. Although not the perfect parenting book, I think they're a must read and they've really helped me get a more reasonable grasp on childhood development and dealing with the different stages of toddlerhood.)