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16 February 2023

Connecting with my Tween - Five things I have learned.

— My Story

It is no secret that my parenting journey thus far has been more of a cobblestone pathway than a smoothly paved highway. 

Navigating through the challenges of dyslexic thinking and accommodating ADD is a vague summary of our journey, but it is the careful support of my child’s emotional nuances and setbacks in self confidence that made motherhood especially challenging for me, specifically in the Primary School years when diagnoses are made and reality sets in. 

I made a choice to be a conscious parent. I listen. I notice. I offer a safe space. And yet, so often, there was not much I could do. I felt like an observer and I desperately wanted to take up her burden. I wanted to clear her path. I often wondered if there was a strong enough connection between us. Does she know I have her back? Can she see my warrior spirit holding space?

Chantel Griesel, Occupational Therapist at The My Story Tribe describes it so beautifully in a newsletter this week: 

“Parenting is not a role. It’s not a responsibility. It’s primarily a relationship.  Our children don’t need us to be the best organizers, the best cheerleaders who are everywhere, know everything and push them to be their best. They don’t need the best lunchbox. They just need us. 

Not what we DO for them, just that we ARE for them.

They don’t need an action; they need a person. They don’t need us to walk in front of them clearing the way. They don’t need us to walk behind them, pushing. Our children need us to walk next to them, exploring the possibilities of life, no matter how different it might be from what we initially dreamed for them. “

I am still learning daily. But through trial and error, this is what I have come to know about connecting with my Tween:

I still learn every day. More so now that she is moving into her Teens. Send some grace and patience this way please!

To my fellow parents who are advocating, longing and fighting for connection, I see you. Every day is a new day to connect. Let's be the guardians of that connection - Milan Murray: Founder of The My Story Tribe