When on a tight rope, the performers use a long pole to keep themselves balanced. If they do have an occasional balance check, it is rare and they take it in stride, literally. Watching them, it seems like they have laser focus on their end point and they know just how to get there.
As for me, I'm wobbling on the tightrope that is parenting teens and tweens.
I'm missing my pole. I'm leaning too far one way, then the other. I can see the end point, but I have no idea how to get there. And it feels like the stakes are as high as my rope.
I don't know when to be hard on my newly-minted teenage daughter, and when to cut her some slack.
I try to show her compassion and understanding, but what if I'm going too easy on her?
I want to let her figure things out on her own, knowing that life and consequences are a great teacher.
But then I worry that her brain is still forming, she is still a child, and isn't it my job as a parent to offer some assistance? (For the record, assistance in my book does not mean doing it for her.)
The fact that I can count on one hand the number of years she'll be under my roof and that I have to impart all she needs to know in the real world gives me both a knot in my stomach and a lump in my throat.
It baffles me by how much she can do both right and wrong in one day.
Then I worry that I'm spending too much time thinking about it. I know I overanalyze.
I also know that I'm not the only mom to dwell on the gifts and imperfections of a child, to wonder what impact those will have on the child's life in the future, to debate when to step in and when to step back, to feel like I don't know the tricks of the trade needed to seem balanced, to feel like I have no idea what I'm doing.
I worry that my lack of knowledge will harm my child. Actually, that's not true. I'm convinced that it will. And that is so very scary.
And those are all my feeling just today, a normal, uneventful, downright regular day.
I read a great post today about how parents of teens don't always admit to a lack of confidence, and to being afraid. It's true, and it's silly. This is my first effort to change that, so that hopefully we can feel like we are in this together, not alone.
You May Also Like This from when I Felt More Confident: Know your mandate
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Filed under: Parenting