3 Words Our Kids Need to Hear

It is Monday morning, and my daughter drags into the kitchen.  She sits on a bar stool, slumps her shoulders, and casts her eyes down at the bowl of Cheerios I slide in front of her.

She moans and groans and tells me how tired she is. Part of me is irritated. I need her to step it up because I have four kids to get to school in thirty minutes. I don’t have time for this.

But then I remember – I get tired, too. And like me, this child really needs her sleep. So instead of rushing her, I take a minute to let her wake up.3 Words Our Kids Need To Hear

“I get it,” I tell her, remembering the many times I’ve struggled to get out of bed. “Mornings can be hard for me, too.”

It is Wednesday afternoon, and I can tell by the look on my daughter’s face as she walks toward my car that she’s upset. As she buckles her seatbelt, she blurts out what’s troubling her.

Once again she didn’t place in the school art contest. Once again her friend won first place.

With a bitter tinge in her voice, she complains that it’s not fair. Part of me wants to correct my child. I want to tell her to be happy for her friend.

But then I remember – I get jealous, too. And being jealous of a friend is the hardest kind to overcome.

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10 Things I Love about Having a Tween Daughter

tween

When my daughters were all little, I dreaded adolescence. It seemed like all the comments I heard about tween and teen girls were negative, and the way some people put it, I was in for a dismal ride.

On top of this, there was the sentimental sap in me who wanted to mourn the childhood my daughters were slowly outgrowing. With every baby tooth that fell out of their mouths, every hair bow they refused to wear, every Barbie they stopped playing with, I wondered if we were drifting away from something vitally important.

An age of innocence we’d never re-capture again.

I’m not sure when it happened, but it hit me one day that maybe I was looking at my daughters’ growth the wrong way. That instead of mourning their changes, maybe I should celebrate them.

Because the truth is, there’s something special about every stage of growing up. And if I spend too much time looking back, thinking about the little girls in French hand-sewn dresses whose pictures I used to hand-tint, and whose food I used to cut, I miss the beautiful scenes playing out in front of me, scenes just as important their overall life stories as the childhoods fading away.

I want my daughters to grow up as slowly as possible, but I don’t want to stunt their growth. I don’t want to cling so tightly to who they were that I leave no room for who they’re meant to become.

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