I have a confession to make
You might need to sit down. Are you ready? Okay – I have a favorite child. I know, I know – It’s so wrong!
For those of you who may not know it, I have two daughters. TWO. TWEEN. GIRLS. You get me?
Yesterday was a really tough parenting day for me. There seemed to be nothing that I could say or do to make things right for the girls. Everything – I mean, everything! – I said only made it worse.
Needless to say, I could not wait for the day to end and for the children to go to bed.
When they finally did turn in for the day, I lay in bed thinking about my parenting skills. I wondered about whether I was doing right by my children; and whether I was doing everything that I could possibly be doing to be a good mother for them.
It was at this point that I realized – OH. MY. GOD. I have a favorite child!
Okay, let me explain
Frightful little beings
We have been taught, since we were tiny children ourselves, that mothers are not supposed to have a favorite child, ya? I get that. I really do. But bear with me a moment.
I have two tweens! Do you have any idea what that means? They are frightful little beings, I tell you.
See, here’s the thing. Tweens are uniquely temperamental creatures. In case you haven’t read it, here’s everything you need to know about your growing tween. Go on and read it – I’ll be right here waiting.
Are you with me now?
So, I have two daughters aged 10 and 12. They are right in the middle of that
special, exciting horrifying, hair-pulling, frustrating time, when they have a number of different personas living inside of them. And what’s worse is that you don’t ever know which one you’re going to be dealing with!
One minute, they’re all sweet and angelic. You know the kind, aye? All sugar and spice and everything nice.
Yeah, well the next minute, they turn into these emo chicks whose worlds are filled with all gloom and doom. And the tears! Oh my golly – the tears! I don’t even know where those tears come from.
Then steps in the hippie gal who’s all like, hey y’all, wassup? Peace, mama; love is all you need.
And then – yeah, it’s not done yet! – and then comes out some other girl who acts like she’s gonna bite your head off!
I tell you – It is exhausting!
- Related Post: Everything You Need to Know About Your Growing Tween
- Related Post: Why You Should Tell Your Daughters They Are Beautiful
- Related Post: How to Talk to Your Child About Bullying
My favorite child
So yes – I’m not ashamed and not sorry to say that I DO have a favorite child.
My favorite child, of all the little personalities that pop out of my tweens, is the one that loves cuddles. The one that tells me her stories about her day at school. She tells me about her friends. She’s the one who holds my hand, and is happy to just lay her head on my shoulders, asking me to tell her stories about when I was growing up. She’s the intelligent and curious lass, who is not afraid to dream big dreams.
Whenever this child wants to spend time with me, let me tell you… I lap it up. Every single second of it.
Getting To Know Your Tween
Although parenting tweens (and any child for that matter) is a difficult journey – I have to admit that it is also filled with many amazing little moments; and it really is quite wonderful.
The bad days? Well, we just need to see – and accept – it for what it is.
You see, when our tweens display any kind of behavior that is less than happy or content; as mothers, our initial instinct is to jump in and hope to fix it and make everything okay. And when we can’t do it, we take it as a blow to our parenting skills. And rightly so – we work really hard to be good parents right?
So then how?
Let me go further into that.
Accept That We Can’t Protect Them From Everything
See, the truth is – no matter how much we try, there is no way that we can protect our kids from everything.
But we all need to see and acknowledge what they are going through – and that we cannot (and should not) fix everything for our kids.
In our current society, our kids are exposed to so much more than we ever were exposed to. When you and I were growing up, we dealt only with the regular stuff, you know – hormones, school, family, and friends… and perhaps whether we had a Trapper Keeper or not
These days however, kids have to deal with so much more. Let’s take for instance, the internet. There is so much going on in their cyber world that I would dare to wager that we know nothing about. That’s a scary thought!
Kids these days are on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other platforms; and as much as I try to
police make sure my daughters are safe (especially Miss 12), I am fully aware that she doesn’t show me everything. It scares the jeepers out of me, but apart from setting rules for usage, what can I do? Ban her from it until she’s 20?
So today, Miss 12 came home from school. I could clearly see that she is still is not her normal self. She came over to give me a hug, and just before pulling away, she said: “If you notice that I’m in a mood, can you not ask if I’m okay? Because I’m okay. I just don’t feel like being happy.”
I just don’t feel like being happy – Now, I have no idea what that means, but I will step back and not ask her if she’s okay.
I – WE – need to understand that our kids are growing up; and just like us, they can’t be 100% all the time.
As we begin to take a conscious step back, we need to make certain that we keep our lines of communication open. In my case, just because Miss 12 asked me not to ask if she is okay; it doesn’t mean that I will take that to heart and make it hard for her to talk to me. You all know what I’m talking about aye? Sometimes, when kids push us away – we nurse our bleeding hearts and sometimes hold a grudge (whether it’s for 5 seconds, 5 minutes, or 5 hours).
I will still tuck her in tonight – and while I won’t ask if she’s okay; I will ask if there’s anything if she wants to talk about. And if she doesn’t – that’s fine too. Because when all is said and done, I want her to know that home is her safe place and that she is loved… whether or not she is favorite child today.
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