Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tween Daughters- Bridging the Gap

Big Sister is morphing from a little kid to a very capable tweenager. She has a good head on her shoulders, but there are still days when I feel like we're on our way to being strangers. Lately, I've been reflecting on my own pre-teen (because that's what we were called in those days!) years to see what made me feel special. Between the ideas that I liked growing up and some of my new experiences, I'm gaining ground with my kiddo instead of loosing touch with her.

Try these ideas to reconnect with your tweenage daughter...

* Give her a piece of your jewelry. Make sure it's something appropriate for her age. Earrings that hang down to her shoulders will not do the trick! Consider resizing a ring, choosing necklace that can be wrapped twice around her neck or a brooch that can be converted to a hair pin.

* Read a book together. Find a novel that you'll both enjoy, buy or borrow two copies, and read it book club style. Maybe hit a coffee shop for an evening of reading. Celebrate the conclusion of the book.

* Find a hobby to share or start (and finish!) a project together.

* Pass down your prized possession. Be it a camera that you've upgraded from, an older sewing machine, a book collection from your childhood, a tween daughter will feel privileged to be the owner of something dear to you.

* Make her a friendship quilt.

*Do something childish with her. Skating, sledding, slip 'n' sliding... it doesn't matter as long as she's seeing you on her level, letting your hair down and being silly!

* Find your own "anniversary" to remember. Know the dad you found out you were pregnant with her? Maybe the day she first said "mama" or your first girls' night. Let her help you decide, but mark it on the calendar!

* Have an actual conversation with her every day. Don't let the relief of having a kid who is self-sufficient lead to a realization that you haven't spoken to you daughter in a week. Make sure the talk involved something more than "How was your day?" or "Do you have any homework." Ask her about specifics and respond to what she has to say.

* Get excited about what she's excited about-- even if you have to morph into your pre-teen self to do it. You could get on the floor and stack block with her at 1, you can most definitely play on for a while and love it.

* Pray together. With prayer comes closeness, appreciation, admiration, and respect. Pray out loud for yourselves, for each other, in thanks and for guidance. Complete a bible study or faith building book together.

*Embarrass her- but not too much! Yell "I love you!" out the window when you drop her off at school, but don't do it if you've left your curlers in for the drive! Leave her a note of a picture of the two of you in her lunchbox or notebook. Send her flowers.


Sara said...

I don't have teens, or tweens, but passed your info to a friend who is having probs.

I love all of your ideas, especially the jewelry idea!

Nel said...

Great ideas!

Christian Mommy Writer said...

I like the sharing jewelry idea. I think that would do great with opening doors of communication.

Holly Rutchik said...

This was so sweat. You inspire me as a mama of girls.
Bless you.

Jessica said...

What great ideas! I'm going to keep these in mind when my girls are entering tween years!