Me: How was your day, honey?
Miss M: It’s been a bad day, Mom.
Me: Really? What happened?
And we proceed to discuss how bad her day was. More often than not, it’s something small. Something petty. ONE thing that defined her day. No matter how many good things that her day included, if one thing went awry, that is what stood out.
Unfortunately (and fortunately), I totally get it. I was her age once. I remember how fighting with my best friend would upset me. Or losing a baseball game. Or getting a B on a test. Not only was I competitive but I was also emotionally fragile, just like she is. My feelings were hurt by things they shouldn’t have been hurt by.
As a mom, I walk a fine line between telling her that one little incident isn’t the end of the world and totally sympathizing with how that small act really impacted how she viewed the entire day. These small, openly spoken, heartfelt conversations are what will set the tone for future conversations and I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize that. It’s important that my daughters feel like they can talk to me.
I’ve shared recently about our journey – our preparation – for life’s changes. This is a sample of how we’re moving forward and preparing to be able to talk about the difficult things that occur as a young girl gets older. Not only physically, but emotionally as well. Each night at bedtime, I sit with each of my girls separately for a little while and talk to them. I ask them how their day was or what they’re looking forward to the following day. We talk. We share. We hug. We have a pretty stringent bedtime but sometimes I go a little over if the conversation so requires. Creating the opportunity for dialogue is so important. Creating a bond is even more-so.
Regardless of what kind of bonding ritual you have with your children, it’s important to be prepared for what lies ahead. Whether you have an established plan to discuss things with your daughter or not, the Kotex Tween site is loaded with helpful tips. It breaks down the process into easy to follow guidelines including “Get informed” “Get Ready” and “See U by Kotex Tween“. You’ll find assistance to difficult questions your daughter might ask like “Why do girls get periods?” and “Why don’t boys?” There’s also a section that is good information about everyday issues – like how to treat stains in clothing.
As part of this campaign, they even gave us some other ideas on how to prepare! They hooked us up with a few little cosmetic cases for the girls lockers. Right now, we’re keeping it stocked with basics like hair ties, lip balm, a brush, bandages and a nail file but there will come a time when the girls will need to stock it with feminine products. Getting them used to having a case in their locker for a variety of emergencies will make things less traumatic when they need to stock it later!
I may be a few years away from the big day, but the more we know and the more we talk, the easier it will be.
For all of us.
Because the bad days need to revolve around normal kid stuff, like arguing with your best friend… not something that is a natural part of life.