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10/25/11blog post

to trick or not to treat- a 'tween' mom dilemma

A few weeks ago my daughter asked me if she was a ‘tweener’. I was half-listening to her knowing this was one of many questions that she would rapid fire shoot at me and then proceed to tell me her take on things and continue talking until – as my husband puts it – my ears bleed. But this time I actually focused in long enough to realize this was not a typical question. I suddenly started flashing back to some other recent questions she had for me like when do girls start shaving or should she shave her underarms? Or why do you shave your legs and not your arms? Or statements she has made about friends wearing make-up and hanging out at the highschool football games. I suddenly realized she was a ‘tweener’! Imagine my husband’s horror when he too finally noticed that she is also ‘developing”!

I am not sure about other parents, but this actually terrifies me. To date, my daughter still likes to hang out with her family; does not particularly like to go to sleep-overs; has never asked to attend a middle school dance or gathering; and we do not have to take a friend on vacation with us as she still tolerates her younger brother. I fear this is all ending!

Last week she informed me that she would like to get a Halloween costume. My initial reaction was she is too old to be trick or treating and I really have NO time to make a costume – I actually have no talent either (but she does not have to know that), and I do not want to spend $50 on something she will wear once.

I attempted to talk her out of it saying she is too old anyway and at this age she really needs to stay home and hand out candy while I take her younger brother trick or treating. To my surprise she does not put up much of a fight and I secretly think to myself that I have won this battle!

Until, I wake in the middle of the night a couple nights ago in a cold sweat replaying in my mind the conversations of the past several weeks with my daughter. On one hand I am trying desperately to hold on to her last bit of innocence not wanting her to shave or wear make-up or go out with friends. On the other hand, I am telling her she is too old to go trick or treating and dress up in a costume.

What type of mixed messages am I sending her?

As I wrestled with the idea of telling her I would help her learn to shave or let her know she could start wearing some age appropriate make-up, I came to a conclusion and the only answer that seemed reasonable.

The minute she got off the bus yesterday, I told her we would go shopping for a Halloween costume and explained that it was a reward for getting all ‘A’s and one ‘B’ (which she worked hard to bring up from a ‘C’. )

She has chosen to be Athena, who she explained to me, is the Greek Goddess of Wisdom.

Written by "Tween" Mom - Identity hidden to protect her daughter.