10yo dd keeping the communication open(5 Posts)
My eldest daughter is the sweetest, loveliest, mature, dd ever (I know PFB and all that... her sister is a whole lot more demanding!!!). We have always been close. In June my STBXH and I separated (could not longer deal with STBXH and his opt-out behaviour with kids, moods, snappiness etc) since this time dd1 who has been fine but also understandably very upset at times, has shared a bed with me, we've had oodles of cuddles and lots of simple chats about what has happened and she has seemed in the main happy although it's still early days. She sees her dad EOW and often in the week, the girls had a nice time on Friday night with their Dad.
FFWD to this morning, she was in a bad mood with me, probably a hangover from the fact that I let dd2 sleep in my bed too for the first time, as she was complaining about never getting to share a bed with me. I can normally get her to tell me what's wrong very quickly, will give me a cuddle and talk etc. but today she had a face like thunder and would not open up. It felt like a wall came down and I realize she is of that age where our communication will change and I need to think about that a bit.
How do I keep her communicating with me now that she is heading for teenagedom (boobs and pubes happening etc). I know our relationship will change but still want her to think of me as 'available' to her. She's in Y6 and a lot has happened since June, plus I know a lot is going to change over the next 12 months.
We've always had our meals together, round the table, no TV or radio on. A lot of the time there is what appears to be mindless chatter rather than anything you might think of as "important stuff" but it means you keep abreast of what trivia is happening in their lives, it also means you sometimes get to discuss topics that might have happened to someone else - in the news, or one of their friends, or "a kid at school" , or (if something I want to discuss ) a "colleague's dc"
The other great time for chat is driving them about in the car - I think it's something about not having to make eye contact, they sometimes open up more. I could be wrong, it might just be that it's because they are 1:1 with me, without siblings there.
But the important thing is, to be chatting regularly, and being interested in "their stuff"
even if it's not really interesting and getting used to letting them tell you what they think of something, rather than jumping in with your opinion.
My DD is the same age and also very close. She tells me everything about her life at the moment . But you're right I'm sure it will change at some point.
One thing I've found to work well - also with DS (13) who's much less communative - is to chat about my own childhood, school friends, etc as that seems to help them see how I relate to their world.
And making time for some one to one time too which needs to be more organised when you're not with their dad. Mine go EOW too usually. But a couple of times a year we'll have one DC each for a weekend. I take DS hiking for his and DD gets a trip to London to see a show. Really lovely quality time with both of them that way. Otherwise I think they're always having to compete for one parent's attention.
Definitely agree with previous posters -
But the important thing is, to be chatting regularly, and being interested in "their stuff" even if it's not really interesting and getting used to letting them tell you what they think of something, rather than jumping in with your opinion
^^ This especially.
Something else I do with my DD11 and DD13 is a Bedtime Book. I started it because dd2 right from an early age would often leave me notes on my bed after she'd gone to bed, about anything that was bothering her, questions she'd thought of etc.
It got me thinking that the time we do most of our thinking/worrying/processing is as we're going to sleep.
So, each of my DDs has a special, hardback notebook, sort of like a diary, and if there's ever anything they want to tell me/ask me/ complain about, they can write it in the book and leave it on my pillow at night. I will then write a response and put it back on their pillow in the morning.
We've been doing this for a couple of years now and I love it, it really works for us.
It by no means replaces actual conversations, but I think they find it much easier to bring up difficult/embarassing things in this way.
We've had worries about bullying, periods, poorly grandparents, homework, friends - to stresses about outfit choices for parties and what to spend birthday money on. Sometimes even just a little joke or a picture.
They kind of treat it like a diary I guess, but one where they get an answer.
So far there has been nothing too shocking or dramatic but my hope is that if anything serious did ever happen, this would give them the means to tell me about it.
It has also had huge benefit in improving their writing!
It might not be for everyone - not sure how boys would react? But I think it's worth a try
What a brilliant idea, I am having trouble with my 10yo daughter too, she is so volatile and spends so much time locked into the laptop playing games and watching videos of them on youtube. I know this isn't the best thing for her, but how do you break the habit?
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