Is 12 the new 15? I don’t remember much about my relationship with my parents when I was 12 years old. I was pretty consumed with New Kids on the Block, science tests, and my love-hate relationship with the boys in my class. I don’t recall particularly wanting or not wanting to be around my mom.
But boy, does 12 feel like a teenager these days lately.
Maybe I was immature as a pre-teen; I still played with Barbie dolls at 12. There I said it! The truth is out. So perhaps I was still very child-like at that age, the baby of a family of six. My memory of the 12-year-old me seems very different from the 12-year-old that I have today as a mom.
She wants to have more choices about how she spends her time and is not always up for some movie night couch cuddles as she used to be. Is this because of technology? Is she exposed to more mature material or are children her age more mature? I have a careful watch over her use of social media, but she certainly sees a lot more than I ever did when I was 12 and MTV was at its earliest stages.
I’m torn because on the one hand, being a self-proclaimed independent woman, I want her to be an independent person. But on the other hand, I’m realizing if I want to have a close relationship with my 12-year-old, I need to find ways to connect with her on her level.
And does she want her mom in that space?
She holds her friendships very dearly and doesn’t want mom poking around when she’s with her friends. I have a few things in mind and I welcome everyone’s input! She loves coffee, so some solo trips to Starbucks are on the list. Solo car time also seems to be a good opportunity for us to have some conversation. I want to hear more about her interests and what she thinks about school and life in general.
Fortunately for me, she still loves to hear stories about when she was little. Which are so fun to remember. But I know that I cannot live in her childhood and need to create memories of this golden time in her life as well. So somewhere between getting iced coffee and a trip to Ulta, I’m determined to find and keep that bond for us!