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Does Age Matter … Yes!!

Updated: Jul 30, 2019

I asked a question on Facebook about when do parents change their focus from "nurturing" a child to "raising kids to be functional adults?" I got varied answers, including the "no different." In my view, your parenting focus must adapt to the age of the child, because their development, maturity and circumstances changes over time.

I provide a synopsis of tailored focus areas per age bracket that we used, and, in my view, other parents should account for based on/because of the child's age. I take it out to 20/21, if you had not thought about what the differences are or how to account for them before (and you have young children), I offer the below:

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. 13-16 years old: Reinforcing/building/explaining "5-12" lessons in the context of "friction" and contradictory information from friends, media, school. Protect from themselves and predators while simultaneously empowering, instilling self-worth and staying abreast of their inner turmoil. Summer academic programs, fight for social time (walks, talks, games, shows) to share experiences, stay connected and instill trust in your counsel (now, but more so when older). Make money management natural, teach how to drive, personal accountability, value/importance of work, their/your word and integrity. 17-20 years old: Focus on life skills, reinforce adult based topics as they near graduation, be an advisor and honest broker regarding post-high school opportunities, if going to college invest in post-college jobs, debt management/ramifications, selection process. Respective nuances of getting these done as adults (i.e. personal credit cards, not accepting initial no, not believing all adults and how to seek/receive/use advice).

I did not include what I would call "add-ons" that are more in-depth and I will cover in later blog posts (and is explained in detail in my book). These "add-ons" amplify the lessons I noted, or supplement each of the points raised. Regardless, this is my list, do you have one?

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