posted in Parenting
Listen close bleary-eyed parents of wild pre-schoolers. I’ve got some amazing news that is going to give you life.
Everyone tells you about the terrible twos, the madness of threenagers, and difficult 4-year-olds, but let me tell you parenting’s best-kept secret: 5-year-olds are so amazing and dare I say … easy??
Okay, before you get all crazy and start sending me messages on Instagram, let me shoot straight.
Gone are the days of bad communication you had with a young toddler. When “Wa” could mean walk or water and you want to pull out your hair because it is just so hard to explain what “I’ll be right back” means.
5-year-olds have a firm grasp on language. They can think critically and even problem solve. They tell stories in great detail and, for the most part, their lies are really easy to see through.
With a 3-year-old you get epic tantrums and explosive mood swings. Also bedtime can become this awful spiral that takes hours.
5-year-olds, on the other hand, have tested the limits. They know where the boundaries exist. They even start to show remorse. In general, they want to please you.
The 3-year-old who made you cry turns into something resembling a human being with a conscience. You realize that no, you haven’t spawned a psychopath. Instead of Caillou, your child resembles a character more like Daniel Tiger.
And then there are the 4-year-olds who are much more rational than their 3-year-old selves but still prone to fits and pushing boundaries. Four-year-olds are needy AF. They get tired and refuse naps. Their body is in this sort of limbo state between a child and baby.
But 5-year-olds can dress themselves, get their own snack and even bathe themselves. They know their routine and they thrive on it–but they are also pretty flexible. Plus, 5-year-olds are really funny.
With my 5-year-old son, I still see traces of baby on his face.
He still lets me cuddle and hold him all the time, but he is also independent in a way that makes me get teary-eyed.
I love seeing him step outside of his comfort zone and introduce himself to someone new. I love it when he asks me permission before jumping on his bed. Somewhere between 4 and 5 he learned a bit of impulse control.
5-year-olds, of course, are still kids. They still have trouble harnessing their inside voices. They still get upset about silly things. And they still get too tired for their own good. But they are able to voice their thoughts and feelings in a way that is truly remarkable.
So to you, mothers and fathers of 3 and 4-year-olds, let me tell you the honest-to-God truth: Parenting a 5-year-old is so much better.
You will stop asking yourself on a daily basis: “What am I doing wrong?” The fruits of your parenting labor will finally pay off. In place of your crazy 3-year-old and demanding 4-year-old will be a precious child with a beautiful imagination, lots of energy, and plenty of words to describe it all.
What’s your favorite age?