Ahh, raising a middle-school daughter. Luckily, Avery is really a good girl. She’s academic, she is organized, she has some good girl friends, and she is committed to the activities she is involved in. What I find tough is all the middle school emotions. One minute, Avery’s little middle-schooler world seems to be calm and happy. The next minute, she is screaming at her sisters and me, telling us we just don’t get it as she marches up to her bedroom and slams her door. She’s happy to sad, giggly to grumpy, and at peace to ready for war in just minutes.
Was it that long ago that I was a tween? I am sure I was an emotional, drama-filled girl back then, but I truly don’t remember it happening SO MUCH. Avery will get home from track practice while I’m cooking dinner. A simple, “Do you have any quizzes tomorrow? Why don’t you sit down and get a start on studying while I”m making dinner?” will throw Avery into a sobbing mess. “You don’t get it!” she’ll cry out as she marches up to her room. She’s right, I don’t get it…what did I say about homework that threw things into a downward spiral for her? Waiting a few minutes for her to calm down, reminding myself that she’s approaching teenage years and hormones are kicking in,that she has a stressful school and activity schedule, and then checking up on her to see if she’s OK, she’ll tell me that she’s sorry, she just needs some down-time before studying because it’s been a long day. How much drama could’ve been avoided if she had just communicated that in the first place!
The only thing I can do as a mom is continue with our family routine and house rules, communicate/talk often (many times, this means being patient and waiting until she is ready to share because often she will decide to talk about problems while she and I are driving in the car alone or as I go in her bedroom in the evening to tell her goodnight), plan “lunch dates” and one-on-one time with my girl, and remind her that I love her and I am here for her whether she is one, 11 or 41.
Middle school is not an easy time (for mom or daughter), but with continued hugs, support, and honesty with each other, I think we will get through it.