My youngest child turned 12 this past week. Weird. I remember when I was 12. I was a short, skinny nerd who loved to run and read and hang with my family. Yeah, I was a unique tween. My son is too. He loves to kick people in the head (taekwondo), disrespect Bach (he prefers playing his piano pieces in his own way, not how they were originally composed), design websites as gifts (Christmas last year), and buck the educational system (already years ahead in math).
What does a parent do with an unique tween? My parents let me be, and made sure I knew I was loved. I think this worked fairly well. Of course there's lots more to it all than that, but in a nutshell, they let me figure things out on my own, in my own way, with lots of loving support.
Why can it sound so simple when you look at it from a broad perspective, but be so complicated in the details? Raising kids is the challenge of a lifetime, but oh, what joy is also wrapped up in the package. I was reading in an old journal of mine this morning from when my son was three. I had written that he often said to me, "Mom, I want you really bad!" I had forgotten that completely, so I got a good smile and rush of memories. I think I'll embarrass him later today and tell him about it too.
Embarrassing our children is also a very important parental job. Like I said, there's also so much joy!
Writing for children is a passion - along with reading kid's books, writing plays for kids, and teaching kids how to write!