Fewer, but Bigger, Problems as Kids Age

How strange that the young should always think the world is against them — when in fact that is the only time it is for them. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960


When our kids are little, they are tiny balls of need. They need us for everything. They need us to feed them, change their diapers, move them around the room, comfort them, and entertain them. They are completely incapable of surviving without an adult to take care of them. This changes as kids get older. The number and types of things they need from us changes as they grow and mature. It is important to remember, though, as these changes occur, they still need us (just differently).

It reminds me of Christmas morning – bear with me, this will make sense, I promise! When kids are little, they tend to get tons of Christmas gifts. Their gifts are relatively inexpensive, little toys and, therefore, there is a potentially huge pile under the tree. When kids get older, their desired gifts become larger and more expensive. Because of this, there are frequently less gifts.

Problems are a lot like this. When kids are little, they have a ton of difficulties are need our help a lot of the time. These needs are typically not all that complicated (eating, sleeping, toileting, dressing). As they get older, they come to us with help less often, but when they do their problems are so much bigger (relationships, drugs, sex, career). Don’t let their infrequent requests to cause you to think they no longer need you (even when they act like they don’t), their potential problems are huge and they will benefit from your guidance.

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