When I was a young girl I didn't dare talk to anyone about the changes my body was going through. I find it fascinating that one generation later my 13-year-old daughter can laugh, giggle, and even have a serious discussion about her body.
She is such a terrific kid -- I say it in awe, not because I'm bragging. She understands that developing into a woman means she can accomplish everything she sets her mind to. A few years ago she wanted to be an astronomer; we happily encouraged her. "Work hard and go for it," we said. Now she wants to be an ice skater, singer, teacher, musician, author… it changes depending on the day you ask!
If I give my daughter nothing else, I want to give her the knowledge of how remarkable she is. I want her to live up to her full potential and never think, "Sheesh it's too hard being a girl"! She stopped 'letting' me help with her homework in the 5th grade. She now regularly makes honor roll. In addition to academics, she juggles band, piano, yearbook, youth group, and all the extra chores and babysitting I throw her way!
I've watched her become more responsible as well as more generous. In December, she babysat more and had more spending money than usual. So she decided to buy holiday gifts using her own money. I was super impressed with her big-heartedness!
Don't get me wrong, she isn't perfect. She makes her very own mistakes. But I love how she learns and moves on, never claiming to be a victim or blaming anyone else. The best parenting advice I ever got was: Allow your children to make their own mistakes at young ages. I have found that lessons they learn at 11 and 12 years old can help avoid unwise decisions when they are older teens and young adults, when mistakes can have significant impacts on a budding future.
I'm proud to be her mother and I always want her to be proud of who she is and who she'll one day become. As an early teen her body is still changing and growing and it's such a joy to watch her transform; body, mind, and spirit. She's well on her way to becoming an outstanding woman!