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It’s Just a Phase…Don’t Miss It

It’s Just a Phase…Don’t Miss It

If someone has ever told you, “It’s just a phase,” chances are it was intended as a consolation or a word of encouragement. More than likely, what they meant was, “Don’t worry. You can survive this. It won’t last forever.”

When I first became a mother and my colicky son was crying for hours after each feeding I needed to know there was hope for a different tomorrow. I needed to know there would come a day when I didn’t smell like baby vomit and when the child I loved didn’t hate me for trying to feed him.

There’s a lot of truth to the idea that your current relationship with your child is “Just a Phase.” But that’s not to suggest that, as parents, we should grit our teeth and hold out for the next phase to come. A phase isn’t something to wish away or hurry past. Because once a phase is over, it’s over.

We only have the opportunity to know our child once as a three-year-old. After 52 short weeks, they turn four. Sure, moving to the next phase means they will stop throwing catastrophic tantrums when you insist they cannot finish the half-eaten breakfast bar they just discovered under their car seat. But it also might mean fewer spontaneous giggles. It might mean they finally discover “bulzoder” is actually pronounced “bulldozer.” It might mean you have to start answering some questions you weren’t quite ready for.

Related: Don’t Miss It – Know Your Kids

Whether your child is a toddler, an elementary age kid, a middle schooler, or a high schooler, they’re in a phase.
And the phase won’t last for long.

Every phase is a timeframe in a kid’s life when you can leverage distinctive opportunities to influence their future. ClickToTweet

But in order to leverage the opportunities of each phase, you have to show up for it.
That may sound obvious, but it can be incredibly challenging at the same time.

It’s easy to get stuck in the phase that came before. It’s baffling at times when you realize your child isn’t the same person you thought you knew last year. When their interests change, or their preferences change, it can be hard to keep up. (Of course, if you have a seventh grader, they will probably let you know pretty fast when you make this mistake).

It’s easy to rush into the phase that should come later. Maybe it’s because we’re ready to watch a new movie, read a new book, or play a new game, so we stretch the age-limit just a touch. Maybe it’s because—lets face it—if we can get our son to shoot a basketball through a ten-foot goal when he’s six, we’ve earned serious bragging rights. But childhood isn’t meant to be rushed. If we’re always in a hurry to get to the next phase, we can miss what is unique about the phase our kids are currently in.

So, whatever phase your child is in, remember there is something remarkable happening right now. This phase won’t last forever. Don’t rush the clock. Don’t wish away the moments you have. It’s just a phase…don’t miss it.

To read more from Kristen and connect with The Phase Project, visit their website,

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Kristen Ivy

Kristen Ivy is the Executive Director of Messaging at Orange and co-author of "Playing For Keeps", "Creating a Lead Small Culture", and "It’s Just a Phase - So Don't Miss It". She combines her degree in secondary education with a Master of Divinity and lives out the full Orange spectrum as the wife of XP3 Students Orange Specialist, Matt Ivy, and the mother of three children, Sawyer, Hensley, and Raleigh. Read more from Kristen on her blog,

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    Great post…great reflections to be remembered. We need reminders like this more often than we realize because “things” block our view! Thank you!!


    This! This is what I need to read daily to remember that sweet cuddles don’t last forever and neither does the tantrums or refusing to eat anything other than peanut butter and jelly or the insistence to wear his Spider-Man rain boots to bed! I need to video record them more often, especially their tiny voices!


    I needed to hear this today. We are going through a couple phases. Our daughter, 23, is moving back home from Chicago to complete her masters degree. This will involve her applying and hopefully being accepted to a new university. It will also involve listing and selling her condo, as well as moving furniture and personal items to Dallas. Our son, 17, will be a senior in high school. He is spending less time with family and more time with his girlfriend and school friends. I feel like I’m not needed or have a purpose.


    Thank you for your insight. I find myself saying “it’s just a phase” to stop myself from getting too upset about something my children may continue to do despite being told 100 times to stop. In those moments, I am then able to hear their laughter and see the fun they are having and realize I may need to join in before I miss the phase.


    Thank you Kristen. Great reflections for all of us – busy Moms. We get so busy with work and home that we forget to reserve time for the special moments that are coming to the end sooner than we expect and wanted them to.



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