Coming of Age Paper Every child has to come to the realization at one time or another that they cannot be a kid forever. They must at some point ‘grow up’ and learn that they will soon have to rely on themselves instead of having their parent’s continually help them. I guess learned that the first time I started babysitting a girl who at the time was about seven years old. I have always loved kids. When I was asked by a family friend to take over the Job of watching their youngest daughter during the summer before my sophomore year, I was ecstatic. My mom could no longer watch her.

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She ran a daycare In our house for s long as I can remember but she had to stop when she went to help my dad by working at his clinic. They needed a new babysitter and I was more than willing to do the Job. At the time I didn’t realize how big of a responsibility it would be to watch someone else’s child. When my mom would watch kids I would run off and watch T. V. somewhere In the house or go and play with my friends, I was never with the other kids for long periods of time. There was so much that I needed to do. I never thought about the responsibility when I agreed to watch her.

I couldn’t run off and leave her Ike I did when my mom watched her. I needed to make her lunch every day, make sure that she didn’t watch T. V. the whole day, and I had to play with her outside, or take her to the pool if she wanted to. I also had to help her with her school work. Her parent’s asked me to have her read aloud every day because she was falling behind at school with her reading. When I first started watching her, she would bring books that you expected a preschooler would be reading like Sheep in a Jeep, not a child who was going into second grade.

So

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I took her to the library and checked out a book from The Magic Tree House series they were my favorite growing up. I thought that they would be great practice for her because I knew that her school would soon be expecting her to be reading chapter books similar to what I was making her read, if they were not expecting her to be reading them already. She wasn’t happy with me and she often show that by crying and or throwing a tantrum but sooner or later that day she finished reading the three or four chapters that I required her to read every day.

I watched her again the following year and it was pretty much the same I would make her read a couple chapters every day sometimes more depending on how she was behaving. We would go to the pool in the afternoon and If we had time left over we would eat a snack and watch a movie usually It was the same one everyday unless I could not stand it anymore and made her pick a new movie (sometimes I think she would choose the same movie Just to annoy me because of the grin she would give me when she showed me the movie she picked).

I found that this summer was a bit more challenging for the both of us. Her parent’s noticed that she was struggling in math (l did too when I was her age and I still am) they did not want her to fall behind so they sent me a couple of worksheets hat she is pretty clever. The first day that I had her do her work sheets, it went better than what I was expecting. She was able to complete them faster than what I was expecting and with only a few mistakes.

It went downhill from there, she threw constant tantrums and came up with incredible stories about why her parent’s were making her do the work sheets (most of the stories that she told me were about how her parent’s thought that she was stupid and that was the only reason that they were making her do the math sheets over the summer, which I knew right away were complete lies). I think that I can easily say that those days were emotionally exhausting for the both of us.

All of this Just to get out of doing two sheet of math problems. No matter what story she came up with or how many crocodile tears she cried I knew that it was Just a big act, I was kind of impressed with (not that I ever told her) how a nine year old girl could go to such extremes Just to get out of doing something that she did not want to do. I still made her do the worksheets it often took a couple of hours if not more because her parent’s told me almost every day that he needed to practice them.

Even after all of that, every time she sees me, whether it is at church or at a store, she comes running to hug me, I’m Just as happy to see her too. I feel that I have definitely grown over the past few summers watching this girl. I have enjoyed every minute of it, even the bad. These experiences have definitely helped to show me that I have changed, and that I can take care of myself without my parent’s being there constantly helping me. I know that there is still a lot that I need to do and learn and I am looking forward to it.

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