OK, for real though, raising a tween daughter can be challenging at times since they struggle with finding their independence and still understanding how to keep that bond with their family at the same time. My daughter is experiencing finding her trusted group of girls (and guys) that she connects with. At the same time, she tells me many times that she talks to me about things she knows her friends tell her that they would never talk to their parents about. At a time when it is more necessary than ever, a mother has take some extra steps to keep their daughter feeling as if they can still feel comfortable enough to share with them how they are feeling, what they are hurting from and how they should cope with uncomfortable situations.
The drama that comes along with "tweenhood", well, that's just something every parent gets to experience but trust me when I say, it's extremely over-rated and "this too shall pass". I make sure I talk to my "mini-me" on a deeper level each day. If something doesn't feel right, you can bet I stop her and say, "Hey, is everything ok, you seem kind of distant?". If that doesn't work, I do the next best thing and we go away from it all and have one-on-one girls time. Sometimes, I just simply get us together and we eat lunch together without everyone else because this is where we can TALK! We can REALLY TALK!
The bottom line is that I keep the door of communication open at all times. I talk to her like she is a twelve year old and not a seven year old. Let me say this again. I talk to her like she is a twelve year old. Now here is the catch. Twelve year olds today - well, they aren't like twelve year olds from any other generation. These twelve year olds know things! They know things that might surprise you. They also may think they know things but may be completely misunderstood. I talk openly to my daughter because of this. "Today we experienced one of those situations where something she heard she didn't quite get the whole meaning behind. So like the nice, honest mother I am, I felt the need to tell her exactly what that meant. I figured it was better I tell her than someone else. Or worse, better I tell her before she goes out and blurts that statement out loud somewhere else.
For instance, you know the situation when a little toddler blurts out a cuss word in a restaurant. Whether it was your child or someone else's, most of us in the group of people who hear it do one of two things; we either turn and laugh or act as if we didn't hear it. So yep, that was my daughter today but not with a swear word. She threw out a whole "R" rated statement and had no idea. How do I know this? Once I explained what she had said, she was silent. Then she finally said, "OK, now I'm really embarrassed I just said that to you". I just smiled and said, "Yes, but better that you be embarrassed with me than in front of a whole group of others". Her response, "True, dat!" I know, right?
The moral of this story is when it comes to these awesome tween ladies, just be there! Engage in conversation. Let them feel and know that you really are approachable and you can laugh and love together. This is the bonding time to build that relationship together so when she is all grown up and heading away, you can trust that she is going to pick up that phone to call you and reach out when she needs someone.
Today, my little lady and I shared some other bonding time together. She has been wanting "RED" hair for months now. She finally convinced her dad and I to allow her to do this. So, a few months back she tried "red" and it didn't hold in her hair. She tried it again a few months later. Again, it didn't hold in her hair. So, my little mini-me saved her allowance and we made an appointment to get the treatment done so the red would hold in her hair.
Here is Maddi, going through the process and hoping she gets the end result she has been waiting for over the last gazillion months.
How do you bond with your tween?
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