Daily – and I mean DAILY – I am trying to figure out my parenting game with my tween daughter. I have a 14-year-old boy, and what they say is true. Boys and girls are different. Good thing “they” told us that.
I’ve been trying to figure out how I can connect with my tween girl. Because the truth is, when you say something really important to your tweens and need them to hear you, you most likely need to have a solid relationship with them in order for it to get through their sweet little hard tween heads.
Since I’ve recently felt the need to impart a lot of necessary life information regarding boys, clothing, girl drama, and makeup I’ve said “yes” to doing some things my tween has been asking me to do with her…even though I really don’t want to.
1. Jumping On the Trampoline
Ladies. I’ve had 3 kids vaginally. The jumping motion is not my friend anymore. I’ll just say it – it makes me pee my pants.
My daughter has been begging me to jump on the trampoline with her. And I needed to show her how cool I once was and do some cheerleading jumps. I may or may not have peed my pants but my daughter and I had so much fun. And my herkie was still on point.
2. Buying a Bikini
Now, the bikini is not for me. See previous statement about birthing 3 kids. My bikini days are definitely over. And I should probably change the word bikini to two-piece. But my daughter wanted one this year. And I’m a conservative mom. #sorrynotsorry. I can’t get past the fact that it’s like seeing someone in their bra and panties. And I’m not ready for all those tween/teen boys to see my daughter like that.
So I nixed it.
And swimsuit shopping was not a pleasant experience that day. It was full of eye-rolling, and attitude. She ended up with a super cute tankini and I was happy. She was only slightly happy. As I thought about it, I wanted her to see that I heard her and that I was willing to compromise. So I said I’d purchase the two-piece with some stipulations. She was over the moon and I was proud of myself for compromising.
3. Playing with Slime
If you have a child over the age of 10, then you have either purchased slime supplies or bought the slime from some other tween. And when she comes into the kitchen and slaps that on the kitchen counter while I’m making dinner, I cringe inside and tell myself I’ll disinfect it later. And we chat while she makes all kinds of popping noises with that slime that I choose to ignore even though it grates my nerves. I’m choosing conversation over annoyances and cleanliness.
I know now more than ever it’s important to have open communication with our teens. And we need to have hard conversations with them about technology, choices, and lifetime consequences. I have to make a conscious effort to do things my kids enjoy or are important to them. And a lot of times it’s inconvenient. But the payoff is huge. So I’ll continue to do things I don’t love, like peeing my pants, in order to build a solid relationship with my teens.