Monday, June 5, 2017

Blogging About the Bigger Zooligans

I read, recently, a mom blogger lamenting that there aren’t a lot of mom bloggers of older kids.

She knew why, though. Privacy, mostly.  Older kids don’t want their parents sharing things that they don’t want shared. I mean, these days, kids share so much, it seems odd that they would have a problem with their parents sharing, but they do. Parents are so embarrassing. We share all of the wrong things!

They want to share the filtered, flawless, polished photos, and the events that are deemed ‘cool’.  We want to share how they were grounded and why. We want to share pics of them napping with their baby sister, or snuggling with the puppy. We want to show them involved in service, and doing hard work. We want to share how they’ve learned important lessons, or not.

They don’t want the world to know these things about them, or to be able to connect them to our posts in any way.  Sometimes I think I’m clever, and I’ll post something without naming anyone. But, people know us. Some people, anyhow. It’s pretty easy to figure out who is currently 12 years old, or who might be likeliest to perpetrate whatever disaster I might have posted about.  They just don’t appreciate it. And so, we don’t.

I can share when I learn about being a parent of older kiddos, though. Those posts are likely to be even shorter than my posts already are, since there won’t be personal accounts without permission.

I have pretty outgoing kiddos. Completely unlike myself. I am happy talking to the world through a blog, while I am snug in my own quiet spaces. They like to be in the world’s face. They want to  absorb it all for themselves, standing in the thick of everything. As long as no one sees them, and I don’t tell anyone.

I’ll tell you this. I currently have one adult child, three older children (two middle school, one high school) and three younger children (ages 7, 8, and 9).  No more babies.

While I can still talk about what I learned and what I missed during the pregnancy through 6 year old stage, I won’t have anything new happening in that area.

The 7, 8, and 9 year olds will still give me a few years of scrapes and pickles to share. But that’s it. Then they’ll be older, and my older group will be grow up. But parenting still happens. And it still needs to be shared.

There are others with older kiddos that need to know their kids changing behaviors aren’t necessarily strange, or overnight. That there is still parenting to be done. That our children still need us during these years, but in different ways.

We aren’t still cutting their sandwiches into hearts and stars (well, maybe sometimes!) We aren’t still wiping their faces and taking pics of chocolate covered smiles (also, maybe sometimes.)

But we are still influencing, and modeling. We are still whispering wisdom and gently guiding. We are moving from the position of hand holding and pushing along, to walking beside.

There is still plenty to say about parenting older kiddos. I hope I can find a way to say it, and still preserve the privacy of my Zooligans.

And perhaps I need to find another group name for my older kiddos. Nah. They’re still Zooligans, no matter their age.

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