I get that adolescence is a time of children separating from parents, and that tweens shift from wanting to be like their parents' to seeking ways to differ themselves. Parental approval takes a nose dive down the priority list.
I attend the University of Notre Dame. (Hate away, it's okay, I'm used to it.)
My husband, her bonus dad, attended the University of Michigan. We may be an ESPN commercial, but the marriage works. This weekend, though, is tough. We're both football fans and my Irish plays his Wolverines. The Notre Dame Michigan rivalry game is huge.
My tween is unabashedly rooting for Michigan.
When I asked why she likes rooting for a team other than mine, she smiled and said gleefully, "Conflict!" She also explained that, when she goes to college in 8 years, she can major in dance at Michigan, but cannot do so at Notre Dame. She's right. Then she said, "May I point out that Michigan has won the past several years?"
So, she's doing this to purposefully face off against me.
Bring. It. On.
I enjoy a good rivalry and although clean trash talking for me is a challenge, I'm up to it. I may have said that I only fix meals for Irish fans, which perhaps wasn't fair, but she and her bonus dad can pour their own cereal just fine.
Honestly, though, I would rather that my tween find ways to separate/differ/conflict from me that are minor or in good fun, rather than something more extreme or serious. I realize that this is a process. I also realize that trying to force her to like my school will only make her hate it. I'm trying to show that while I don't agree with her opinion, I respect it. (I guess that means I should stop refusing to make breakfast, lunch or dinner, huh?) I'm going to not fight the rebellions that I can handle it.
Some friends tell me that I've failed by raising a Michigan fan. I've thought about it, but have decided that my kid wanting to find a college major in a subject for which she has a passion, and knowing enough to know what institutions of higher learning make that possible, is not a failure. I apparently should have attended a college with a dance department. She's also made it clear from the beginning that she is very much not me. I like that she's her own person. Would I love it if she was an ND fan? Of course. Did I think I ever had a good shot at that? Not really.
As for her being a fair weather fan, well, we'll see how she feels when the Irish win.