Being the parent to an eleven year old I have to admit that I was surprised by how quickly children go from being a child to a preteen. I knew that going to high school would speed up the maturing process, but still I was not prepared. I found myself the mother to a delightful, helpful and positive child one day to a mother of a moody and very tired preteen the next. Hormones kicked in a lot quicker than I was expecting and so I have certainly had my work cut out for me trying to keep my child acting her age rather than racing off into her teenage years.
Childhood Seems Shorter, They Grow Up so Fast
I think children mature a lot quicker than in my day. My daughter quickly began to pay a lot more attention to her appearance. She wanted to wear make-up, have her ears pierced and her hair dyed. I have found myself fighting certain battles and letting others slide. I know I have to let her grow up, but I do feel I need to rein her in from time to time, after all she isn’t even a teenager yet, even though she looks and acts like one.
I think the hardest part of her maturing has been the mood swings. Being a woman I know what these are like and I know how hard they can be to keep under control. Thankfully she isn’t one for tantrums, never was, but she is the type to go off in a strop when I ask her to do something she doesn’t want to. Another major difference has been the amount of time she wants to spend in her bedroom. Before my daughter reached this phase she would spend hours with us, now she spends hours in her own sanctuary. She plays her keyboard (which is great and makes it easier to spend out money on those piano lessons) and listens to music (albeit terrible music!).
Her Own Space
We also have a lot more friends coming round the house. This is wonderful and I would rather they spent time here, but it meant that my daughter wanted to have some work done on her room. I think the last time we decorated was for her 8th birthday. She chose a horsey theme with a lilac base, and as you can image she decided that this was not grown up enough for her and her friends. I don’t have a lot of extra money coming in so the thought of redecorating was causing a few concerns, but we managed to get round it.
My daughter now has a room fit for any preteen. I was able to get hold of a cheap wardrobe with a full length mirror and a gorgeous dressing table which I painted white. I purchased a small guest bed to help accommodate her friends that want to sleep over, almost every weekend! Instead of buying her a new stereo I gave her one out of the kitchen which I hardly used anymore which seemed to please her greatly.
Choose Your Battles
The preteens have been harder than any other phase so far. I am working hard to ensure that my daughter feels she is able to come to me with her problems. I want her to feel she can trust me, even when she feels the rest of the world is against her. I think it is important to choose battles carefully. I want her to have fun but to do well in school, to stand up for herself, but to be polite and considerate. If you have a moody teen you probably know how hard it can be, but providing we do our best and work on giving and taking I think we should come out safely on the other side.
A great way of creating a great space for a preteen is by using kids wall stickers. Easy to use, cheap and stylish you can transform any room.