The ages between ten and thirteen can be difficult years for your daughter. She is beginning to be affected by many changes. She may try to hold on to her childhood or try to rush too quickly into her teenage years. It can be a stressful time for her as well as for you. Finding activities that you can do together that allow the two of you time to talk can sometimes help.
Her body may seem to change overnight. She may suddenly gain height or lose weight fast. This means that shopping for new clothes is going to be necessary. Plan to take her with you so the two of you can talk while shopping. She may have definite preferences in clothing that may not be to your liking. Have her show you her favorites instead of the reverse. Discuss her choices, either pointing out why you feel they are inappropriate or praising her good taste. Do not expect to win her over on all items. The object is to open a line of communication on her wardrobe in a calm and relaxed manner.
Tea rooms have become increasingly popular in recent years and can be found in both large cities and small towns. You might consider inviting her to join you for afternoon tea. It is often perceived as an adult occasion, and she might want to dress up for it. You can encourage this attitude by giving her some crystal earrings or a pendant to be worn when the two of you have tea.
Daily chores have always allowed mothers to talk with daughters. Ask her to help prepare dinner or teach her a craft such as embroidery. You can have casual conversations while working on your respective projects. You might also enlist her help to fold laundry or change the bed sheets. Such environments can often lead to unguarded thoughts being voiced due to her lack of pressure to say the right thing.
If her personal hygiene is lagging behind, consider letting her attend a grooming workshop. Children sometimes consider instructions in this area received from parents to be nagging. A total stranger may be more successful with the endeavor. In addition to learning how to care for herself, she will likely receive tips on makeup and wardrobe at the same time.
Take a stroll around the neighborhood or through the park with her. This isn’t the time for a fitness walk, so keep the pace slow so that you can easily converse. Ask her questions, such as which of her classmates she likes, and why. You can ask what she thinks she would like to do for a career, and why. Give her a chance to ask you questions as well. This can also be a good time to discuss serious matters, such as peer pressure. It may be easier to bring up certain subjects in a relaxed atmosphere rather than sitting face to face in the living room.
You may be one of the lucky few who has a daughter who is taking everything in stride. Even if you are, make sure that she knows that you are available to talk anytime she likes. Opening a line of communication, and keeping it open, gives you a better chance of helping her should any issues arise.