Whatever Girls is an incredible and necessary ministry for our moms and teen girls. We are indeed fortunate that God calls servants like Erin to serve His kingdom through opportunities that reaffirm and lift up not only our moms, but our daughters as well.
You may be wondering at the title: Why tweens? Well, why indeed. Each stage of my girls’ growth has come with a unique blend of wonder and angst. There is truly something to love about each stage of development and equally an, “Oh, thank goodness we’re done with that!” Parenting is absolutely an unpredictable journey, but one my husband and I wouldn’t trade for anything.
When we learned we were expecting, my husband and I read all kinds of parenting books to prepare ourselves for parenthood. When our babies finally arrived, we immersed ourselves in reading children’s books to our little girls. Then, my oldest darling became a tween. Not quite child, not quite teen—I thought, what sweet enigma is this?
Literally balancing in between, I quickly realized my daughter was treading water as she struggled to transition from one stage of development to the next. Her friends became even more important. She loved spending more time engaged in extracurricular activities and yearned for independence. Yet, this sweet girl also still craved a chance to occasionally crawl into my lap for a hug.
In a world that encourages our kiddos to grow up much faster than they should, I’m a-okay with the big girl kisses and snuggles. Her heart is still open to the mommy wisdom I wish to impart, and I’m thankful. When God planted a seed in my heart to begin a mother/tween daughter ministry, I answered His call to serve. These precious few years are so vital to further strengthening the bond between mom and daughter.
Why tweens? Moms, our girls want and need us to be real with them. I find myself sometimes thinking my daughter isn’t old enough to handle certain topics or situations, but the insecurity is mine—not hers. She is perfectly capable, and God has reminded me on more than one occasion that these are opportunities for us to have honest, open conversations that will ensure she is prepared to face whatever comes her way.
I find that the most meaningful time with my tween daughter lately has been to and from destinations in the car when it’s just the two of us. We don’t set regular chat time aside, but sometimes I wonder if we should. Moms, do you intentionally seek out discussion time with your daughter, or do you let these opportunities happen naturally? Is one better than the other?
Written by Catherine Bird