If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I had a post planned for tonight... and then I lost it... from my brain. Yep, it was in my head, and then it was gone. I was left with nothing but a title and a vague feeling of greatness lost.
And now here I am, posting, and you might think that I have found the post that has hidden itself away in a dark corner of my mind. You would be wrong. This isn't it. Instead, this post is born out of my evening--and my last 8 years as a parent.
I know that people typically go to blogs for what they can get: craft ideas, recipes, a good laugh, a thought-provoking read, or even a heart-warming story to make them smile. Tonight, though, I'm hoping that you will come see what you can give.
Tonight I am looking for ideas. Suggestions. Input. HOPE!
Tonight I come to you as a mommy to a little girl entering the tween years. And all the drama that comes with that.
I remember when Lamb was just a little tot, talking to other moms about little girl attitude and little girl drama. And we would say, "If they act like this NOW, what are we going to do when they are 13?"
And now she's 8, and I'm wrestling with the same things I did when she was 2 and 3. What am I going to do with all of this drama?
And more specifically, here is my real question: How do I validate her feelings and let her know that she can talk to me about anything... without feeding into the drama?
To be fair, some of it is on me. I know this. I have very little patience for the mannerisms and tone-of-voice that come with uncomfortable conversations with this girl. The fidgeting and the incomplete (and whiny) sentences ("Wellllllllllllllllllllllll............ it's just.................. I mean........................... sometimes......................... I mean.................... I don't know....................... I just..........................") make my skin crawl. For real. It is just about more than I can handle. Am I alone on this? Is this just my personality, or do other moms have to will themselves past this too?
And once we get past the logistics, there's the content. I fully recognize that an 8-year-old's world is much smaller than mine; therefore things that seem small to me might be big to her. That's the part where I want to validate her feelings and not blow her off. And at the same time, I have a sense that the feelings aren't always genuine--that they may (at least in part) be about attention or getting her way or staying up past bedtime.
So where is the balance? How do you as a mom discern when to "go there" with your daughter and when to say, "that's enough"? How do you keep yourself calm and not go, "This is ridiculous. Go to bed"? (Not that I have ever been temped to say that, of course. Definitely not in the last 15 minutes.)
What are your tips for cutting the drama? Post your comments here or on the Facebook page. Pass this along and ask your friends for their tips. I will compile them--along with some things that I have learned myself (yep, there's one or two bits of wisdom in there)--and post them in a day or so. (But if no one gives me suggestions, I'm going to look rather silly with this post just sitting out there. Come on, help a sister out!)