When Mia started junior school in September 2018, I wasn’t prepared for how quickly she’d grow up. She has always been very mature for her age, but recently she has transformed from a little girl into a young lady. Mia is 8 and a half now. Twirly princess dresses and endless episodes of Peppa Pig are a distant memory. She’s a tween, not a little girl but not a teenager. She still needs me, but would never admit it!
Forrest Gump’s Momma once said ‘life is like a box of chocoaltes, you never know what you’re gonna get’. That phrase has stuck with me since I first watched the movie and it couldn’t be more relevant than it is right now. I wake up each morning wondering what children I’ll have that day. Will I have two delightfully pleasant small humans? Will sarcasm be the theme of the day? How many times will I think back on the days where they didn’t fight over the TV remote with fondness?
One thing I know for sure is, this tween stuff is a minefield. Here’s why…
First of all, she says words that don’t actually exist or are really annoying. ‘Bruh’ is currently her favourite way of responding to me and it makes me want to scream.
It turn’s out hugging isn’t cool any more. Dropping her off at school requires zero physical contact and I must not converse with her friends because it makes her cringe. According to Mia, shouting ‘I love you’ across the playground is also frowned upon. Sometimes I say it anyway because the look of disgruntlement on her face entertains me greatly.
Any mild inconvience causes her to be ‘triggered’. Apparently the term annoyed or angry just doesn’t cut the mustard these days.
My grandmother no longer asks for my help with technoligical stuff. She asks Mia instead, because apparently my child can use phone’s and computers with ease these days.
Disney Princesses are a distant memory, it’s all about Ariana Grande now. I’m 26 and I still want to be Princess Belle when I grow up but Mia would most definitely rather be the fifth member of Little Mix. Other than Lego, she doesn’t play with toys any more. The dressing up box rarely see’s the light of day unless Theo rummages through it.
‘I know right’ and ‘I’m just saying’ are phrases I hear often. ‘I’m just saying’ is usually said when she’s trying to get herself out of trouble for calling me a ‘fusspot’ or similar.
I can no longer go clothes shopping without her, she has to pre-approve outfits. My clothes are far from beige and frumpy but alas, I am no longer qualified to find suitable attire for the 8 year old fashionista. Thankfully, she loves Primark like her Mum.
She can fetch her own snacks now don’t you know? I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve caught her up on the kitchen side sneaking Mr Kipling treats or chocolate. Don’t get me wrong, I love having a bit of a break from being the waitress but I’m fed up of going to fetch my own Mr Kipling goodies and finding the box still in the cupboard, but empty.
She amazes, confuses, frustrates, delights, maddens, inspires, and charms me. Usually all in the same 24 hours. Life with a tween is quite literally an emotional rollercoaster.
Before I know it she’ll be less tween and more teen and I’m not sure how I feel about it. All I know is I want her to always be true to herself. Parenting a tween has already had it’s challenges and I’m sure I’ll face many more over the next few years. I’m starting to realise why my Mum always looked slightly bewildered as I hit my teenage years.
Thankfully, despite all of the eye rolling, she’s still my Mia. She has the most beautiful soul. She’s wonderfully intelligent and unbelievably kind. Mia genuinely loves life and grabs it by both hands and she still loves a cuddle with her Mum, just not in public.
Are you muddling your way through parenting a tween? Can you relate? Are you the parent of a teen with advice to offer? Share your wisdom in the comments below.