My daughter has officially hit the tween years, and there are days where I ask "how much longer"? Then of course I know right after the tween years are the TEENAGE years. Oh my goodness! I know that I will need God's guidance and wisdom through these next ten plus years.
When my daughter was younger I was able to say "Kaitlyn sit right here and do not move" and she wouldn't even budge or I would say "Kaitlyn can you help mommy clean your room" and she would chime in "Yes mommy". Fast forward to now and this is our conversations:
ME: "Kaitlyn can you please go pick up your room"
Kaitlyn: "my room isn't even dirty"
ME: "Kaitlyn I asked you to please pick up your room, it doesn't have to be perfect just make sure everything is off the floor, your bed is made and everything is in the right place."
Kaitlyn: *huffing and puffing and eye rolling* "I just cleaned my room the other day"
ME: "Kaitlyn please just do what I asked"
Kaitlyn: " I AAAAM!"
ME: "Kaitlyn you chose to make poor choices and now you lost your park time"
Kaitlyn: "WHAAAAAAAAAT, I am cleaning my room"
ME: "the only person you can be mad at is yourself"
By the end of these little "conversations" I am worn out and this conversation was the easier one. Our battle over school is the worse. I am in constant prayer asking God to help me throughout day, and also praying that I do not lose my patience and start yelling at my daughter (trust me there have been days).
I have learned that there are something's that can be done to help these years that my daughter is going through and will be going through for awhile.
1. Take moments just to talk ~ I have noticed when I come to Kaitlyn and just talk about anything she opens up and I can notice a change in her attitude. She is more willing to help, and be more respectful and that is because she noticed that I took time for just her. We usually end up talking in her room, or my room, or when we are running errands and it is just her and I (she usually always runs errands with me). Our talks usually end up discussing her actions and she realizes what she needs to fix. I then learn what I can do to help our situation. I also discuss with her what God expects from me and from her, and then we read a little from her Bible.
2. Little more freedom ~ my husband and I have realized that we need to let Kaitlyn have the opportunity to do things without us. As hard as it is to say, it seems to be really working. Kaitlyn has really shown us that she is responsible at her age, and because of that we have let her venture out a little more. For example, when she comes home from the park with her friends we can tell that she has that "I am so grown" look on her face and that she really loves that feeling.
3. Pick my battles ~ there are many times where I choose to let some things go, and some things I do not. Sometimes getting into a full fledge argument about the way she puts her clothes away is just not worth it. I am just happy that she put them away without arguing.
4. Allow her to do more at home ~ Kaitlyn loves helping in the kitchen and when I am preparing a meal I usually try to ask her to help. Sometimes it is just easier for me to do it but I know I need to teach her to cook, and also she loves it so much. This is another opportunity to just talk. But when I hear in her voice that she is thrilled, I know that I made the right decision. When we sit down to eat, she will tell her daddy that she made dinner "of course with mommy's help" and the excitement in her face is priceless.
5. I tell her constantly that I love her and that she is beautiful. Even though I tell her ALL the time I know deep down inside she loves hearing that. I want her to know that no matter how much we argue I will always love her.
These are just little things that I have learned but I have seen a good thing happen in my daughter. Also, like I said before I am in constant prayer asking for wisdom and guidance! I know that we will get through these times because God will guide us in the direction we need to go. He will not let us down.
"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."