Friday, April 20, 2012

Putting it in perspective

As I raise my kids, I've found that I have taken some of the age guidelines I grew up with and applied them in my family.  At some point the kids picked up on this, so they've tried to use this argument only to have it backfire.  Here's an example conversation:

Child:  "I want a cell phone."
Me:  "Too bad, I don't think you're old enough to be responsible with a cell phone."
Child:  "But I really, really want one.  All of my friends have one."
Me:  "That's too bad.  You're still not getting one."
Child:  "How old were you when you got your first cell phone?"
Me:  "Umm, probably 25 or 26."
Child:  <shocked, horrified look>
Me:  "Okay, you can get a cell phone when you're an adult and pay for it yourself."

Even though I know it has been brought up in stories, they don't always remember that I lived in the "old days" and grew up without a gaming system, cell phone, computer, etc.

On the other hand, sometimes my perspective as a parent is brought up short by realizations of what age I did certain things.

When I was a teenager, the law was such that you could get a driver's license for daytime driving at 14.  Right about the time I reached this milestone birthday, the law was changed to 16 for all driving.  Then a year or so later, the law was adjusted to a daylight-only license at 15 and full driving privileges at 16.  One day I was telling the kids a story about driving and mentioned that I could have gotten my license at 14.  They innocently asked if I meant 14 as in how old The Artist is.  That thought took me completely by surprise as I stopped to realize that yes, she is 14, the same age I could have started driving.  On the heels of that thought was the realization that I am in no way ready for my children to drive.  I think I'll just freeze them at 15 for the rest of their lives.

A couple weeks ago I had another perspective moment while talking with my husband.  My brother had flown into town to visit and I had taken him back to the airport earlier that day.  I was talking about how I hoped he'd be able to make his connecting flight and then catch the bus to get home without any mishaps.  I mentioned how the only way I had the courage to send The Artist on a plane by herself last summer was because it was a non-stop flight and I knew her aunt would meet her at the airport and then put her safely on the plane for her return flight.
 Hubby pointed out that my first flying experience had me flying solo and making several connections.  Somehow it all seemed so different when I was the one doing the flying and not the parent putting my daughter on a plane. I think I have a new appreciation for the panic my parents must have felt when I ended up stranded at the airport overnight.

1 comment:

Sunny Vanilla said...

Yes, I can totally empathize with you. I used to fly to KY for the summer by myself and I was only in the second and third grade. Crazy! I don't think I could let my daughter do that, but then again, I also don't want to be a "helicopter" mom you hear so much about these days. I guess you just have to treat every situation differently.

Take care,
Jen