i really want to share my heart again concerning the 'mean girl' issue we dealt with for a couple of weeks.
so.... first let me say, i intentionally try to keep my posts short, easy reads. this one won't be a short easy read. i also try to balance the introspective posts & not overwhelm anyone with heavy thoughts. having said that, i will try to keep this one reeled in while still sharing a tad more.
and while i'm throwing around some disclaimers, let me also make it clear, i far from have it together when it comes to raising teenagers. just ask SMK. she'll give you an amen after she regains her composure. nonetheless, i'll share a few of my simple thoughts. maybe i'll have it all together by the time CEK turns the corner from the tween stage ( she just proudly informed me yesterday that she is indeed a tween. please.) into the highschool stage. give me strength.
it all comes down to balance
knowing when to say when
loads and loads of prayer
and maybe a little luck
when my girls were little, preschool age, little susie bit little savannah one morning in the toddler room ( i'm going with some anonymity to protect the not so innocent ). i received a little pink note explaining little susie's mama had been informed of her little angel's behavior. poor little savannah. wrong place wrong time. no need for me to go marching into the director's office demanding screening on future preschool applicants. sweet ms candace had the situation under control.
when little savannah was in first grade & she and her bestie were fussing at each other, i could call said bestie's mom and we could discuss their sweet little relationship in a civilized manner. help them work through issues etc, say nighty night and alls well that ends well. right?
fast forward to highschool and by fast forward i mean blink your eyes & low and behold you have a teenager or three that daily borrow your favorite shoes and expensive jcrew jewelry. no lie. this stage has been a doozie for me. so much more at stake, for them and for my relationship with them, when a crisis rolls around.
while i would love to get little pink notes from their teachers about daily issues, it aint gonna happen. while i'd love to chat with the mom's of bffs and come to the rescue for a relationship crisis, it aint gonna happen. and nor should it. well, not every time anyway. hear me out~
i pray every day for protection over my girls, wisdom and discernment as i relate to them.
when to step in. when to allow them some independence.
when to offer advice. when to realize that they just want to vent.
when to trust them. when to have their back. when to allow them to take care of things themselves.
when to spare them further embarrassment.
it's a hard call
and the kicker.... to not appear shocked when they share shockers. and believe me , i hear some shockers. i need to be a safe stable place for them to share. if i'm constantly getting fired up and frustrated, they'll quit sharing. i can almost promise you that one. communication is crucial at this stage. their day is often times filled with craziness and turbulence. their emotions are all over the place as are the emotions of those around them. if i act all shocked or wide eyed when they tell me things, that only solidifies to them that their day was crazy and turbulent. they need stability. they need me to be solid and unchanging.
i also feel like when my girls were younger , they were resilient when issues arose and thankfully forgot many of my mistakes. now that they're wearing makeup & using $150 flatirons. not so much. the painful things they go through are remembered and sadly stick in their hearts for longer periods. and much to my dismay, they remember my mistakes. darn it.
i'm not teaching my girls to be wimps. i'm also not encouraging them to react , which is usually in anger, to every situation that rolls their way.
i'm not trying to make a joke out of bullying. it is a frightening situation that is alive and well.
however there is also a whole lotta drama going on with girls, especially at this age. me stepping in, calling moms, confronting another teenager, or whatever more often times than not, is only going to make the situation worse.
i am very aware that there are times that as a parent i have a responsibility to step in and have my child's back. but having said that, i would only do that if i wholeheartedly believed the situation was reaching that arbitrary point of necessity. and don't hate me but step in if it was ok with them.
just this summer i had to choose to give one of my girls what she pleaded with me to give her. another adult had called her a very ugly name. to her face. i would have never done this to one of my girls friends. i was blown away the situation occurred. i did get shocked and i freaked out. she begged & pleaded with me not to call the mom. i've raised a daughter who i trust. who i give the benefit of the doubt and i wanted her to see that i would not trump her. i chose to walk away on that one. i asked the lord to help me forgive that mom who probably isn't aware that i even know the story. tough. hard. choice. but what i hoped my daughter learned in that situation was that i believed in her more than i believed in me and what i wanted to do. period.
back to balance.
i won't always make the right decision or do the right thing. however i have to believe that i am doing the best thing at the time. i seek advice from those in whom i have the utmost respect. and i pray it all works out. sometimes it doesn't. i know that.
i want to respect the red flags that arise in the lives of mychildren's.
i am not a passive parent who is disconnected with this generation and what they are exposed to.
i just pray that while i feel most days on the parenting front are a delicate balance of prayer, humility and a little luck, i pray that i raise up four girls who put their faith in Him who is greater and stronger . He who sees every little detail in their turbulent day.
who always his their back.