Ten Reasons Why Older Kids are Awesome

Ten Reasons why Older Kids are Awesome (V2)1. You can leave them home alone. When the thought of dragging the whole gang out in public gives my husband and I a stress headache, we remember something truly beautiful: they don’t have to come with us. And even though we’re not comfortable with our oldest baby-sitting our toddler by himself, he is more than capable of watching his other siblings. After years of traveling as a pack, it’s incredibly liberating to leave the house with just one child.

2. They can make their own dinner. This is a huge plus for me since I hate to cook. As long as I keep the kitchen stocked with meals they can easily make themselves I know they won’t starve. And frankly, they’re probably better off handling meal prep themselves than leaving me in charge of it.

3. They’re in school all day. Enough said.

4. Once they’re older, they actually do a good job with housework. My ten-year-old does an amazing job cleaning the kitchen. He’s even started doing his own laundry, and is happy to oblige when I ask him to throw in a load of towels (or two or three).

5. They don’t need to be ushered to the bathroom when we’re in public. My husband and I don’t have to abandon our meal, our drinks, our conversations, or our errands to escort the kids to the bathroom every five seconds.

6. They can go other places by themselves. “Mom, we’re walking to the library.”

“Okay, great! Just come home when it closes! Here’s some money for all of your fines…”

7. You can have actual, two-sided, interesting conversations with them. Conversations with younger kids are mind-numbing at best, and it’s very easy to tune out.

“Oh yeah. Um hmmm. Yep, you’re right. Cars have wheels.”

Older kids, on the other hand, are capable participants in adult-level conversation. For example, recent discussion topics with my oldest son have included redlining and Islamaphobia.

8. They can help with their younger siblings. My older kids often change the toddler’s diaper, get him dressed, get him in and out of his car seat, and entertain him while I am busy. Not only is this extremely helpful, but it’s beyond rewarding to see them learning the skills that will make them great parents in the future.

9. They are great company. I truly enjoy hanging with my older kids. Even though I love going out by myself, I sometimes miss them when I’m flying solo at the mall or the grocery store.

10. Seeing your kids grow and mature is what parenting is all about. When we’re in the midst of parenting young children, it’s easy to get sentimental about the “little kid” stage. However, the joys of parenting older kids are just as profound. Watching your kids learn who they are is amazing. Watching them move through the world with confidence as they discover their passion is so rewarding. Our primary job, as parents, is to shape kind, thoughtful, independent individuals. Seeing your child’s humanity unfold in this way is the ultimate joy of parenting.

That, and the bathroom thing. That’s pretty awesome too.

Meghann is the mom of 5 kids. She is a Lecturer at the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication and an Owner/Partner at Brand Driven Digital. Meghann was elected to the Coralville City Council in 2017 and is currently serving her first term. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Coralville Community Food Pantry (Vice-Chair) and on the DVIP Board of Directors. She is also a member of Johnson County's Juvenile Justice and Youth Development Policy Board. Meghann is passionate about her family, her community, and is a proud pop culture nerd.


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