It is hard growing up – I do remember. Becoming an adult but existing for a few years in that strange ‘no mans land’ world of half adult- half child. When you don’t feel like a child any longer, but you aren’t afforded all the freedom to do the things that an adult does.
Even Hannah with her perfect life choosing how she spends each day, having a secure home, her own room, laptop, bountiful food on tap, family and friends to hang out with when she feels like it…..says it is hard growing up!
And now she is spreading her wings and trying new things, it is such such an exciting time to be a part of. Knowing she has a safe haven to come back to.
For her impending 14th birthday she decided she wanted a hair cut and to dye her hair! Now those that know her will know her hair. She has been growing it since she was 2 years old! It was down to her waist. So 6 weeks ago she had the initial cut.
Now she has got used to this last week she announced she was ready for a shorter cut and to dye it.
She was really into me helping her and being a part of it. When we were choosing the dye colour she said- “Mum you aren’t supposed to be encouraging me to do this, aren’t parents supposed to disagree with stuff like this?” (I was suggesting the brightest and most outrageous colours mind you, having always had a secret hankering to have electric blue hair…)
On Saturday night I was having a conversation about this with some other parents. It made me realise how many parents still come from a place of fear in regards to their children. . We were talking about what if she wanted to get a tattoo? I said fine. Piercings? Fine. Those things are nothing. Just expressions of self, a flexing of wings, external fluff.
I would be more concerned with knowing if is she happy? Does she get to do the things she wants to do? Are her needs being met? How can I help her achieve her dreams? I totally trust Hannah and she is so sure of herself she hardly ever asks for an opinion anyway.
I see my kids as individuals. By giving them the freedom to express who they are today and who they are becoming tomorrow is only going to help them learn what they need to learn in life.
My goal is to model that (what else can you do?). So I too am learning about who I am, being the person I want to be. While also supporting my kids in being the people they want to be.
I guess in terms of all the classic teenage rebellion – anything designed to shock, my kids would just tell me – “Mum if you don’t like tattoos (nose studs,clothing etc…) then don’t you get one.”
Simple wisdom. Let them live their own lives and vice versa – live your own life.
Be who you were born to be, show them how you do that. Be true to yourself and support them in being true to themselves.
Hopefully they will be happy and well balanced individuals…. although it will make rebelling extremely difficult!