When you move into the pre-teen years, being a parent changes. Really quite radically.
You can’t get away with ‘because I said so’ ever because they want to know exactly why you say so and if it’s unreasonable they will have a well reasoned and probably very accurate argument to counter it.
Because that’s what you’ve taught them to do in life.
They don’t want you around them all the time. They want their own space, and they will often choose to be with their friends over you.
But that’s fine, because friends are important and learning how to socialise is important because you want them to get on in that big bad world.
However, here’s the biggy; they won’t tell you everything any more. There will be secrets. And it will be agony because you used to be in on everything.
But that’s totally OK, because that’s what growing up is all about and you need to step away from your parents to blossom and grow.
I have spent years and years priming my kids for this moment. Hoping that the standards we set in this household stick. That they want to be decent human beings. Caring, compassionate, cuddly 🙂
Hoping that they make the right decisions, but if they don’t, they learn from their mistakes.
So in light of all that, this is how I stay connected to my nearly 12 year old now. His rugby.
I stand on the sidelines at every club match he plays. I listen as he dissects the game afterwards, I praise him on his crunching tackles, I offer advice where it’s asked for.
Since starting his new school in September he now also plays a lot of school rugby. And I’m there too, hovering on the sidelines, watching as he emerges from underneath a pile of muddy bodies with the ball in his hands and a smile on his face.
Being a parent gets much harder as they grow. You think the toddler years are a challenge, but you’re just going to swap them for new challenges; challenges where your child is almost as tall as you and can unpick your reasoning before your very eyes.
I’ve seen/read/heard so many differing stories about the teenage years, I’m going to enjoy every single bit of this phase as much as I can!
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