Raising a Tween is a stage less talked about. It seems like the internet is full of tips and tricks for getting through other stages. The newborn and toddler stage, and even advice on navigating through the teenage years. The tween years though, this is a middle ground where your baby isn’t a baby anymore, but they aren’t yet fully self-sufficient either. They are becoming more independent, but still need Mama. They still come and snuggle up to you on the couch, and later that day serve attitude up like it’s their job. It is in this in between time that I think communication is key. This is the foundation for the years to come. The goal is to hopefully cultivate a relationship where they are not scared to tell or ask you anything. Why not through writing? It can be easier than having a conversation and you have the luxury of time to get your thoughts out.
I have always had a love for writing. I write when I’m happy, angry, sad, and even when I’m lost and can’t seem to formulate coherent thoughts. Sometimes you need to see a thought on the screen to fully grasp it. Sometimes you need to get thoughts out of your head and onto paper. It is therapeutic for me and I’m grateful that I figured out an outlet at a young age. Since I had always kept a journal, I figured that maybe I should introduce that love to my girl.
Journaling with your Tween
I jumped on Amazon and ordered a journal for us. There are several to choose from, but I chose one that had some writing prompts that were secular, was age appropriate for her, and has some drawing prompts. They have some to help you get some deeper conversations going, faith-based ones, and yes there are ones for son’s too! When it came, I wrote in it first and kind of just bounced around answering a couple different prompts and questions. When I gave it to my girl to read, she loved reading my responses and right away started filling in responses of her own. To say I enjoy reading her journal entries would be an understatement.
It is a secret safe space we have together and I am so grateful. After having the journal for a little while I realized a blank one would be beneficial too. It is an “anything goes” kind of safe space. I make sure to allow myself to be as vulnerable and write in it when I have had a bad day and let her know that Mom doesn’t have it all together and that it is OK to feel a little defeated as long as we also write about our goals and triumphs too.
This was possibly one of the smartest things I have done in my career as a mother. I learn more about the average day of my Tween than I do asking, “How was your day?” after school. That is important too, but this kind of communication seems perfect for this age. They are going through so many changes and sometimes they may not know what to do with their feelings and thoughts, and this gives a great outlet.