6 Overlooked Parenting Milestones that Really Matter

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First Steps. First Words. First Kiss. Graduation. It’s always important to see that your son or daughter learns more about the world around them and becomes a successful adult. That’s why getting a license or their first job are so important.

These developments do matter, but look at a few of the unsung heroes in the chorus of parenting milestones.

Your Child’s First Social Media Page

Every parent of a teenager deals with Facebook, and creating one is a big deal for any 13-year-old. With more than 94 percent of American teens on Facebook, it’s become an important part of every new teenagers life. Social media is as common a form of communication as texting. Your child’s new Facebook page gives you an opportunity to safely discuss using the internet and learning how to friend your child on Facebook without embarrassing them.

Overcoming Their First Fear

toddler looking scared by Santa

Irrational fears are a part of most children’s lives. Whether its monsters under the bed, dogs barking on the street, or a fear of water, children let their emotions and imaginations scare them into a corner. Overcoming this fear with logic is an incredibly important milestone. Think of what it means when a child, who’s been reacting to his fears and emotions, looks under the bed sees no monsters and decides he has nothing to fear.  Being able to critically analyze a situation and think past their emotions is a huge step.

The First Breakup

young people sitting on couch, arguing

Everyone pays attention to their son’s or daughter’s first date. It’s an exciting and frightening time when your children starts getting into relationships, but what about when they’re getting out of them? Your child dealing with the identity crisis of ending a relationship, whether they are the initiator or on the receiving end, teaches them about themselves and how they cope.  It also gives you the opportunity to really talk about their self-image and self-esteem.

First True Passion

young toddler sitting at piano, looking at camera

When your kids find the first thing they are truly passionate about, the thing that makes them go the extra mile, it’s cause for celebration. Things like the arts are one of the six essential experiences to thrive in college. Some of us are making a living off that first passion, so when your child finds one, it could be the beginning of their career. It’s also important to have something for your child to get into for their own self-esteem. This also serves as an opportunity to bond on a deeper level if they fall in love with something you love.

Getting Their Learner’s Permit

young girl helping parent drive car

Everyone focuses on getting a license, which is an admirable goal. When your child starts driving a car, they have to think about how their actions affect others, and as a parent, you have to think of driving schools and car insurance. Driving a car has a lot of new responsibilities both personal and financially for parent and child. Fortunately, companies like State Farm have thought about parents of first time drivers and their challenges. Those challenges all start with your kid driving you around with their learner’s permit. It’s like the adolescent form of training wheels.

First Unsupervised Outing

For the early years of your child’s life, they will spend every second easily accessible or supervised by someone. So the first moment they are actually out doing something where only their judgement can protect them is a huge event. On top of this is the fact that you may not honestly know about the first time they were unsupervised. Half of the students surveyed skipped school which would have given them the opportunity. The moment when they ask your permission to go out unsupervised and you finally say yes is a very special, but often overlooked, milestone.

You know that every moment spent with your child matters and that every moment is precious.  Make sure to remember the little milestones as well as the much larger milestones.

Images courtesy of  jeleneewarwoowar,  opacity,  sickofstatistics,  and  fuzzyblue via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who care about milestones.

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