Parents have long been familiar with the term ‘The Terrible Twos.’ I have always referred to them as The Terrible T’s. Two, Three, Ten, Twelve, Thirteen and Twenty thru Thirty-nine.
The Terrible Twos
Our offspring begin as adorable little babies that coo and giggle and smile. They melt our hearts and take over our lives. In a few short months, The Terrible T’s begin! The ‘Terrible Twos’ include the Threes. All parents will agree that age Two goes into Three smoothly while noticing the terrible did not stop. They go from crawling cuties to tumbling terrors that walk away and talk back. If both parent and child survive this stage, they will have an 8-10 year reprieve before The Troubling Teens begin.
The Troubling Teens
Technically, it would be Ten, Twelve and Thirteen, but it MUST include Fourteen through Nineteen. In teen years, our young are growing, developing, changing and testing their limits at break neck speed. Tormented by peer pressure and body image, and the annoying requests by their parents, they adapt to circumstances daily. They don’t even know what is happening half the time. Far be it for the parent to actually be a part of their teen’s life. This stage is challenging for all. Including the public.
The Terrifying Twenties
Beginning life without the daily encouragement of their parents, twenty-somethings are out on their own, attending college, career training, or work daily. They learn to pay bills, cook, do laundry and other mundane chores not required as a child. Charging shampoo, soap and other necessities on a Target credit card is a survival technique. Relationships begin and end like day and night. Now working for difficult individuals, they are no longer able to pull the covers over their heads, shutting out the responsibilities of life. Some are working even harder to stay out of jail.
At this point it would be nice to say Thankful Thirties, but we are not quite there yet.
The Tenacious Thirties – Or even Tough Thirties
Here they are finally making it. Working hard to support their families, raising children of their own. Purchasing homes and nice cars. Hoping they still have a job the next day. Realizing their adolescent desire to grown up and be on their own, making their own decisions, did not turn out the way they had dreamed it would. They clearly remember the snarky comment their mother made to them years ago, “I hope you have 5 kids just like yourself!” And realize they did.
If you did your parenting job well and your kids hit the Forty milestone, suddenly an amazing individual unfolds out of a cocoon they built for themselves decades before. They are nowThankful for all you did to love, nurture and support them in life, for who you are, and are aware of what they put you through. They now ask for your advice on raising their own children.
Your children now realize why wild animals eat their young, and they praise you for your efforts.
Tell them to be Hopeful. The Terrible T’s only last four decades after all.
We are all affected by The Terrible T’s in this life. The best way to handle them is with a SMILE. If this speaks to you, let me know, tell your stories, and share this blog with your friends, family and ADULT children.
Thank you Mom and Dad for teaching me how to smile.
Smile with me today and every day of your life.