So far, 5 has been my favorite. That was a pretty good year. Keirnan was old enough to do cool stuff and young enough to remind me how great something for the first time really is. I really thought I'd finally figured it out and passed the becoming independent and needing to assert myself preschool years. It was really only a break before 6 hit, and oh Lord, I'm going to need help with this one!
Where did I go wrong? You know, I don't think I did honestly. I hear all the time how bossy little girls are at this age. And I remember teaching boys and girls this age at church a couple years ago. For some reason, boys being bossy little jerks is just not talked about. I think it's yet another stage that we just aren't warned about. Why is this? Seriously, someone please explain to me why I feel I am forever having to apologize for my kid being a brat instead of having someone who understands my mommy fears.
Here's my theory. By this age kids have the ability to use those 'magic words' and do a lot of cool stuff on their own. We, as parents, start to relax and think, yes my kid is turning out right! But truthfully, they are still learning to put all these cool new abilities together. They are still trying to figure out compassion and other such nebulous concepts that are hard for us to put into words. We tell our kids to think of others' feeling, but not how to really understand why they need to do so. Then, when they haven't figured it out, we don't want to admit to anyone else (who might judge us harshly) that our kid is being a jerk again. We had it easy for a year and think our kid is reverting back and acting like a 3 year old and don't want to admit that. They aren't. Nothing is wrong with them. They are acting just like the other kids in this stage- a Jerk, with a capital J!
So, when my kid is being a bossy jerk while playing with his friends outside, I pray I'm doing the right thing by letting them work it out. Because as much as he's a bossy jerk, he's such an amazing, intelligent young man also. Maybe if I just highlight that, it'll sink into his thick, male skull that being a jerk isn't cool. And boy, do I hope this phase passes soon! Because see, he's not always a jerk!