Remember what it was like to be a twelve year old girl? Hard, I know. I remember wanting so badly to be able to do things only older girls could do like babysit, have a boyfriend, and stay up past nine. I have a twelve year old daughter now. Now it is her turn.
God help us!
My twelve year old is the sweetest, smartest, most beautiful young lady! She is eager to help out and eager to grow up. Our home has begun to change. Hormones, eye rolling, and it even has sprouted another mother. Don’t get me wrong. I could not function without her! It’s just sometimes I miss those magical moments of peace and co-existence.
I am honestly not sure if it is the effects of becoming a middle-schooler or just getting older. I hardly blame her. I said hardly! Middle school is hard. I will give her that! Changing classrooms, not seeing some of your friends throughout the day, and not to mention peer pressure are all obstacles that I know she deals with all day. Did I mention that girls can be very hard on each other? Hard on themselves?
Good grades, boys, friends, peer pressure, sport teams, it is a lot for anyone (let alone a twelve year old) to take on.
Despite the hardship that myself and the rest of our family feels every day, I can’t help but think it is nothing compared to what she thinks she is going through.
The life of a midde-schooler. I wonder if she thinks it’s everything she dreamt it would be.
The bad days are far and few in between. She is awesome! But the days when she isn’t so awesome we struggle. I struggle to understand her as I’m sure she does too. Those are the days that my patience is tested, my energy spent.
Some things that I have learned in the short time that she has started middle school are things that I try to remind myself every day. After all, I want her to come to me to talk.
- Ask questions. Even if she feels like I am bugging her or asking too many questions. I would rather this than not knowing what is going on at all. I have learned that not asking these questions results in not knowing what is going on in my child’s life. This is the last thing that I want.
- Give her room to make mistakes (but not too much!) I think it is important to give our middle-schoolers a little bit more independence resulting in letting them make some mistakes. I don’t mean missing assignments or unfairly treating others, but less grande mistakes or mishaps that don’t have long lasting effects.
- Lastly (but not finally), Be There! This has proven to be more and more difficult for me. Like any working parent with multiple kids I feel split in far too many directions. I don’t get to make it to all of her activities and for that I am eternally in turmoil about. She knows though that I am thinking of her because the first thing that I do afterwards is ask questions and cheer her on.
I love her so much! I want her to never doubt that.
Technology and friends are quickly dominating her life. I keep asking questions and monitoring her every internet footstep (which she is well aware of). See even when I am not there I am. I find this another way to give her more independence while keeping her close at the same time. In a time when our middle-schoolers want to be so much older than they are I feel like there are ways to grant them this all while keeping them close. After all, they are still our babies, right?
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