I have decided that this might possibly be the most difficult parenting phase I have experienced.
Not because my daughter is difficult or trying – she has her moments like any kid, of course – but because I feel like she’s at such a pivotal point in her development and the pressure is greater than it has ever been to……well, to not screw her up.
She’s a tween. A mature and fast-developing 10 year old girl. Insecurity is fast becoming front and center. Comparing herself with others is how she defines herself right now. She knows what she’s good at but she is starting to taste that real world concept of looking around and feeling like some people just have it all and everything they touch turns to gold. I know that such people don’t exist. Because we ALL have insecurities about something and we all have struggles nobody knows about but us and Jesus. But it’s hard to explain that to a 10 year old.
I find myself struggling as she does….trying not to compare myself to other moms, our lifestyle to other families, my looks and talents to other women. I think that’s why it’s so hard to help her…..because I still struggle with the same feelings.
I think to myself, “Well, it’s not all on me. Her dad should affirm her more. She needs her male influences to step up.” But honestly, while I know that’s important, it’s not the answer – it’s an excuse. Because the truth is, I want my daughter to know who she is and what she’s worth without having to hear it from a man. I want her to know her worth because of its truth, not because she was persuaded. I want her to look at both her physical and character reflections and be proud of the unique and wonderful creation that she is.
I’m hard on Reagan. I always have been. Too hard at times probably. But I have expectations of her. Not of tangible successes either. My expectations are of character and of the inner self. Tangible successes are easy to help your kid achieve. The other stuff – well, that’s the challenge.