Growing Up With You

As we navigate the new world of the tweenage years and Secondary School my firstborn and I are in a whole new territory. Gone are the days of her first steps and first words. Gone are the days of her potty training and first time at Nursery. Instead we have other firsts like first exams, first new life lessons and a whole new relationship to explore which is both terrifying and yet exciting at the same time!

She’s my firstborn and I’ve had to learn as I go with her, which means I’ve made mistakes and continue to do so and we bicker, we have disagreements but we make up and we apologise.

The tween years are when children begin to develop a true sense of self and if I recall my tween years I went through many phases before I got to be the person I am as an adult and even then, I’m still ever growing and changing because what I’ve learnt is that we aren’t static and interests and attitudes change a lot over the years.

Many parents fear ‘the dreaded tween’ years, preparing themselves for years of mood swings, rebellion and tough conversations – while this, I’ve discovered – can be a part of your tween’s journey, it’s also been about guiding them as they grow up, which is a pretty amazing thing to be a part of… Being a single parent and watching her grow over the years has been such a privilege no matter how hard the days can be. Some days (everyday) I question if I’m up to the job, how on earth can I guide a small person when I feel like I can barely guide myself! Having her made me grow up in the best way possible and I love how she can come to me for all questions about life and body changes, sometimes those days are the days I feel like I’m doing something right.

Throughout the tween years, children go through big changes. They will likely enter puberty, undergo significant brain development, their social lives and circles will change and they will begin to crave independence and individuality. All of these changes are preparing them for growing up – where they will shift from childhood to adulthood and it’s difficult but a blessing to experience this with her. No matter how much of a challenge and a change it is.

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