I want to take a moment and connect with the moms who feel lost and confused about the relationship they have with their child, especially their preteen child.
These years seem so frightening at times: the behaviors you’re seeing your child do, or the moods that she is in, which seem to come out of nowhere.
You’re literally feeling that push-and-pull, back-and-forth between the two of you and it’s exhausting! One moment your child wants to play with you, ask your advice, be affectionate…and then the next moment it’s “Don’t talk to me, don’t touch me, don’t look at me!”
I know you’re feeling scattered as you wrack your brain saying “What do I do? How am I supposed to respond to that? Do I discipline that behavior? Do I send her to her room? Is it better listen to her words? But if I do and I don’t know what to say, then what?”
You weren’t expecting this from a child who is just transitioning into middle school. You weren’t expecting your child, who still sleeps with teddy bears and loves coloring books, to at the same time desire to have her own Facebook profile and want to wear the clothes all the other girls are wearing.
You didn’t expect to feel hurt that you used to be her #1, and now her friends are suddenly the barometer of what’s right in the world.
I get your pain, your worries, your confusion. Completely.
The pre-teen years are a big struggle for kids AND their moms because it’s an age where your child wants her independence but still needs your cuddles. It’s the years where the more she says she doesn’t need you, the more she really does.
It’s hard to navigate this road.
And you’re not alone in feeling this way.
I work with many moms who sit in front of me and say “This is not where I thought I would be at this point in my child’s life, I thought I would have the parenting piece down.”
Parenting is an evolution, with every day a new challenge, obstacle, AND joy. And that’s something to look forward to as well.
Jenmarie Eadie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who is passionate about helping children to become less stressed by giving them and their parents tools, support and encouragement. She received her Master’s in Social Work from Arizona State with a dual concentration in Children, Youth, and Families; and Behavioral Health. Her proudest accomplishment is following her dream of opening up a practice that is designed to focus on the whole family. She currently serves families in Southern California.