Friday, 9 August 2013

She's growing up...

I'm starting to let go.....

I'm entering that stage where a little independence is being sought...

This month my little girl turns eleven. (Eleven?? That can't be right!)

Through circumstance not choice she is an only child and she is crazy precious in my world - no understatement.

Lately she has begun to move away from being wholly dependent on her parents to quite rightly finding some space to test herself. I'm not talking anything dramatic here - no throwing her out of the car on the top of the mountain with nothing but a compass type of testing!

Just the stuff that I used to do at her age. Walk to a friend's house, take a dog for a walk or go to a shop with a friend. Yet now that she's doing it - it's different.

This is nothing new. I'm sure most parents ponder on the freedom versus safety issue. Protection versus helicopter parenting...?

I rely heavily on gut instinct coupled with a tendency to err on caution in my parenting style. As a result Sibs has probably been sheltered from pushing these freedom boundaries. She is the youngest in her school year and in her groups of friends and she's feeling the need to catch up.

I'm grateful that she has a cousin who is a few weeks apart in age from her.  A boy cousin. They love spending time together and I can see the huge learning that they subconsciously share. He toughens her up and she softens him.

So I'm slowly...very slowly... letting her do her own little bit of exploring. She's relishing and embracing the opportunity. She needs these skills to manage life and I'm here to help her find them.

There will be big lessons I'm sure... for both of us! 

Go Sibsy girl!

3 Comments and thoughts:

  1. Hi Beth,

    These are the words of an excellent, loving parent. This is one of the more difficult times of parenting, but I'll warn you, there will be others! I'm sure you'll cope.

    There's a fine line to be trodden; trying to instill in our kids a hightened sense of the dangers there might be in our mostly innocent surroundings, without passing on fear and trepidation which can crush the spirit, and make these essential fledging moves from the nest impossible.

    My son (nearly 23!) has just moved to Japan to work which I am finding incredibly difficult. I think it's because I don't understand and have certainly never experienced the culture. He's volunteered in India, been at Uni for three years - one of which was in Boulder, Colorado so I should be used to it by now!

    Thanks, Beth. I needed to read this post...

  2. Thank you Gaynor.

    Very wise words - indeed a fine line to be trodden.

    I'm sure with those wonderful experiences behind him your son will be fine.


  3. My little girl turns 12 in October and I am facing the same things as you. She wants to walk home from the bus stop on her own. I know she can. I used to at her age, but still I worry. Funny that I don't worry nearly so much with my nearly 14 year old boy. Is it a boy/girl thing? Breathe.