Her pre-teen years

One minute she is playing with her dollies and the next she is wanting to borrow your eyeliner.

All she seems to want is to be grown-up.

Suddenly your little girl is dressing like a teenager.

She is worried that she’s fat.

Her girl friends seem to have so much influence over what she wants.

This is the time in your daugther’s life when she is probably beginning to spend more time away from you, at the same time as spending more time with her friends. Perhaps this coincides with you spending more time away from the home too.

Introducing ‘Girls’ Together Time’!

– once a month, for a few hours, alone together – just you and your daughter.

It can be a time to have fun, to really talk, to share a simple pleasure, to do something you’ve both been longing to do…

The point is to be together, regularly, something she can count on. Be as creative, simple, adventurous, ordinary, inexpensive, extravagent, experimental as you wish.

Once she realises that you plan to take this time together, that it is in the family diary, she feels your commitment to her. She knows there will be a special space for the two of you regularly.

And if you think that you cannot find a few hours once a month to spend in this way with your daughter, then perhaps this indicates an imbalance in your lives…

‘Girls’ Together Time’ can form the basis of a healthy on-going relationship with your daughter into the teenage years. Puberty is a time of such rapid change, a magical time, but a time during which your daughter needs you close.  You can prepare her.  One day, maybe not soon, but some day, your daughter will begin to bleed once a month. This monthly treat of time alone together will then shift to happen on the week of her menstruation and can become a valuable pressure-valve where you can give her the opportunity to talk, sound off, weep, take a break, and feel your support.

This is a simple idea and at first it’s power is not immediately obvious. However, many mothers that I have worked with report amazing developments in their relationship with their daughter as a direct result. Try it!


6 or so comments

6 Responses to Her pre-teen years

  1. Suzanne says:

    I try to do this regularly with all of my children, at a minimum, we have a full day out together once a year. That sounds pathetic now I’ve read this! I do spend ad-hoc time with them at other times but probably not enough. We do need to schedule it in, thanks for the reminder 🙂

    • Kim says:

      A full day at least once a year sounds great – bet they remember those days as something special when they look back. Our lives can seem so full, that it feels tricky to plan in special monthly dates with each child, but they can be smaller slots of time, and the benefits to the relationship cannot be underestimated. I’d love to hear more about favourite things that happen on your ‘girls together time’.

  2. jade says:

    My 12 year old wants more alone time with me and I wish I could do this alone together but I have three younger girls and no one else to look after them. I feel so bad for this.

    • Kim says:

      Real life – it’s never as easy as it sounds in the books. When your twelve year old is wanting something that it feels hard to manage with three others to share your time with, I wonder if you can be inventive. Find little pockets of time. Fifteen minutes at bedtime. In the car. And once in a while, a babysitter to give you a few hours together. Sometimes its not how much time you can find, but really paying attention to her when she is asking for your focus. Strengthen the connection between you as she goes into her teen years; she needs you.

  3. Louise Sayers says:

    I have two girls a twelve year old and a ten year old. I would love to have time with both girls individually. We are a close family and tend to do everything as a whole family. I am concerned that it will give a different dynamic to the family if we start doing things individually. Dad is also very hands on so i wouldn’t want to feel left out….thank you for any advise of how to go about it.

    • Kim says:

      Whole family closeness is a wonderful thing and worth preserving. However individual time for each of your daughters, with you and their Dad, creates opportunities for different conversations and attending to the individual needs of each of your daughters. Dad doesn’t have to feel left out, you can have solo time with one daughter each!

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