I have now been parenting a 10 year old for just a little over a week, and I had to get some of my thoughts out into this little space of the internet.
Listen. I’ve been around 10 year olds. I was a camp counselor for three summers and I am a licensed teacher. I’m no stranger to kids. But parenting them is an entirely different matter. Maybe if you have a 10 year old you will nod along as you read these things, but maybe you don’t have a 10 year old and there are some things you should know about them.
- 10 year olds are so independent! Guys, my 10 year old can wake herself up, get herself dressed, tie her own shoes, wash her own hair, shower herself and take care of all her toiletry needs- BY HERSELF! Im not gonna lie- I’m loving the independence.
- 10 year olds are helpful. Without me asking, our 10 year old has taken it upon herself to buckle one of the littles in the car while I do the other one. She is quick to help me when one is having a meltdown in the library. She asks what she can do to help and if I need anything while I’m making dinner. A lot of people told me that 10 year olds are at that age where they need to be needed. I’ll take it!
- 10 year olds watch the strangest things on YouTube. Last night our 10 year old laughed hysterically for several minutes over a dog dancing. I’m pretty sure the video was fake. It really wasn’t funny. But she sure thought it was!
- 10 year olds never stop talking. I mean, NEVER. I now have two girls who follow me E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E and talk N.O.N.S.T.O.P. Mama is going to introduce the quiet game soon and have some SUPER AMAZING prizes so that it actually works.
- 10 year olds need training. It has become so much more obvious to me how important training my toddlers is. I have a 10 year old now that is perfectly capable of doing her own laundry and helping me out with the dishes. However, she has never been taught how to do these things. After just a few days of teaching, correcting and encouraging- I have a 10 year old who is very capable of doing many household things on her own! But this takes training. It is an encouragement to me to continue to train Tera so that when she is 10 I will see the fruit!
- 1o year olds are good at “embellishing” stories. I’m finding myself calling school every day asking them to confirm a story or an announcement that our 10 year old brought home. Our 10 year old declared to me one day that “boys and girls are born the same and then they grow parts!” Me: “I had a boy and a girl and trust me…the were NOT born the same.”
- 10 year olds bring about a rank advancement of the eye roll emoji in my phone. When I text a friend regarding a conversation or something that our 10 year old said, I’m frequently using the eye roll emoji. My eye roll emoji went from hardly being used to being ranked #2. For example…while I’m disciplining Tera, our 10 year old is very fond of doling out parenting advice for me (insert eye roll emoji here) (See also #2 and #4).
- 10 year olds still love their Moms and think they are cool. Um, yes. Apparently, I’m ‘the coolest foster Mom EVER’. I’ll take that as the best compliment EVER. And I’ll soak up all the time that she WANTS to spend with me because that means she still has some love and respect for me (and for her biological Mama, too!).
- 10 year olds love to ask questions. All day long. Questions, riddles, jokes, more questions. Some questions that are so important and I LOVE being able to answer and some questions that leave me questioning why I just used five minutes of my life on answering that question (but of course I still answer them because to her- it’s not a waste of five minutes at all).
- 10 year olds are delightful. This transition has been tough. Tougher than I expected in some ways, and easier in others. But at the end of the day, I am so delighted that I get to spend almost every waking hour of my day with this sweet 10 year old girl. She has already taught me so much about life and love and mothering and being resilient and being patient and being kind. She is teaching me how to step wayyyyyyy out of my comfort zone and how self-sacrifice doesn’t mean I’m a martyr, but instead it means that I’m the lucky one. I’ve given of myself but I’ve gained more than I can even explain in words.
What has having a 10 year old taught you?