Saturday, March 21, 2015

On parenting the tween/teen in your life

Have I ever mentioned how unprepared I was to raise a teen?!?
I'm pretty sure I've hinted at it once or twice.

I call the ages of 4-11 "The Golden Years".  I wish I had known it at the time.
The end of the tween years and the beginning of the teen years is where it gets a little dicey.
It's middle school after all.  The quirkiest time of our lives.
I have yet to "name" this time period. 
I don't think I'll be able to put a name to it until I'm through it.
(Please, Lord, help me through it!)

I really didn't see this coming.
Things were clicking along so smoothly.
I thought I was doing everything right!?!

Here's where I offer myself some grace.
First of all, there is no one right way to parent.
I've tried to parent with Love and Logic.  Grace and Truth.
And yet, these kids have to go through these years.  Their way.

Shopping with my Daisy is like nothing I have ever experienced.
Now, when it's a specific shopping day and I'm willing to get her some things for the new season, it couldn't be more fun.  That girl knows what she likes, and she likes to shop.
However, if I have 5 items on my Target list, and would just like to get in and get out, and yet she wants to come with, it's a recipe for disaster.  And, I've experienced that "disaster" twice in the last week.

I make it clear, "I am going into Target, grabbing my 5 items, and leaving Target".
"That's fine, mom, I'll just look around a bit", says my innocent Daisy.
Make-up isle, shoes, clothing...next thing I know she's in the fitting room with 10 things to try on.
"Did you bring your money?", I ask, since those items are not on my list.  
"Yes", she says.  
Coming out of the fitting room, of course she LOVES everything, but does some weeding out.
She spent a little of her Christmas money and somehow I end up buying her a pair of spring flats + a t-shirt for her birthday.  Oh, she's good.

I can explain 20 times a day to my 13-year old why I won't pay for her Starbucks Frappuccino, or why we don't just go on constant shopping sprees, or why I won't pay for those beauty items that I have never heard of nor have I ever used in my 40 years.

I think it's important to teach kids how to live on their budget, not mom and dads budget.
Her budget is $6/week that she earns by taking care of Coco, cleaning my bathroom (weekly), cleaning the kitchen (daily), and sweeping the main level (weekly).  (She's also a soccer ref in the spring, summer, and fall).

Reminding her of this rewards me with an eye roll.
I'll take the eye roll over a 25-year old entitled "adult" living in my basement, in debt, with no ambitions.

And, before you think I'm a total party pooper, we do plan some fun shopping trips, and I do buy her a Starbucks on special occasions, and I do let her buy those two different kinds of mascara at Target.  It's just that I want her to know that she is living on a 13-year olds budget, not a working adults budget.  

*This story was told with the permission of my Daisy.

XOXO Tiffany

"Change the food you put on your plate".  It Starts with Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig

(This Whole30 thing is totally doable!  I'm feeling great!  Day 5)

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