On Wednesday, I wrote a post on raising a nine-year-old daughter. Then I came across this post on The Huffington Post, entitled “50 things to remember about a 9-year-old girl”. It reinforced the knowledge that I’m not alone in the tween struggles, and I’d like to share some excerpts here (in italic), along with my own additions.
-She wants to be cuddled like the little girl she was not so very long ago – Until she doesn’t. She is a study in contradictions as she is beginning to find herself.
–You are her very favorite person in the entire world … ever. Seriously. Even when she doesn’t admit it. She is learning what it is to be a woman from you and looks up to you.
–She’s witty. Almost too witty for her own good. [And] She is really funny … [but] you are not funny. Ever.
–She can slam a door with the force and fury of an F5 tornado. But she cannot close a cabinet or the refrigerator to save her life.
-Let her pick out her own clothes. She’s developing her own sense of style and taste. Besides, she will hate anything you buy for her to wear … if you pick it out, it will suck.
-She is approaching puberty (or may have even started it). Buy her some deodorant, but don’t make a big deal out of it. Get her her own lotion, body wash, shampoo – that’s not for kids. She’ll love feeling like an adult.
-She secretly (or not so secretly) wants to wear make-up. Don’t let her. There is time enough for her to be a young woman, make her stay a kid as long as possible.
-If you tell her she cannot wear her fleece-lined winter boots to Target – in July – you are an a**hole. She is learning just how unfair life can be. Embrace it. She may as well get used to it now.
–She thinks you can do anything. [and] she thinks she can do anything. She’s right. [But] one day soon, she will seriously doubt her ability to do anything. It is your job to remind her of the truth. Teach her to recognize her strengths. She may not excel in everything, but that’s no reason not to try. And it’s also no reason to lose confidence in herself. Tell her how smart, how kind, how loving, how awesome she is – even when she brushes it off and pretends not to listen. She’s still hearing you.
–She needs her privacy. She is becoming more independent. Giving her some privacy (if earned) makes her feel acknowledged and respected.
-This week, she’ll want to play soccer. Next week, ballet. The week after that, karate. It’s OK for her to “try on” a variety of activities as she figures out who she is.
-Pink is for little girls. She wants a turquoise and lime green bedroom. Or at least something a little more grown up. Let her help in the decor choices.
-She is terrified of being different from other girls. Try to teach her to embrace her differences and her uniqueness.
-She still needs her mommy. But she will never admit it.
-She craves your approval. She wants you to tell her she is doing a good job. She desperately needs your praise.
-She is a truly amazing mixture of awkward and elegant, gentle and fiery, self-possessed and petrified.But she is starting to compare herself to others.She will inevitably find herself lacking. Let her know she is truly wonderful. Every. Single. Day.