Does Growing Up Mean Growing Apart?

My teenagers are growing up but does this mean we have to grow apart?  Growing up generally involves a defining moment in everyone's life.  For my daughter, this was not when she hit puberty, but when she turned 13.  This was the magical number to her.  It signified her official exit from one world into another and the start of my mine as the mother of two teens.

Growing up and becoming an adult meant many things for her, primarily though it meant us acknowledging that she was "one of us".  This was no ordinary milestone to her, this was THE time that everything would start to change. It was a fanfare occasion and she was going to make sure we didn't forget it.

In the days approaching her birthday last year, she reminded us how she had asked us to take her shopping for her brother when he turned 13.  Then only 8, she had decided that to mark the occasion he needed a skateboard.  Of course we went along with her plan and bought the skateboard on her behalf, which she then duly presented to him with great aplomb on the morning of his birthday saying "Now that you are growing up, you need one of these!"

The skateboard was a symbol of this important moment, no matter whether he agreed or not.   Quite frankly this milestone didn't mean as much to him as to her, but if  he wasn't going to make a fuss of his growing up she was.  We should have realised back then, that when it was her turn, she was not going to go quietly into this "grown up" world.

For her the single most important move to becoming "one of us", was to be instantly recognised as being "responsible".  This translated itself in a number of ways which had been clearly explained to us in advance. Top of the list was her own house key and alarm code.  Her friends had asked to get their ears pierced, but this was too frivolous in her opinion.  She wanted to be able to let herself in the front door of her house, by herself and  if we weren't there, that would be even better so she could "do" the alarm too.

There was also a request to allow her to take the public bus home from school, to take trips to the local shopping centre to meet friends and see a movie without one of us shadowing her.  She also requested that we assigned her a regular household job that was her sole responsibility.  Independence, was the name of the game for her.

This is of course all very endearing, yet the flip side of this quest for independence is that there is an element of pulling away from us and this is the bit, which although inevitable, every parent dreads.  As adolescents their friends take centre stage and we start to take a back row seat, learning to satisfy ourselves with the remnants of their time.

In her post "A note from a needy mum" Kelly at Daydreams Of A Mum, appreciates the independence enjoyed by her teens and relishes those times they "choose" to be with her and seek her out in their busy world. Those moments are treasured and indeed precious.

Equally, I know that my teens have to spread their wings and develop as individuals and I want them to grow up safely and move on with confidence, just not to the detriment of our relationship as a family.  I want to make sure we have those building blocks firmly in place that will ensure my teens, like Kelly's, will always seek us out, not because they have to but because they want to and that is a fundamental difference.
Ultimately, as they grow up I don't want us to grow apart and as my eldest looks ahead to University this year and my youngest prepares to turn 14, this is particularly pertinent for me right now. I love that my teens come to me and say "Mum can I talk to you?  I need your advice," I don't want that to stop, wherever they are in the world or if we have to resort to electronic communication.

To this end we always come together during the week to sit down to an evening meal to catch up and set the world to rights, sometimes more effectively than others. The weekends are more challenging as their extra curricular interests mean we are often running on different timetables but invariably it's the family meal that pulls us together again and sometimes we might strike gold with a movie that ticks all our boxes.

Friends who have been through this already have told me there is a moment when your children don't want to go on family outings or holidays anymore and this year Teen 1 will strike out alone on his own adventures, but we will still find some time to have that family holiday together.   It is difficult sometimes to get the balance right in finding something we will all enjoy but we do manage it and last year our Californian Road Trip was a huge success delivering something for everyone.

On top of this, I also don't want my teens to grow apart.  They are half brother and sister and are like chalk and cheese in many respects but we are lucky that they click.  Teen 1 always spends time with Teen 2 chatting on her bed at the end of each day and binge watching on Netflix together is commonplace.

Of course it's not all perfect.  They argue just like any other siblings but there is a bond between them.  They confide in each other and look out for each other.  Last year during my daughter's friendship crisis Teen 1 stepped up to the mark and really helped with some wise "teen on teen" advice.  I want that to continue beyond the teen years and throughout their lives, wherever they may end up.

We all revel in moving on to the next best thing in our lives and I know there is a point when we have to remove the safety net and let our children go so they can become more autonomous and thus ready for the full responsibilities of adulthood, but I am keen, to make this journey of them separating from us one which does not result in a gulf growing between us.

How do you feel about your children growing up and how are you coping with it?  I would be interested to hear your thoughts and experiences.

 

Editor's Note : This post was first published last year when I started my blog to chart my parenting journey through the teenage years.  The content has been refreshed but a year on the message remains the same, if somewhat more pertinent as I prepare for one teen to leave home.    

 

 

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72 Comments

  1. April 25, 2017 / 4:46 pm

    BP turns 13 in August, he will officially be a teenager. I’m not sure about his feelings on this, it doesn’t seem like such a big deal to him. However, he has been asking about house keys and other things recently so perhaps it’s the beginning of the independence. I think this will probably be something I think about when LP is older, he’s still just 8 years old so there’s plenty of time but I’m sure I’ll be much like you when the time comes. 🙂
    Thanks for linking to #pocolo
    Morgan Prince recently posted…Have fun and Make Your Escape!My Profile

    • April 29, 2017 / 6:55 pm

      Oh Morgan it is a defining moment for sure. Let me know how it all progresses – would love you to join #TweensTeensBeyond too…..#pocolo

  2. April 24, 2017 / 10:29 am

    #PoCoLo My youngest turned 18 this month, I have 5 children who are now all adults and if anything we are closer now and friends more than we were when they were still living at home. Out time together is quality time as we’ve lived in different countries over the past 7 years, so school holidays have been enjoyed rather than dreaded and my aprenting style has adapted to stop being a nag and make them tidy their rooms to actually spending quality time together as a family

    • April 24, 2017 / 12:16 pm

      It’s interesting but reading comments from those whose children have left home, everyone says their family time now is quality time. Thanks for commenting. #PoCoLo

  3. April 20, 2017 / 11:35 pm

    Interesting about how she was very determined for independence, but also it’s obvious how loved your children are and how much they love and respect your family. Great post and thanks for sharing with #PoCoLo

    • April 24, 2017 / 12:13 pm

      Oh thank you Stephanie for your kind words, that is lovely. #PoCoLo

  4. April 18, 2017 / 5:42 pm

    Your daughter certainly knows her mind. Good for her. My eldest is coming up to 15. I think in the last two year, I can see her actively developing the skills and experience to leave the nest, but it’s not pronounced enough for me to feel the pain. One day she will be gone, but by then I know she’ll be confident and ready. I agree that meal times are a great way of getting together. I can’t imagine not sitting at the table and exchanging news. I’m not looking forward to the stage of leaving one of them behind at holiday time., but maybe I’ll be ready when we reach that point. #TweensTeensBeyond

    • April 20, 2017 / 12:49 pm

      Despite my son leaving for university soon (all going well) I know that it is the right time for him to move on to the next stage but I am confident that our relationship is strong enough to maintain the bond. It is going to be an interesting time. #TweensTeensBeyond

  5. April 16, 2017 / 3:32 pm

    I only have one child so can’t comment on mine growing apart – what I can say is that once me and my sister reached a certain age when we were older we became really close. And we still are to this day. It’s a great relationship and friendship to have. #pocolo
    Jaki recently posted…Inviting Magic Into Our Home With The Irish Fairy Door CompanyMy Profile

    • April 18, 2017 / 11:09 am

      Yes I was the same with my sister. We definitely drifted apart in our late teens and then came together again when we were both at university. I suppose there will always ebbs and flows in a relationship. Thanks for commenting. #pocolo

  6. April 16, 2017 / 12:19 am

    I worry about this way too much as someone with a child under 1. It is good to hear others’ experiences with it to be prepared for when those days come. #PoCoLo

    • April 17, 2017 / 5:14 pm

      Oh Stephanie you do have a long way to go, although am sure you are worried about many other things right now, like whether your child is going to take a tumble – the many and varied stages of parenting. Thanks for commenting. #PoCoLo

  7. April 15, 2017 / 4:49 pm

    Such honest post! This made me hug my son who is 6. I know that the time when he will no longer wants hugs and kisses from me so I will try to make ths most of the time when he still do. Thanks for sharing this nice post. #pocolo

    • April 15, 2017 / 10:11 pm

      Oh thank you so much for your lovely comment. That means so much. Big hugs. #pocolo

  8. April 14, 2017 / 5:31 pm

    My hubbie and I talk about whether the teens and us are growing apart as we tend to spend longer apart BUT I think when we are together we just gel. We are comfortable in each other’s company and always have such a great time. I’m dreading my eldest leaving for uni in a couple of years! #TweensTeensBeyond
    Oldhouseintheshires recently posted…If I was a teen….My Profile

    • April 15, 2017 / 10:15 pm

      If you have a great relationship with your children from an early age, then I think it just carries you through those times in their teen years when they start moving away and seeking more independence. They will always come back to you if that connection is there. Thanks for linking so lovely to have you. #TweensTeensBeyond

  9. April 13, 2017 / 11:08 am

    I love the fact your daughter wanted so much responsibility and independence. My hope is that my kids will become independent on every level but at the same time know that I’m here for them if they need someone to listen to them or help out. After last years family holiday we’ve decided to knock family holidays on the head – holidaying with 6 people who all have strong opinions about what they want to do is hardly a relaxing and joyous affair! We are going to have shorter breaks with different combinations of our family on each trip – just had the first one and it was great! Our eldest leaves home in september and we’ve booked a weekend in Berlin to spend some time together before she goes – just the three of us – we’re all really looking forward to it. She’s also going away with her friends without us and I suspect she’s looking forward to that even more! That’s OK. #tweensteensbeyond
    Lynne recently posted…Slow down and answer the question.My Profile

    • April 14, 2017 / 12:02 pm

      Our family is smaller but this year our whole approach to holidays has changed as our eldest like yours is planning to spend the summer away with friends. We will be doing a trip with our youngest with family friends and then all getting together for a short city break. Ironically – Berlin is on our list too! As you say Lynne a part of this growing up process is adapting to change as a family unit and doing things differently. That is fine because it is inevitable but some quality family time in there is still important. Maybe see you in Berlin! Thanks for joining us again. #TweensTeensBeyond

  10. April 9, 2017 / 7:05 am

    It sounds to me like you’ve got it fracked because your kids come to you for advice still! For me its the communication at this age that needs to be kept open. I know I wanted freedom too at this age but I also wanted someone to watch my back 🌸 #tweensteensbeyond
    Imperfect Mum recently posted…My Sunday PhotoMy Profile

    • April 11, 2017 / 2:46 pm

      I hope so Catie. I suppose my own relationship with my mother was relatively close and I have tried to replicate that with my own teens. It’s not all plain sailing but generally speaking it is a relationship built on trust and honesty. #TweensTeensBeyond

  11. April 7, 2017 / 12:12 am

    With my youngest in the last few months of being a teen, I’m stuck in an odd period while she’s at home during the week (for work) but away most weekends (visiting boyfriend). It’s definitely nothing like having a 15/16 year old at home all the time or a student absent most of the year then home for months in the summer. After a time when she wouldn’t have been seen out with us, she’s happy to hang around with us again –
    go to cinema, shopping or out for dinner. I think it might be pointing us in the way we’ll move as a family unit – spending less time together but making that time better quality
    Mary Mayfield recently posted…Chatsworth – daffodils and rhododendronsMy Profile

    • April 11, 2017 / 2:42 pm

      Yes you have a point there Mary, it is more about quality time isn’t it when they get older? I notice that even now. Whilst they spend the majority of their spare time with their friends, their time with us is cherished and we try to make the most of it. Thanks for commenting. #TweensTeensBeyond

  12. April 6, 2017 / 4:45 pm

    I feel exactly the same as you Jo. I am adamant that my family will stay together in spirit even though life is tugging us in very different directions. My eldest is living away in halls of residence but we are in constant touch – modern technology does have it’s advantages. It’s not just my relationship with my three girls that I worry about. I really want them to remain close as sisters as well. Possibly asking too much? So far, we do still all go on holiday together and I will keep that going for as long as I can too! Great post Jo xxx #TweensTeensBeyond

    • April 11, 2017 / 2:40 pm

      Oh we did the whole university accommodation application yesterday – it all seems so close now. I hope that we can maintain our family bond when Teen 1 moves on and that he and his sister will keep in touch with each other too. Strange times ahead. #TweensTeensBeyond

  13. April 5, 2017 / 9:05 pm

    Our eldest teen is 17 and together we are now looking at universities. Hubby and I are making a conscious effort this year to make him more independent; hoping he’ll choose the correct outerwear when he leaves the house instead of being shouted back to put a coat on! This year I’ll be teaching him how to use the washer and the iron. He already knows his way around the cooker and can produce a mean fry-up lol! I’m actually looking forward to having a couple of years with just our youngest, as that’s something he’s never had. It’s all part of life’s rich tapestry and the next stage of the adventure. #TweensTeensBeyond
    Midlife Dramas in Pyjamas recently posted…One Year Ago Today…My Profile

    • April 6, 2017 / 4:14 pm

      We sound like we are at the same stage and that makes me giggle about telling him to put his coat on – when it’s cold they forget and then once they get the hang of it, it’s then summer and you have to shout at them to leave the coat behind because it is hot outside! Does your son do that too? Similarly I am looking forward to some time with my youngest as the oldest always manages to sap the parenting energy and focus out of the house. #TweensTeensBeyond

  14. April 5, 2017 / 3:07 pm

    I think that there comes a time when they purposefully distance themselves, a way to prove to themselves that they are self sufficient and “grown up.” The key is finding that balance between letting them do that and not drift too far away #teens,tween,beyond
    jeremy@thirstydaddy recently posted…Adrian Peterson? F That GuyMy Profile

    • April 6, 2017 / 4:09 pm

      Oh Jeremy that is absolutely right. As teens in particular, we need to be able to let out the lead so to speak so that they feel more independent but are still within our reach. Thanks for coming back and for your comment. #TweensTeensBeyond

  15. April 4, 2017 / 8:08 pm

    We’ve not hit the teenage years yet but if my tween’s moods and attitude are anything to go by at times, I’m sure it’s not going to be an easy ride. It must feel like a double edged sword, – you want them to be independent but it must also make you feel like they don’t need you anymore. Sometimes now, I wish my kids would be more independent but then I realise I mustn’t wish the time away and cherish this time before they want to be anywhere but hanging out with me. It must feel very strange with one of your kids about to leave home – wow, bet the time has flown by. But then I guess they, and you, start a different journey. #tweensteensbeyond

    • April 5, 2017 / 1:42 pm

      It will certainly be odd for all of us. My daughter has mixed feelings about being an only child in the house so to speak. You are right it is the start of a very different journey for us all. It is the right time for my eldest to flee the nest so to speak but he will be sorely missed nonetheless. #TweensTeensBeyond

  16. Nige
    April 4, 2017 / 5:36 pm

    I love this post it’s beautiful I have two children gone and another on the way in September but I have five year old twins to keep me company for a while saying that I’m as close to those already left as ever thanks for hosting #tweensteensandbeyond

    • April 4, 2017 / 6:57 pm

      You can tell from your posts Nige that you are close to your kids and that is fantastic and testament to the hard work you put in and I don’t say that lightly, it really is hard work sometimes but obviously you have got something right. Your younger girls are very lucky. Thanks for joining us again. #TweensTeensBeyond

  17. April 4, 2017 / 5:02 pm

    My girl is 14 nearly 15 and over the last year has really wanted more independence which I have given her but it’s hard to find that balance. I want her to be independent but I still want to feel needed. We still make sure to have family time which sometimes my teen isn’t happy about at first but always enjoys it in the end x
    #TweensTeensBeyond
    Kim Carberry recently posted…A graffiti room for my teen.My Profile

    • April 4, 2017 / 6:59 pm

      Yah Kim I think you have it nailed. Teens never want to be seen to choose to be with their family but it is important to make it happen and as you say it reminds them that we are not so bad after all! Keep at it and thanks for joining us. Fantastic to have you. #TweensTeensBeyond

  18. April 4, 2017 / 1:44 pm

    What a lovely post! I love that your daughter saw 13 as such a milestone and wants that independence. I also love that your two teens have a special bond. My 15yo son wants independence on his own terms – ie to go camping with his friends, but not to remember his key when he comes in. I’m not sure how he would cope in the big wide world. I think both my teen boys really need me and the family and what we offer them, but they don’t know how to ask for it. The bonds between my kids aren’t great at the moment – my 13yo son gets on well with my 11yo daughter, but my 15yo doesn’t get on well with either of them at the moment. I really hope that changes soon!
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…The football, the rugby and the achillesMy Profile

    • April 4, 2017 / 6:56 pm

      It is a shame your teens are going through a rough patch with each other, but I do remember my sister and I going through a really tough time when I was 15 and she 13 mainly I think because I was breaking out as a teen and she was way too “uncool” in my stupid teen brain. But there was nothing I wouldn’t do for her. She went through a really bad bullying episode and I was always on the look out for her and then once we were both at Uni and my parents were abroad we reconnected and we are a tight unit now – even if we do disagree sometimes! So I do think that rifts between siblings are normal but we/they all come back to each other in the end. With mine I think the fact there is only two of them, they are boy and girl and there is the age gap, there isn’t any competitiveness or friction there just occasional bickering about who takes the longest in the bathroom! Thanks for linking Sarah. #TweensTeensBeyond

  19. April 4, 2017 / 11:21 am

    Aaaww this is so lovely. I feel the same as you about hoping the siblings remain close. My eldest 2 are really good friends now at 15 and 16 (halfway through a blog post about precisely that now!!) an as someone whose best friend is my sister I do hope they keep some kind of bond as they grow so they do have someone for advice for things they’d maybe not want to share with me!! Thanks for the mention too!!
    Daydreams of a mum recently posted…A Thank You to the women who shaped me on International Women’s Day. …  My Profile

    • April 4, 2017 / 12:48 pm

      My mother is one of 11 and I have grown up seeing the value of close sibling relationships and it is always something my mother has stressed to my sister and I. The family bond is stronger than any other. I am glad you agree and look forward to reading your post. Great to have you back Kelly. #TweensTeensBeyond

  20. Mudpie Fridays
    June 17, 2016 / 10:21 pm

    At almost 4 yrs and the other at 6 weeks old teenage years seem a long way off but I know they will be upon us in s blink of an eye. It sounds like no 1 and no 2 have a great relationship 🙂 I hope when we need to adjust as Monkey and Kipper grow up we do such s good job. Thanks for joining us at #BloggerClubUK hope to see you again next week X

    • June 18, 2016 / 3:31 pm

      Oh yes you do have a long way to go yet although you have got the first big “growing up” milestone coming up of going to school. #BloggerClubUK

  21. June 17, 2016 / 4:04 pm

    I worry about this already and my children are both under 6! 😀 Although inevitable, I think it’s still a painful transition. It sounds as though your daughter is a sensible girl and I love her very well thought out things that define ‘adulthood’. Thanks for linking up! #bigpinklink

    • June 18, 2016 / 3:29 pm

      She has always been very clear on reaching milestones in her life. I can’t remember whether at her age I had specific ideas on being an adult though. Thanks for commenting. #bigpinklink

  22. June 16, 2016 / 6:58 pm

    Hi Jo, it’s never overly upset me that my children are all grown up (19 and 16) now, maybe that’s because we are still close. My daughter has her friends, but she still trails after me wanting to chat and I make the most of the here and now, as I dread the day she leaves to spread her wings, not because she’ll be all grown up, but because she’ll be gone.

    I love the fact your daughter knows what she wants and it’s simply (or not) some independence.

    #BloggersClubUK

    • June 16, 2016 / 10:03 pm

      Debbie, you obviously have got it right with yours. Growing up, independence, spreading their wings, it’s all part of it and I will be happy, like you, with whatever as long as we remain close. Thanks for commenting. #BloggersClubUK

  23. June 16, 2016 / 6:09 pm

    Oh wow to the road trip! I broke away holidaying from my parents and now we go together again every year. I’m not a the teenager stage yet but my 8 yr old already wants a key when he’s a teenager haha. Thanks for linking to #picknmix

    • June 16, 2016 / 10:00 pm

      Your son is clearly a young man who knows what he wants! #picknmix

  24. June 16, 2016 / 2:45 pm

    My son is still 4 but I dread the time you are talking about. I know that boys usually separate from their mothers at an earlier stage, and this is so frustrating. But yet, I prefer to believe we won’t lose the parent-child relationship. It will be different but not lost, I hope. #BloggerClubUK

    • June 16, 2016 / 9:58 pm

      Mothers and sons are usually very attached. My eldest (a boy) is 17 and we are very close if somewhat too alike! #BloggerClubUK

  25. June 15, 2016 / 4:48 pm

    Oh gosh I just wrote about my eldest daughter and how she is starting school in September and I am SO emotional about it all! My eldest started high school last September and I almost had a melt down over it! I HATE that they are growing up so fast but you are so right, it doesn’t have to mean growing apart. Its just so hard to let them go isn’t it? #sharewithme

    • June 15, 2016 / 6:43 pm

      It is wonderful to watch the “fruits of your labour” as they blossom but equally tough. A friend has just said goodbye to her youngest who has gone off to USA for a year and she said it just doesn’t get it any easier. “Enjoy every moment and brace yourself” was her advice…..Thanks for commenting. #sharewithme

  26. June 15, 2016 / 11:01 am

    Oh gosh – there is really a theme on #sharewithme this week. I do worry about this. I want them to stay as close as they are now. I certainly remember a time when i grew apart from my parents – i would say 15-18 but by 19 things were much better and we were close again.

    Thanks for linking up this week and hope to see you again

    • June 15, 2016 / 1:26 pm

      I suppose it is natural to expect periods when they will drift away but as long as they come back I will be happy. Thanks for hosting #sharewithme

  27. June 14, 2016 / 3:37 pm

    It is nice to see their personalities develop too though although as they mature but without the terrible hormone effect! I know that one only too well. Thanks for reading. Good luck next week. #picknmix

  28. June 14, 2016 / 11:27 am

    As you already know, I feel exactly the same. It really does feel so odd them being so much more independent and not needing you so much. We’re coping with hormones at the moment…. at least I hope it is that and my son hasn’t just developed a split personality that will stay forever arghhh. Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix

    Stevie x

  29. June 13, 2016 / 9:01 pm

    I’m not sure how I will handle it, when the time comes to my children growing up and taking their own paths. I can imagine I will find it incredibly difficult. Family is so important to me, so I hope it will be just as important to my children in the future and then perhaps that will help keep us together as a family.

    Your family Californian road trip sounds amazing. I hope you all have a really wonderful time and enjoy visiting lots of lovely places.

    Thank you for sharing x

    • June 14, 2016 / 9:00 am

      Emma I agree, if you can bring your children up to value the family relationship I think it makes a huge difference. Of course there will be hiccups along the way but the result will be worth it…I hope anyway! Thanks for commenting.

  30. June 13, 2016 / 4:15 pm

    It’s tough isn’t it? I recently posted about my three year old going on his first nursery trip without me – heartbreaking! All part of the journey that is parenting I supposed. Loved reading this thanks for sharing x #bigpinklink

    • June 14, 2016 / 8:58 am

      I remember those days as if they were yesterday. The anxiety never goes. My daughter is about to go off to France and even though she has been on lots of school trips abroad over the years, I am still worrying. #bigpinklink

  31. June 13, 2016 / 1:41 pm

    It’s hard … You long for them to grow up and become independent, but then they won’t need you any more … Learning to let go is key I think. Beautiful post

    • June 13, 2016 / 2:07 pm

      Yes, growing up is bittersweet. Thanks for reading.

  32. June 13, 2016 / 1:00 pm

    It all seems to come round far too fast and accelerates when they go to high school I think. Its great that she is mature enough to want her independence but sad for you. I’m dreading the day when this happens for me. I don’t think my heart or my ovaries will stand it. Lovely post. Thanks so much for sharing with us on #fortheloveofBLOG

    • June 13, 2016 / 1:13 pm

      Everything seems to go past so quickly that it makes holding on to those moments with them even more important. #fortheloveofBLOG

  33. June 13, 2016 / 10:08 am

    The whole teenager/party scene is a minefield in itself isn’t it? Our eldest started about a year ago when he hit 16, luckily we are not there with the youngest yet but I wonder how she will be in comparison to her brother. Cross fingers we have not had any disasters yet. Thanks for sharing. #fortheloveofBLOG

  34. June 13, 2016 / 9:48 am

    this was lovely to read as we are there too. Our teen is so independent its scary. She has just started going to friends parties at night time, which scares the hell out of me, but she has been warned that if she breaks our trust all privileges end then and there. And thankfully she is a good kid, and so far so good… your daughter sounds sensible too, the fact that she would rather a bit more independence instead of the piercings etc is testament that she’s got her head on straight… I hope you guys enjoy your trip too! #fortheloveofBLOG

  35. June 11, 2016 / 5:30 pm

    Oh I am completely with you on this! But I think everything is a phase and yes whilst they will want to go on holidays with their friends there will come a time when they have their own families that they will want to come back on holiday again with us – I know it’s years away but if we keep the lines of communication open and the relationships great then I am sure we will have other wonderful phases to enjoy with them! Tough though isn’t it? #fortheloveofBLOG

    • June 12, 2016 / 4:54 pm

      Whenever it gets tough, which can be daily sometimes, my mantra is to just keep talking so the relationship doesn’t fall apart, once it does I think it will get even tougher. #fortheloveofBLOG

  36. June 11, 2016 / 12:52 pm

    I found this really interesting – I love that your daughter has clearly marked this as a time she wants independence. I think I did my ‘teenage bit’ of being a stroppy cow and rude to my parents and generally difficult between the age of about 10-12, I seemed to calm down after that and enjoy family time again. My brother is 4 years older than me so I completely understand that it’s a bit of an awkward gap sometimes. We have two sisters older than both of us which I think took the edge off a little and once I got to about 16/17 we became good friends and have just got closer and closer ever since- we now consider each other best friends! It sounds like they are on a great track for that already and have a wonderful bond. I hope she enjoys her newfound independence and that you all enjoy the californian road trip! #fortheloveofBLOG

    • June 12, 2016 / 5:22 pm

      I love the whole big brother looking after little sister thing and it is so wonderful when it works. Sometimes my daughter definitely takes on the more maternal role in their relationship but that’s nice too. Thanks for sharing your experiences. #fortheloveofBLOG

  37. June 10, 2016 / 3:06 pm

    I have a 14 and 12 year old. And it is, it’s a joy and a heart-break at the same time. But, I relish in the joy. Neither of them are bothered by me being around for events yet. I’ve tried to pick and choose throughout their lives which I should really be at and which I should let go to not make it something they expect until they didn’t want anymore. My 14 year old spends a lot of time when she’s at home in her room away from the rest of the family. But, then, unexpectedly out of nowhere, she’ll come down and just talk all of our ears off about everything. But watching them become such strong, independent, capable girls means I’ve done a good job and the hug at the end of everyday still means they appreciate that fact.

    • June 12, 2016 / 5:28 pm

      Mine are the same. They disappear too but as long as we all come together and still talk I am happy with that. And as you are say it is important they also become independent in the process too. Thanks for your feedback. #fortheloveofBLOG

  38. June 10, 2016 / 9:57 am

    Watching my children growing up is a joy, its also heart breaking too…

    • June 12, 2016 / 5:30 pm

      I understand. It tests all our emotions being a parent and never wish it away too soon. #fortheloveofBLOG

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