Today’s youngsters seem to be growing up too fast! They know what’s hot and not. They keep up with what is trending. And they just seem to comprehend some “things” in advance too quickly, when during our time, those were the things that we didn’t even pay attention to. Some even have the guts to commit crimes and suicide, and it is very alarming.
So how do you survive raising a tweener?
Raising young people is a tricky one. You need a lot of patience, too. It’s either you keep up with what’s new and they love, or be strict if you are not comfortable with they are into, or just simply be in between. I go with the latter one. Know what’s in their world putting a limit and make them remember that you are still the parent. In the case of my 7 y/o, she’s exactly the little girl as I was when I was her age. She loves dressing up. She adores pink and lavender shoes. She’s still very much into french braid hairstyle, and pony tails. She loves collecting toys and recently very much into My Little Pony. Although there are quite a few things that she already knew and I still don’t, I try to get learn it and join the fun. She’s into make-up tutorial and posts them in YouTube. I support her and buy her a few things that she would need.
She’s got techniques which I only learned and heard for the first time. I know and am aware that make-up is not good for such a young skin but I do allow her for as long as it won’t be as regular as how adults do, and that she makes sure to clean her face up right after she’s done. I admit, I enjoy watching her, and learning from her, and am proud that she can do what I cannot, with confidence. By giving her the freedom to do what she loves, she’s already molded into what she would like to become when the right time comes.
With my 11 y/o, it is totally a different approach. I got to be stricter whenever needed, and be lenient when I could. I got to know what she’s doing. I still have a full access to her Social Media accounts, and I made her aware that I check on these once in a while, with no schedule so she wouldn’t delete any. Emails used in her accounts are all redirected to my personal email accounts so that I know who messages her regularly, and if there are new friend requests coming in. I know, I know, there’s this thing called PRIVACY. I will give it to her, of course, when the right time comes. We all know that young people are exposed to almost everything, looking like they are ready but in reality they are not, mentally.
At times, I would see messages from her classmates asking if she’s joining them to a couple of hour “fast-food group date”, but she never asked me. It’s either she knows I won’t allow her ALONE or I may allow her but with limited time and chaperone. However, I ask her if she would like to invite her friends/classmates home instead so that I know who she spends time with at school. Smart mom eh? Yes, they’ve come and visited home several times now, and that made me one happy and panatag mom.
She has also been under the influence of these KPOP groups wanting to possess almost all the KPOP collectible items. I support her with no questions and in fact surprised her when I ordered KPOP merchandise from Shopee. She also taught me Korean songs a lot of times already but failed. Whether I succeeded in singing a Korean song or not, at least she knows that I am trying to fit in her world now.
In terms of academic activities, they know I could be the strictest mom a day before their exams day. But on regular days, for as long as their home works are done without my prompt, they are free to use their gadgets, watch on YouTube, watch TV, play outside when the weather permits, but everything on a limited time. Gone were the days when I would only allow them on weekends. I am glad they obey my rules strictly. And that makes me one prouder mom.
I am also very open to discussing anything about her crushes and admirers, and talk to her like an adult. The dos and donts most especially. We have to admit, the world has changed and the generation gap has become wider and wider, unless you being a parent will also allow yourself to fit in their world. Below is one of the Snapchat shots that we usually do when we are parked and waiting for our turn at Jollibee Drive-thru. I try my best to be one of them, be like them and love what they like!
Most of all, communicate with them regularly, busy or not, you got to find time for it, for them and everything will be alright.