Thoughts on Tweens

The tween phase is such an intriguing age to me. The kids are not yet teenagers but that doesn’t seem to keep the hormones at bay.   Suddenly the word “cool” isn’t cool anymore (did you know that? I didn’t), our singing now embarrasses them, yet they like (and wear) the sames clothes as us.  Go figure.  Lately, when scrolling through my camera screen there are fewer and fewer photos of my tween daughter because I get the don’t you dare take a picture of me, Mom face.  Most of my friends have younger children so all I can say to you about tweens is this.

Get ready.

 

Discussing life over Spring Break

Discussing life over Spring Break

 

That being said,  I really do love this stage in Britton’s life. She has unique thoughts that can be eloquently articulated and ideas that’ll blow your mind.  My 10 year old is helpful, responsible and trustworthy (fingers crossed that she remains this way).  The flip side to the tween stage is I think it’s going to take a lot more of creativity on my part, to keep her engaged in healthy, wholesome, meaningful activities.   That is easier said than done and I know this is just the beginning.

Disney Princess movies and Crayola coloring have been replaced with Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks and crafting scented bath soaps.

Livie & Lucas shoes replaced with Jack Rogers (do kids get even more expensive as they get older? Wait- don’t answer that).

Admittedly, the thought of fast approaching summer is already weighing on my mind. And not for reasons you might think.  I love having my girls home with me all summer.  What I don’t like is the amount of time my tween daughter would spending playing MindCrack MindCraft if Mama Bear wasn’t constantly monitoring her allotted 60 minutes. Which, you may have guessed, takes up even more of my time to monitor her time.  I all but wear a stop watch around me neck and carry around a clip board shouting ‘time’ at the top of the house.

 

To make matters worse little sister wants to do what big sisters does, so she has her laptop right next to Britton doing the same.

 

To help try to solve this problematic dilemma I’ve created a tween Pinterest board where I’m hoarding collecting various activities, books and crafts to keep my busy body (and busy brain-ed) child happy this summer.

 

violin-1186

Britton’s first violin recital- her great grandfather, a concert violinist, is smiling from above

 

These are some of the activities that my tween currently enjoys so I’ll start here.

  • Rainbow Loom (talk about hours of entertainment!)
  • Reading
  • Journaling
  • Making scented soaps
  • Polymer clay (for creating munions)
  • doing extra chores for money
  • sleepovers
  • decorative duck tape (for making bows, wallets, purses, picture frames, etc)
  • making hair bows
  • the occasional sewing project (when Mama obliges)

In my Lenten Bible study this Sunday one of the parents talked about how insecure she feels with her oldest child (in her case, not knowing when to let the reigns loose with her 18 year old) yet this Mom said she feels quite competent parenting her youngest.  I feel this way a lot. Okay, most of the time .  When it comes to my oldest, now tween, child I spend lots of time thinking about her: What should I be doing with her?  What could I be doing that I’m not?  Do I spend enough time with her?  Am I hovering too much?  Do I say ‘no’ too often? Is she spoiled?  Am I too lenient? Am I too strict?

And the answer is who the hell knows. The parenting manual that they nurse handed me when she was born got lost long ago. All that remains is her Daddy, me and the Bible to try to figure out this whole parenting thing- specifically our oldest tween daughter.  So for now I’ll keep on praying, pinning, second guessing and snapping the occasional photo because this fleeting stage I want to remember.

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