Friday, August 3, 2012

transition

i recently said to JR that this will most likely be her last year of being all-little girl.
 
of being completely delighted by jumping waves.
of carrying her doll on her hip and pretending its really real.
of pony tails and pig-tails.
of pretending for hours that she is Laura Ingalls.
of an imagination not yet constrained by "cool". 

of playing 'olympic show jumping' with plastic horses and wooden blocks.
i feel it - sense it - the shift. our All-Little Girl will soon be the Sometimes-Little Girl and then, the Rarely-Little Girl. and i know that with growing up comes new, wonderful attributes but i really want to treasure this time while, at the same time, being sensitive to her maturing.
I've realised that my role needs to transition with her - less an instructor and more of a guide.
less, do this, do that. less you shoulds, you shouldn'ts.
and more actual communication. (which honestly makes me feel a little nervous - isn't it much easier just to tell a child how they should behave?
so i want to get a head start now. building an honest and open relationship of communication is top priority. i want to be intentional now, and not be caught on the back foot in a few years.
so, tell me you wonderful mamas who are a further along the road than i...
what are the essentials for great communication with your tween/teen?
how have you intentionally developed your communication?
what has worked? what hasn't? 
what would you do differently?
PLEASE! TELL ME!!
 


 thank you, in advance xo

9 comments:

  1. Oh man, I wish the Laura Ingalls years could last forever... I've watched my nieces transition and even that was hard... Good luck! (I'll be eager to gain tips once you've been through it).

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  2. Yes, I'm going to be filing away tips from these experienced mamas too!

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  3. Ha -- this from the woman who keeps a shared journal of communication with her daughter!

    This post is beautiful.

    Also, those show jumps and that imaginative play is too precious for words! AH!

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  4. Obviously I don't have any tween experience, unless being an aunty to tweens and teens count.. it was amazing to watch them grow! I believe there are still challenges, just much different ones!
    I'm nervous about the teenage years!!!

    Lovely pics of your girl. x

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  5. We are so on the same page!! I have not long had the same conversation with Shane about Cody. Noticing my own impatience because I don't seem to be able to just 'tell him' like you say anymore. He is a part of our conversations at dinner now instead of us creating conversations around their likes and days etc. He seems to have an opinion on everything!! Can't wait to see you all again xx

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  6. My oldest daughter is now 15 and is a bit of a closed book. To be honest it is quite hard as i want her to share everything but it's really not her personality.

    She has a really good faith which is so important to me and it makes me so happy. She has really great christian and non christian friends which i really value too
    She is fully involved in a great youth group which has fun, motivating, challenging, crazy times together.

    I have talked a bit to my sister about my want for her to be more open. SHe gave me some really good advice and helped ease my stress. My daughter has a couple of strong positive female role models in her life who she is happy to share with. And she said that is good, normal and positive.

    Also i have learned to move a bit slower with my daughter and not try to force her to share (my husband taught me that:)

    I try to go out with just her and me, and also to hang out with me and my sisters so she feels special. She is the oldest so along with more responsibility i want her to have some things which make her feel treasured.

    I try to share my faith with her, and give her opportunities to share even if she does not always choose to take them.

    She is great and i often marvel at what a good job God has done with her and how blessed we are to have her.

    mim

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  7. First comment from me (loving your blog btw).
    Personally I don't think you need any guidance. I think that you have 'it' already with your daughter.
    I don't have a daughter, only a son now 17. I remember this stage too and wishing I could hold onto it longer. ... but it's all good. Everything changes, nothing stays the same.
    AND I can still remember playing with my plastic horses and farm animals so well! loved it.
    cheers Wendy

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  8. The teen years can be rough, but staying open and available seemed to work for my daughter and me. She knew that we loved her no matter what. She grew into a wonderful adult that I consider to be one of my best friends. She has since told me how much she enjoyed our homeschooling, which was good to hear. Enjoy those great "little girl" years!

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  9. Yes, raising kids can be a challenge and also at times very stressful, but keep doing what your doing... listen, treat them with respect...(as they should be treating you) and don't talk down to them. What they say and do should be important to you... because it's important to them. Because we talked about everything...(and I mean everything and anything they had questions about) we still have great relationships. Our kids are from youngest to oldest are ages; 27, 31, 33, and soon to be 35 now. Because they felt safe that we would not laugh at what they asked or gossiped about what they said... our kids came to us in all sorts of matters. Let them know that if they make mistakes and they learn from them... you will not throw these mistakes into their faces later on. Forgiveness works both ways... if you make a mistake, let them know... and make it right. I worked at a school teaching self esteem and related a story about a neighbor and I having a fight (really vocal one outside) later I went to tell her I was sorry... she would not speak to me for 2 years! I explained that as adults we are supposed to set an example... we both learned a heavy lesson and are good friends still to this day! They need to know that they can trust you. Love them, tell them that you do... each and every day... if you leave the house or talk on the phone to them... tell them goodbye and I love you. You never know when/if it will be the last time you see them. Our family says this to our extended family each time we speak on the phone... and now the extended family are doing it... that and giving hugs b/4 they say good by at family gatherings. Sorry this is soo long.. family matters... no matter how young/old they are. If you are friends with your kids now... hopefully you will be their friends later as they grow older.

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it means so much that you've taken the time to comment~ x