When I was a young girl, especially pre-teen and early teens, I desperately wanted to grow up. I couldn’t wait to be able to stay up later, or go places on my own, to wear make-up and drive a car. I wanted to be taken seriously and I just couldn’t wait for it to happen. I often hear the statement, “Kids are growing up too fast these days!” and if you take 5 minutes to check out pop culture you will be hard pressed to disagree.
I have a nearly 11 year-old who will not acknowledge a single sign of the inevitable passage of time and its impact on her person.
But not so fast, folks. I am experiencing exactly the opposite. I have a nearly 11 year-old who will not acknowledge a single sign of the inevitable passage of time and its impact on her person. Even something as simple as, “you’re growing up so you need to shower more” will put her into a panic. If I open my mouth to say “soon you will be [insert growing-up related comment here]” she will turn and walk away. Even if it is something I think she will be happy about her resistance is no match for me. So, we have cuddles and I reassure her that she is still “little” and she is still my baby but I worry. There are conversations that need to be had and information she will need as she enters this stage of her life. The other day I heard her singing a popular song in the car with the words “getting high” in it. I asked her, “do you know what that means?”. Her response? “If it has anything to do with growing up or grown-ups I don’t want to know.” Well, I guess we won’t be having that chat right now either.
I worry. There are conversations that need to be had and information she will need as she enter this stage of her life.
I adore the fact that she wants to preserve her childhood as long as she can. I wish I had focused less on growing up when I was a kid and just enjoyed it. The time is so short lived! However, I worry about missing a certain window for communication. A time before she hears it all through other sources. A time when I can influence her thinking with our values and give her answers and comfort that she will need as she enters her teens. I am glad she isn’t growing up too fast but she doesn’t seem to want to grow up at all. What would you do?