Ex­pect change in your child


THERE is noth­ing per­ma­nent ex­cept change.

Some­one much older and wiser than yours truly ut­tered those words (for those play­ing at home it was the Greek philoso­pher Her­a­cli­tus), and as much as the con­cept ap­plies to every­day life, it ap­plies equally to par­ent­ing.

New par­ents are told ‘it gets eas­ier’.

To this I say quite loudly, codswal­lop.

No, my friends, par­ent­ing doesn’t get eas­ier, the chal­lenges just change.

You change.

Your child changes.

You learn to cope, deal and adapt with the chal­lenges (in the early years it’s is­sues like sleep de­pri­va­tion and teething) only to be faced with dif­fer­ent chal­lenges as they get older.

For ex­am­ple, Book Week Pa­rade cos­tumes. Hon­estly, there was no men­tion of Book Week Pa­rade cos­tumes when I signed up for this par­ent­ing gig!

It’s al­most feels like as soon as you feel you’re all over this par­ent­ing gig, a change oc­curs, and that’s part of the beauty and joy of it, isn’t it?

Even if you’ve raised one child, you can bet your bot­tom dol­lar that your next child (if or when you choose to have one) will present you with a dif­fer­ent set of chal­lenges.

It’s all kind of same, same but dif­fer­ent. You have some idea of what to ex­pect but, oh Nelly, you know that it won’t be the same!

So where does this leave us?

Well, just as the sea­sons change from the ex­tremes of a stink­ing hot sum­mer to the freez­ing cold of win­ter we also have the in-be­tween sea­sons of au­tumn and the re­gen­er­at­ing hope­ful­ness of spring.

So, as spring has now be­gun, let’s en­joy it.

Let’s en­joy our par­ent­ing.

Go to the park for pic­nics, stay out­doors longer in the af­ter­noon and en­joy the in­creas­ing warmth of the days.

En­joy your kids, be­cause even though they have changed, re­mem­ber that we as par­ents have changed as well.

We’ve learnt new skills (note that hav­ing a sauvi­gnon blanc in­stead of a pinot noir at night to deal with your chang­ing child is not gen­er­ally con­sid­ered a new skill), our kids have grown (into, one can hope, bet­ter peo­ple), our friends have changed and evolved and so have our part­ners.

For even though we’ve had spring be­fore, this one will not be the same as the oth­ers.

Grab onto the feel­ing of re­newal that in­evitably comes from the start of this sea­son.

I fin­ish off with old mate Her­a­cli­tus again: “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man”. Your kids change.

You change.

But don’t fear the change. Em­brace it and en­joy it.

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