Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Mommy Diaries: Raising Tween Girls & Laughing About It

 

I always envisioned myself as a mom of babies, toddlers and little people.  It’s what I dreamed of for years before actually becoming a mother.  What I never really saw in my life was being a mom beyond that young age and when that happened, like anything else, I just continued to learn alongside my girls and tread new territory.  Now I have two girls who are considered “tweens”, 8-12 years of age.  How did that happen? !?  I am on both sides of this right now, Anya (8) is in the beginning of this stage and Halie (11 ½) has been in it for a while.  As with any children, my girls are very different in the ways they approach life, friends, activities, school, etc.  The changes that I am talking about are social and emotional and how they have resulted in me having to change and adapt as a mom.  Here are some things that snuck up on me and made me re-assess how things have been up to that point in our lives. 

 

 

1.      Make-up and Deodorant.  Eeek.  Phew.  It literally seemed to happen overnight.  One minute it’s that baby smell and the next you have BO.  I didn’t even know what deodorant was best for this purpose so I quickly searched online to find information and suggestions.  We settled on buying Tom’s at our local drugstore and it works really well.  The girls don’t mind the smell and I feel good knowing that it’s mostly natural.  I will also say that the BO kind of came out of nowhere and it comes and goes, and is not consistent.

 

 

Another thing that happened was we went from kids make-up, you know the Barbie flashy colors, to wanting the cover girl stuff.  At first I wasn’t really sure what my stance was and I kind try to deter Halie from it.  I quickly noticed she was going to  experiment regardless so I decided if this was what she wanted, I was better to help educate then to scold.  We  have talked about why it’s not necessary or overly good to put a bunch of make up on her face  but settled on having a natural look if she was going to wear make-up.  I also took the opportunity to introduce some new products for washing her face daily, including the MakeUp Eraser cloth and Cetaphil gentle cleanser.  Another thing to consider is who pays for the make-up?  We’ve decided that   make-up is an extra and is not our responsibility but she is welcome to use her allowance money on it if she chooses to. 

 

 

 

 

2.     Phones & Technology.  Hmm.  Remember land lines?  Yeah.   We finally decided to ditch ours and within 8 months we realized that Halie was wanting to stay connected with her friends outside of school hours.  So what do you do?  Some kids have tablets, some iPads, some phones.  We were totally unsure of what to do, so we have gone through a mix of things to be honest.  Sometimes she borrows our phone for talking on (this is very rare as that’s not really how they communicate much), uses text or snapchat with friends.  We have been approached for an IG account which at this point we have declined her for.  Thoughts?  Technology use is a big one, so it’s worth having a conversations with your spouse around this.   We have discovered that keeping an open mind and assessing things as they happen works best for us, we rarely say no to things forever, but have said ‘no’ for right now. 

 

 

3.     Birthday Parties!  Good news.  The over the top, large, full of screaming and running children, birthday parties are just about behind you.  When the girls were younger we invited EVERYONE.  The more the merrier concept.  No excluding people, etc.  By the end of grade 2 and beginning of grade 3, you will notice your children begin to form closer ties to smaller amounts of people.  They still play and include others, but they form some stronger relationships based on their own personality and interests.   The good news is that birthday parties become more exclusive and smaller.  The bad news is they want SLEEPIOVERS!

 

4.     Toys.  This is a good sag-way into the types of toys you buy.  I find we are no longer going to Toys R Us regularly and honestly the last time I was on their website/store was Christmas time.  Toys become less and less desirable, though Anya still enjoys getting little toys such as LOLs.  Baby dolls, even Barbie’s, kitchen stuff, dress-up, etc. are for the most part gone.   The one thing that both of my girls still enjoy are stuffies (insert eye-roll) and their American Girl dolls.  Anya (8) still does play with toys but I know her days are numbered (this makes me terribly sad), but Halie pretty much entertains herself with make-up, her friends, writing, reading, playing card/board games, etc.  One thing that I will say that they still completely engage in is playing and creating with loose parts.   They love being creative and building things using blocks, marbles, gems, craft supplies, natural materials.  Just the other day the girls constructed a habitat for caterpillars, they love building forts in the woods by our cabin, or creating Goldberg rubrics.  If you need gift ideas for tweens check out my suggestions here and here

 
 

5.     Grunting as a form of communication & mood swings.  Hahaha.  Laugh people because it’ll keep you sane.  Your sweet child will be just that, SWEET one minute and grunting, stomping, eye-rolling, the next.  “Grrr.”  “I know mom.” “I hate you.”  Those are actually words of love and understand that if you are not receiving these sounds/phrases, then you might be failing as a parent in fact.  Here is the thing.  They are just figuring stuff out and you are too.  Once I was able to come to terms that I wasn’t there BFF and that wasn’t really my role, I was able to focus my attention on what I feel my job is, to help them be the best versions of themselves right now and in the future.  So sometimes it’s my job to say or be unpopular for the moment, but I always explain the WHY of our choices.  Sometimes I don’t do it right in the moment, if it seems heated or my child doesn’t want to hear it, but then I talk to them when things are calmer.

 
 

There are many more things that I can write about but I’d love to hear your stories of parenting.  If you would like to write a blog post on something you’ve experienced, regardless of your child’s age, at some point in the future I’d love to hear from you or write in the comments below.  Thanks for stopping by.

3 comments:

  1. I have a 9 year old girl and a 12 year old boy, so I feel I am on both sides of it as well! This post is so true. My son still hasn't developed the BO yet (ha!), but I am sure he will soon. So far I feel like my son is so much easier than my daughter. But, that may be their personalities. Ha! :) Yeah, my son is over toys and my daughter is not as much into them... I guess Toys R Us went out of business at a good time for us! ;)

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

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  2. the difference with boys and girls, I never knew until my step sons came into my life Don't forget to come link up over at A Labour of Fashion my Thursday Link .

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  3. Love this post!! I’m both excited and scared for these tween years with my girls!!! They’re SOO fun right now that I’m not sure how the hormone changes are going to fair around here haha

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