Dear Eleven Year-Old, You’re Only Eleven

My dear eleven year-old daughter,

I know you probably get ticked off at me often because that’s what tweens do. Parents just don’t understand, right? We are mean, we are too restrictive, and we are so lame. I totally get how you are thinking because I was an eleven year-old once too. I remember those middle school years and all the hormones, drama and emotions that came with them. I thought it was hard then, and I didn’t even have to deal with social media back then. I know there are other parents out there that don’t restrict like I do. Here’s the deal, though. You are only eleven.

I am aware that you have friends your age who have Instagram accounts. But guess what? I still say no to it. You are eleven years-old. You are at an age where it gets more difficult to be secure and confident because you worry more about what your friends are doing and if you fit in. As a parent, I don’t think you need the added stress of looking at your friends’ highlight reel on social media. I don’t think you need to stare at pictures of friends in your school and compare how many likes they get for their posts.. It’s stressful as an adult sometimes, so I refuse to let it be stressful for you. You have so much time for that. I want you to enjoy being eleven.

I know that you want to dress like everyone. I also see how some girls your age dress. Full make-up, super-short skirts on, tiny little camis….I’m sorry, but I believe you need to dress your age. Yes, I know how important it is to wear the latest styles. But I think you can do that without looking “sexy”.  I honestly worry about how adults,, especially male adults, view you out in public, and that worries me. You are still a young girl. There are weird people in this world, and I don’t want them checking you out in some teeny-tiny outfit. A little make-up goes a long way. Longer shorts and stylish tanks and shirts are classy and stylish. You are just an eleven year-old, not nineteen.

I get it–you want to hang out with your friends and go off and have fun. I still expect you to ask me if it’s OK to go out. I am your parent, and one of my jobs is to protect you and keep you safe. So, yes, you need to check with me to make sure it’s OK to walk to your friend’s house down the block or head out to the pool. You are eleven, and I want you to have fun with your friends, but I also expect you to ask and respect me as your parent when you are making plans.

I love you, and I know it’s hard to understand my decisions some days. But you are only eleven. You have so many years to grow and become more mature so you can better handle these things that I restrict now. As a mother, I am doing my best to raise you as a confident, respectful, classy, and secure young woman. So please try to remember when I tell you “no” that you are still young. You are only eleven.