After losing my father at the age of 19, it never dawned on me how much I would miss out on our relationship. When I look back on my accomplishments, the last one my father physically shared with me was my high school graduation. I was the first of his six children to graduate from college and he was such a huge advocate of education. His passing left a huge void in terms of sharing in my wedding, birth of my children, the challenges of separation/divorce and now being a single parent. I have always heard “daddy’s little girl” and when your younger it never really sinks in until you lose your father early in life. For as much as daughters need their fathers I feel it is incredibly important for male children to have a strong and consistent foundation from the primary male in his life.
When I see how much my TWEEN is growing emotionally and physically I feel a void because it is extremely difficult for me to fully relate to his growing pains. There are sensitive topics that he may feel uncomfortable sharing with me and in some cases I don’t feel slighted. However, having the opportunity to share and talk about these changes can only provide a positive outcome. What I miss is the ability to communicate with my father and that is a tough reality. I notice that communication comes in many forms today with the evolution of texting, Facetime, SKYPE, Facebook, etc, which leads me to wonder how do we really communicate with our children? The ability to effectively communicate with a TWEEN is priceless.
In my TWEEN I see how he struggles with wanting to have a strong and meaningful relationship with his father. I think what parents forget is the fact that children grow up and remember the time spent. My belief is that children forget about the trucks, video games, bikes, Ipods, Ipads, tvs, etc and really cherish the one on one time spent, showing up for their school activities, sporting events, or just being there. My TWEEN longs for one on one time with no interruptions or interference. I see how he buries himself in his Ipod Touch even when the one on one time is suppose to be a priority. For some reason it is easier for my TWEEN to communicate this disconnect with me and not the “other parent“. Unfortunately, I cannot offer an explanation. There is no parenting handbook however at some point our children must be a priority.
TWEEN years are a roller coaster of emotions and a strong, firm and disciplined foundation from the “other parent” is so important. There are a number of organizations that offer leadership and mentoring but I am stumped with relying on others to assist in this area. Then I ask the question is this being selfish? or to be realistic should I take this route?. I hope one day soon this solid and consistent foundation enters my TWEEN’S life.