Growing my gorgeous girl

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.

Growing Great Girls by Ian Grant

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!)

5 Replies to “Growing my gorgeous girl”

  1. Your daughter is beautiful.

    I bet you’re a wonderful mother to her. You’re very loving and insightful.

    Maybe the difference between the younger years and the teen/tween years is this:

    When they’re young, it’s easy to tell them that you love them because they also say “I love you.” And they’re so affectionate.

    When they’re older, maybe it gets harder because they’re less affectionate towards you. They might even act like they hate you.

    You have to show them love even when they’re showing you all this animosity.

    It sounds really challenging!!!!! I hope I can handle it.

  2. I used to think that I’d work part-time while my boy was young and then I might go back to full-time work, but my tune is changing as time goes on. I can see that just because he’s getting older doesn’t mean he needs me around less.

    I too will have my blog as a record of the good and the tougher times with him. I hope he doesn’t hate me for that.

  3. I think you do great Cello. Mainly because it’s not what you tell them that matters. It’s what you do.

    – You can make a great meal (but you prefer me to do it).
    – You can organise your own play dates (and have to because I’m rubbish)
    – You do a great job of cleaning (when you’re in the zone)
    – You prefer cleaning with someone else (as do the kids and I)

    See a pattern here?

    Now ask yourself, when the kids spend a lot of time on the computer are they:

    (a) Doing what we say?
    (b) Doing what they see?

  4. Buy a couple of external hard drives, one for each child, and save the blog and comments on to them. Then they’ll still have their “diaries” if anything ever happens to your computer.
    You have wonderful children and I’m sure they know you love them. just keep those boundaries firmly in place when they challenge them, but be prepared to compromise.

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