When you're above 40 and you have kids aged 5 and above, then previous experiences with kids really came in handy. Plus lots of reading and tales from other parents. But then again, no two kids are born alike. Each of them are different, physically and emotionally but the problems and tantrums they create during their growing-up years are almost the same.
When they are toddlers, you can get heart attacks from their robust adventures during your moments of carelessness or negligence. They fall from the stairs, climb the grills to the top, they rushed across the busy street, they poked the plug holes,pulled the cat's tail and so on (p.s. one even managed to crushed my mom's newborn chicks to death with their cute and chubby 2 years old hands). The rush to the hospitals while they wails, seems like infinity and the anxiety while waiting for doctor's verdict is unbearable. If `don't worry, it's just a bump, he's/she's just shocked' diagnose is being made, you sigh with relief but your wallet do suffer. But their smiles, laughters,baby words, silly yet cute antiques and hugs are valueless and therapeutics indeeds.
Then they grew up, fast and before you know it, they became the dreaded...teenagers. They listened only to their friends, we the parents are suddenly old fashioned, impossible and not to be seen with. We saw them as not matured, easily influenced, rebellious, moody and non-eating edible foods creatures. They saw us as nagging monsters, difficult, outdated and stingy couples. They think we are always spying on them (which is quite true) and they feel like running away and be free to do what they and their friends wants to. They said they'll be back by 11.00 pm, but at 2.00 am still no sign of them. Forever worrying and fearing the worst mum will nag poor hubby to go and look for them (mum don't care where in the world would poor, sleepy and clueless hubby want to start searching, just go..!!). They'll get into all sort of foolish troubles but when they helped you out with even the smallest task like washing his/her own dishes, or say thank you sincerely for a nice breakfast, it melts your heart and all is forgotten. Boy, are they good at it. One son even asked for his father's permission to punched back a bully in his class (which his father sternly said `no', although we'd wished we said `yes' to teach the bully-boy a lesson).
Then they started to go to colleges, usually far away from home. This usually will intensity the mother's `what if?' syndromes. Father can only consoles although he knows it would'nt do much. Father is now their valueless `Banker' and mother is now their trusted `PA', the person to inform the `Banker' when and how much is needed. Trust me, most of the time, you give in although you tried to reason with them about money senses. And the things they buy/want to buy, you don't want to know. It's all about branding and being cool and in league. When you reminded them about focusing on their studies, they will tell you to relax, and trust them. Each exam time, you worry more than they do. But it usually ends well and on their graduation day, you and their dad really feel that all the sacrifices and sleepless nights from the day they were born were worth it. And the smile never leave your face for a long long time each time you recall the proud moments.
However, I assure you my friends that all these does not end with their graduation day and getting a job, no! Now that they are adults, their `cry for help' will be much more on a larger scale. Because parenting is a lifetime job, you cannot abandon it and now become at par with your grown-up children. Next you will have to become their `loan guarantor', wedding planner, and maybe babysitter too, .... good luck!!