A letter to the parents of my daughter's friends

A letter to the parents of my daughter's friends

Dear parents of friends of my daughter,

Our daughters are both seventh graders, attend the same junior high school and are friends with each other. I hear about your daughter when talking with mine at the dinner table or while chatting in the car on the way to rehearsal.  I see your child when she is at our house to hang out (God forbid we say “play” or anything of the childish like within earshot of our children who are on the brink of becoming teenagers).

After being around these young ladies, I want you to know something.

You are raising a great kid, and I am grateful for the job you are doing. Thank you.

I realize that the child you see late at night or rushing out the door in the morning, leaving behind a binder and lunch, may not be the child that I’ve had the pleasure of seeing.

Thank you for raising your child to be polite.

They are all so good at making eye contact, saying “thank you,” and really meaning it. Even better, they are appreciative children who express gratitude, even for little things. I made a batch of brownies for a group and you would have thought that I had given them the moon.

We hear a lot about kids feeling entitled, and I know I have that concern about my own child, but I don’t get the sense that your daughter feels that way.

Thank you for raising your child to be kind.

Kids can be cruel, but I’ve never once heard a nasty word come out of your child’s mouth. In fact, I’ve heard them express care and concern for others, and offer comfort and support, both to my daughter and others.

Thank you for raising your child to laugh.

When my daughter recently had some friends over, there was an excessive amount of giggling. I admit that, for a split second, I was annoyed. Whatever it was could not possibly be that funny. I then caught myself. I have always wanted a house full of laughter, and I’m grateful that your daughters made that happen.

While they were probably overdoing it, I’d rather that they overdo the laughter than anything else. Sharing a laugh with friends is a joy at any age, but seems to me to be an especially sweet part of childhood. That leads me to my next point.

Thank you for letting your kids be kids, or keeping your kids kids.

So many tweens grow up way too fast and seem so, well, old. Your kids, though, seemed to be just as they should be. They’re not too old, not too young. They’re just right. When four of them were hanging out, I was struck by how they seemed perfectly age appropriate.

They were quintessential tweens, one minute sounding so adult, the next sounding so little.

Middle school is tricky, and middle school friendships especially so, which has me thanking my lucky stars that your daughter is a friend of my daughter. I am so heartened to know that she has such lovely young women surrounding her and teaching her about friendship.

I know that things will change over time and regardless of whether they take the same paths, I’m grateful for them, and for you, because good kids come from good parents. Your hard work is paying off.

Sincerely,

Shannan

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