Parenting a Preteen

I was sitting with my small group ladies (whom I love by the way), and some of them were discussing potty training.  I hated potty training.  Then I found my mind drifting to the new “bathroom conversations” I have now with my daughter.

Periods and bras and pimples and WHO SAID I WAS READY TO PREPARE HER FOR THIS???

We haven’t reached all of these milestones, if you will, but we have been talking about them (good heavens, have we been talking about them) so that we are ready when the time comes.  Parenting a preteen is serious business.

My girl is getting big, but she isn’t.  She likes to play pretend and watch cartoons.  She wants more freedoms but she is scared of them.  She wants to grow up, but she hates the unknown of it all.  She thinks she is ready to be on her own, but she still really, REALLY needs me.

And I’m supposed to know how to walk her through this…

I’m trying to be soaked in calmness.  I find myself saying, “That’s perfectly normal,” in every conversation we have.  I listen without reacting.  I let her speak her mind, and calmly remind her to keep her attitude in check.  And sometimes I crack…and it isn’t pretty.  And I hate it.  I’ve learned to be pretty honest with her about that too, about my faults, and that I still need forgiveness and growth.

We’ve shifted from me carrying her and leading her, to more of walking side by side.  But I’m still holding her hand because she doesn’t know where she’s going.  She tries to run ahead of me, then I gently pull her back with me because she isn’t ready to be on her own yet.

And she’s only 10.  Lord have mercy.