I was half-listening to the radio this afternoon while purging my filing cabinet, answering emails and dealing with spot fires – you know, the little problems that crop up that you have to deal with – and they were talking about growing gorgeous girls…
I’ll find out the name of the book and author for you but the guts of it was that because your daughter is so “relationship aware” you need to make sure she knows she is cherished.
You need to spend time listening to her talk about her day. The author even suggested making a scrapbook of her life so that when she is 14 she can sit in her room when she’s feeling unloved and have a tangible record of your love for her.
If you do all this, he says (he wrote the book with his wife), your daughter is more likely to talk to you when she has problems.
Well I don’t have a scrapbook of Dippity’s life, but I do have this blog. Does that count at all?
I asked her what she thought. Did she feel loved? (yes, but not as much as her brother – to be fair he’s just found out that he might get to go on a trip to India or Borneo with the school)
Does a blog count? “Totally! I can’t lose that.” (well… maybe you can’t but I nearly did!! And what if the power goes out.)
The hardest thing for me at the moment is balancing being there for her and being there for work.
I thought it would get easier as she and her brother got older but I’m not finding it the case. I think tween and teenagers need you more… or more of you.
Yes, they are more independent. They can get their own breakfast, pack their own lunches (but they prefer me to make them), set the table and do a great job cleaning up afterwards. They can organise their own social life – they don’t need me to set up play dates anymore.
Emotionally though – I think as a parent you play a greater role and, as the holder of the boundaries, you are sorely tested.
As I heard one caller say today – you are not their friend, but their parent.
So Dippity and Hugamuga – know this: I love you. With all my heart and all my being.
(and no, no more computer time for you two tonight – it’s bedtime!)