How many of you out there reading have what's known as the dreaded tween?
Oh you do? I'm glad. Not glad because I want anyone else to endure this, but glad I'm not the only one!! Now, when I was pregnant with my first child, I was told of the sleepless nights, mastitis, and even the resulting loss of sex drive. But no one, and I mean no one could prepare me for what was to come after...
You see, I was blessed with the perfect first child. I'd hit the jackpot. She was sleeping through by 4-5 months, she was such a happy baby all. the. time (not kidding) loved going for long outings in her pram, ate well and even up until she was 7 or 8 years old would do everything I told her to do without me having to so much as use my parent voice.
Then, something changed. I couldn't tell you what - it just changed. And it was sudden, as if she just woke up one day and decided she knew more about the world, about life than I did.
Now don't get me wrong - she is an amazing person. She's strong willed, kind, empathetic and funny. Oh so funny. Her sense of humour kind of reminds me of a small Jennifer Lawrence. Parenting win!
Keep in mind, I've raised my kids from the day they were born to understand consequence. You know, speaking to them like people and explaining things to them so they understand that every action carries a consequence. To this day, my kids will tell you why it's not appropriate to do or say certain things. They've learnt that swear words are just that, words. How to use them in context and when it is definitely NOT appropriate to use them.
Now this coming school year, she will be in grade 4 (she's turning 10 in March) and suddenly thinks that she is old enough for Social Media... Hmmm not likely.
She constantly asks (read demands) that she be allowed to go to the playground at the end of our street with just her friends, if she can go to the supermarket alone and be left home unattended. There's door slamming, huffing and puffing and storming off when I tell her that she's too young to do all of these things.
The scary part is, I'm not sure I know how to deal with the resulting drama. We've built a foundation of not yelling at or hitting our kids and up until now, this has worked well.
I'm living proof that when you try to force kids to do one thing, they will naturally try to do the other. The best thing I can do is to keep talking to them, helping them through whatever problems they are facing (that's another issue, getting them to feel comfortable, and to trust you enough to tell you their problems in the first place)
So I'd love to open up a dialogue. What issues have you faced in raising your children, how did you work through it with them. What worked? What didn't?
And so, in closing here is a picture of my little girl BEFORE she knew everything about the world