08 April, 2011

Ten. It doesn't seem like much but it sure is a whole lot.

I've been worrying a lot lately, about Punk. About the young lady she is becoming, about her future, about her life, about her goals... I don't know why but she's been on my mind a whole lot lately. I think it's because she is going to be ten in a couple of months.

Ten.

Wow. Double digits.

Yikes. She's well on her way to becoming a teenager, and if she is anything like me... we are so screwed.

I worry about the fact that she isn't making her own decisions yet. Here are a couple of examples - first, I take her clothes shopping. We walk into Justice and I tell her she has $100 to spend on whatever she wants. I'm not going to choose, I'm not going to say no, I'm just there to make sure it fits. And we stood there for nearly an hour with her wandering around the store, not deciding anything. She'd pick something up and look at me, as if waiting for me to say, "that's cute!" or "uh, not so great" but I didn't want to influence her; I wanted her to make the decision on her own. It took an hour for her to pick out two shirts, that were identical except one was pink and one was blue. Second scenario: ice cream night. We went to the mart of walls and stood in the ice cream aisle - me, Husband and Punk - and said everyone got to pick one thing. She wandered the aisle for 20 minutes. 20 minutes!?!?!! If at nine anyone had given me that opportunity, I would have had ice cream picked out, paid for, and eaten in 20 minutes. It was like she was waiting for us to make the decision for her.

That scares me. What happens when she is in junior high or high school and drugs are presented? Is she going to look around and wait for someone to make the decision for her? That's scary. Or when it comes to sex? Even scarier.

I don't know how to change it. I don't know if we aren't making her feel like her opinion is worth sharing or what, but I'm worried! I don't ever want her to feel like her thoughts and feelings and opinions don't mean anything. We went into a store not too long ago and she actually pointed out a shirt she thought was cute. I bought the shirt. Not necessarily because I needed or wanted it (we were in a 'big people' store, not a children's store) but because I wanted her to feel like her opinion was a good one. It is a cute shirt, and I wear it; especially when she is around.

How do you make a child feel like they are worth something? Like their opinion matters in your grown-up world? How do I make sure she grows into her own person and not a person that's molded into whatever shape she feels she needs to be? I know a lot of people who are whoever they need to be to fit in; I never want her to be like that. I want her to be sure of herself and who she is, always.

Can someone find me a genie? I just need one wish.

4 comments:

  1. My daughter is seriously opinionated!! I don't know how you make a child feel like what they matters...as a child I was a lot like Punk. It wasn't good ley me tell you. I guess I am not helping, I will shut up.

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  2. Maybe she's just a late bloomer? Girls do change so much between 9-12 that its scary. My daughter was just like yours till she hit 9, now i can't give an opinion without the talking back or getting the icy stare lol. Trust me when she gets to that point you'll wish she was ten again. Its kinda like when you can't wait for them to talk and then they never stop!

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  3. Double digits. fun fun..thats what I hear about almost daily from my soon to be 10 yr old (in October)

    She use to be alot like that, she is always worried what others think and when she is at her dads house she gets put down for her thoughts and feelings and her dad puts so much pressure on her to be perfect in school, what she wears, how she talks, acts etc. She is now to the point where she will open up to me about anything now. (instead of have a major brake down if she misses one word on a spelling test after 2 years of 100%, or drops something on her shirt and cries because it might stain and possibly get in trouble) It took a long time. And there are still days she will show me something she likes or hint here and there about something but doesn't dare say what she really wants too. And since she has turned into a "women" unlike many her age (at 8) she is even more emotional and questions things more.

    Been there, the twenty minutes to pick out a flavor or something. She has gotten better about it, alot better over the last year or so.
    We just try to keep reminding her she can make choices on her own, she is her own person. Of course we encourage her to choose the right ones (not doing drugs etc.) but like to let her help us make decisions, pick out things she likes within reason (price etc.) But she knows as soon as she goes to her dads its back to "he's in control and makes all the decisions" if she does do something on her own or without asking she gets in trouble or punished as she puts it (just rights taken away, no going someplace, sit on bed for hour etc.) Something as little as choosing to get out a fruit snack without asking or giving an opinion on something. Her step mom is a little better about it when her dad is not there, but when he is she is almost harder on her then her dad. Its crazy. Blended families/ two sets of parents are hard for kids for sure.

    I know it may be different reasons why they act they way they do.

    Good Luck with everything! Punk has a wonderful step mom to learn from and follow so I think it will work out with time :)

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  4. I understand exactly how you feel! My step daughter will be 11 in May. It drives me crazy when we take her shopping because it takes forever. I am not a shopper, I go in knowing what I want and I get it and I am done. So when we take her shopping for anything it is a huge process and takes forever. It drives me crazy and I try so hard not show any emotion and just help. I struggle every time we have the kids on how I should behave or how involved to be. It is so difficult. I am glad to have found someone else in a similar situation.

    http://vkulla.blogspot.com/

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