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Closing out the Critical Shaping Years

In an earlier post (Does Age Matter ... Yes on July 10th) I detailed how I distinguished the different focus areas per age. As this concludes my critical shaping year centric posts, I wanted to close this out with the "add-ons" I mentioned but did not include in that post.

To save you a "click", I provided the 0-12 areas that I posted earlier:

0-4 years old: Nurturing, singing, talking, counting, help walking, keep from crying (feed, change) and poddy training. Endure "terrible twos," pre-school preparation for daycare, read stories at night, overly protective, initial consequence of misbehaving (discipline).

5-12 years old: Prepare for "next level" (elementary, middle school), teach self-esteem, help self-identify, ingrain their importance, expose/teach about money, introduce sports/activities, demand discipline, define standards of conduct, help with school, discuss grades, how to act in school, playing well with others, reading, math skills and be protective but not overly.

I believe those are the standard / minimum things or areas we as parents should account for during those years. I then added a few things with my girls that I offer that helped us as we transitioned to the teenage years, as well as into young adulthood.

- Talk full suite of life topics (thru retirement)

- Talk '2 levels up' (HS in elementary, college in middle school)

- Teach money management (abstract and practical)

- Don't be SAAD - avoidance of Sex, Alcohol, Abuse, Drugs

Each of these I have written about previously. And grouped with the areas listed under 5-12 to set the foundation that we referenced and built upon.

The reality of parenting is even with all I noted above, and had pre-established, the execution (i.e. living the years and all that entails) was still difficult. And navigating the teenage years, as I share in the book and will blog about in the coming months, was also not easy. But the foundation established proved valuable in retrospect.

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