From Your Little Girl to a Teen

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I am the mother of six wonderful children. I have been able to pride myself on the fact that they all know their manners and know how to respect authority. Up until recently, I thought all the things my friends had said about the horrors of their kids were just something I was lucky enough to avoid the hassle of dealing with.

My oldest is now 12 and almost 13 years old. She just started Middle School this year and has the added responsibilities of sports and school activities in addition to her regular chores, church, and school work. She is a straight “A” student and always is polite. You would think that she were an adult sometimes by the way she can embrace an uncomfortable situation and make the most of it.

My daughter, for the furst time this summer learned disappointment that was brought on by her trying out for the cheerleading team and not making it. I was really proud of the way she handled it. In fact, I was extremely excited to learn it had not turned her against the option of trying out for other activities.

She joined athletics and indeed has made the volleyball team. The experience of her having to work for something and being able to see the results has improved her outlook on the importance of different aspects of life. However, the experience has also given her a bit of independance I was not prepared for.

She has a hectic schedule at best. She has practice four days a week after school. I do not even see her on most days until right around 6:00 P.M. This has made doing her chore a bit more difficult and I am assuming the slack. After all, she is a good student and is learning a new sport.

Take it from me, middle school will change the outlook you have on many different things. I know I wish I had spent more time with my daughter this past summer. I miss the one on one time we used to have.

My advice to other parents is simple. Do not take for granted that your child will always want to spend time with you. Do what you can to encourage them in whatever activities they want to participate in as that will become one of the only ways for you to have time with that child when they get older.

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