Dads make themselves heard above the crowd

Parenting a tween is tough, for moms, dads, stepmoms and stepdads.

Today, a special shout out to the dads and stepdads (or Bonusdad, as he's called in our home).  Dads and stepdads don't have it easy in the tween world, when it seems like they're often hit with the pendulum of swinging hormones, flummoxed by the identity changes that occur daily and wary of the tween's interest in members of the opposite sex.  When thinking what to write for this post, my first thought was, "I'm so sorry."

But I don't think dads and stepdads need sympathy.  I think they are doing just fine, and they're especially good cheerleaders for their tweens.

My daughter's dance recital was last night.  Three hours of tapping and twirling, much of it by tweens.  At the end of each dance, it was usually a male voice, sounding distinctly like a dad, shouting out a girl's name.  It reminded me of one time hearing my dad's voice calling out my childhood nickname before a performance when I was young.

My husband made sure that he was the very last one clapping for my daughter's dances.  She may never know that he was determined to show more appreciation and support than anyone else in that auditorium, but I think deep down she feels it on some level.  These girls may be at an "awkward age" but they had to feel loved and supported last night, and I love that the dads were there being loud and proud.  Often with tweens, parents may not know what to do, but I don't think we can ever go wrong with being their biggest cheerleaders.

Happy Father's Day!

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