My friend Simone has written poignantly on her blog about her struggles to guide her 12 year old daughter through the myriad of challenges she faces. Being 12 in modern society is tricky; not young, yet not grown. Simone and I exchanged texts of our experiences as our daughters are the same age. She mentioned today that she felt like she was a ‘walking Pinterest wisdom board’ which made me laugh out loud (or lol if we are using 12 year old speak).
|…the gist of my exam lecture…|
I wonder how it can be that I have so quickly morphed from cool, young yummy mummy with toddlers to an occasionally world-weary parent, trying to dispense advice to my daughter as she rolls her eyes and responds with language that frankly has me reaching for the ‘urban dictionary’. I find myself reminding my daughter that we are young (dare I say ‘hip’?) parents – I had her in my mid twenties; unlike so many of my peers who established careers first, I married and procreated young. I have consistently been the youngest at the school gates. But the fact is: pointing out to your kids that you are ‘down with the kids’ kinda defeats the object. My upbringing of John Hughes films somehow doesn’t seem to cut the mustard now.
My daughter leads a charmed young life and indeed after the work she did to accepted get into her school, I am delighted that she has so readily found her place. But I found myself lecturing her on taking her exams seriously and making the most of her opportunities and half way through got this distinct feeling that I was getting it all wrong. My need to make sure she understands every bit of wisdom I ever learnt sometimes over arches my need to let her find her own way. It’s hard and I figure it’s going to get harder…
The possibilities that lie before both of my children can take my breath away, although I have a sneaking feeling that it’s going to be tough for them to find jobs and buy houses when they are older, I do feel real optimism for them. It’s that optimism that drives my husband and I to work hard to give them the chances that perhaps we didn’t have (although in reality we both led charmed lives too so I mustn’t paint the picture that it was otherwise). I am conscious that my need to get it ‘right’ but I am realising that there is no right; it’s not like when they were babies and there was a correct range of developmental milestones. Crawling by a year, walking by two, however many ounces of milk in the bottle. Now it’s all new and it takes a whole different type of parenting, one that I am learning! Any advice? Oh and my Pinterest wisdom board is here.