TWEENS AND TEENS
I don’t like Russian dolls. They are so full of themselves. (I’m tempted to get some Russian dolls and have them in my office
just so I can use that joke whenever someone walks in). But I want
to use the Russian doll analogy for our kids. We get this little person,
our baby; we get to know them and understand them but then time
passes and suddenly (it can certainly seem sudden) we have this
bigger person. It’s like a new Russian doll has been placed over the
top of the smaller one. They are still our child, but the little doll we
knew so well is inside this bigger one. And the bigger one resembles
the smaller one, but unlike Russian dolls, there are differences and
differences can be profound.
When a baby becomes a toddler, a new child arrives. When a boy
gets that surge of testosterone at about five he can become really
different. When the hormones crash into our children at puberty
we wonder if aliens have stolen our real child and left something
completely different. The Russian dolls that get added next have
curves or facial hair... is our little baby still in there somewhere?
Make friends with your kids over and over again. Make friends
with your toddler, and then again with your school-age child, your
adolescent, your young adult. They change and change and change.
You have to keep making contact and building the relationship. You
might grieve for the old dolls – so take lots of photos – but the new
dolls are beautiful, too, and they desperately need you to get to
Final thought: Inside of you is an 18 year old, and a 12 year old and
a 7 year old and a 3 year old. And that’s why parenting can be so
much fun. Your inner child has a playmate!