On a serious note…

Tweenagers… this has to be such an awkward age, with so many things going on, hormones, body changes, social interactions, and just generally working out their place in life.

Miss I-Zombie, 12 years going on 21, wants all the freedom in the world, but none of the responsibility, wants everything that everyone else has, but doesn’t want to work for it.

Love this age sometimes…

Social journeys at this age, Wow….

Now I don’t want to sound like that parent “back in my day! I walked two million miles to get to school and back, in the snow, IN BARE FEET!” But…

Back in my day, when I was the same age, we were not as “mature” as children these days… seriously, children having sex, drinking alcohol, smoking weed, at around 13 years old, what happened to your childhood? instead of enjoying it, you choose to throw it away to grow up way to fast!!! I wanted to be an adult so badly when I was a child, and now, I would love to be a child again, funny how that works.

Now, I actually do keep very tight tabs on my digital Zombies, I think in this day and age, we as parents need too, I try hard to teach them good behaviours and morals, sympathy and empathy for others, appreciation, and that you need to work hard to achieve what you want. It seems like a bigger challenge at this age, and sometimes I look at these two and think to myself “Why are you two such little Brats?” , it takes a bit to stop and tell myself, they are the product of my parenting, and actually, Im doing the best I know how, and this whole “parenting” thing is hard work… the amount of arguments my Husband and I have had over parenting, I think shows, just how massive of an ordeal “raising” children can be, and co-parenting is another huge story.

One thing I am massively questioning at the moment is “What is the best way to help guide my tween zombie through learning social behaviours, and reading good from difficult social situations?” , confidence, peer pressure,  good choices, understanding consequence to undesirable choices, just seeing the bigger picture…incuding one that she has come across with a school peer just lately,  self-harming.

I was 18 when I had my first-born, and now im 31. I feel some days I’m only just starting to work some of this out for myself, so how am I ment to advise a 12-year-old of this, am I really that qualified?

Watching Miss 12 developing her social values has been interesting, still in primary school, dealing with things that I didn’t have to deal with untill I was a couple of years in High School.

Something  that I believe makes it more difficult, Social Media.

Social Media opens up so many more doors to bullying, impressions, social pressure, chinese whispers, breach of privacy and easier personal attacks. Children don’t have the maturity to deal with half of the situations that arise on social media, yet, almost every 12-13 year old has at least 1 account of some kind. Miss I-Zombie does have accounts, on the terms that I can have access at any point I feel the need, and she is to be honest with me, come and tell me first before I hear it elsewhere, and I will hear it guaranteed.

Miss Zombie had a situation over the weekend, she had two friends come and stay for the night, both with ipads and junk food in hand. All three of them proceeded to make themselves comfortable with sleeping bags, food, Netflix and iPads a plenty. Everything was going well, untill…

The Modem faulted… it was a massive panic! mainly with one child zombie friend, who proceeded to pretty much throw a tantrum because he left his “Bae” on seen. My husband and I had suspected this digital zombie had been hanging around lately more for the Internet Access (and girlfriend access, more to come), rather than the enjoyment of socializing with my Miss Zombie, so we decided that the Modem was going to stay “faulted” till the morning.

The rest of the night involved this Zombie boy sulking because he couldn’t get online, and apparently longingly looking at photos of his girlfriend all night, well, untill 1am when he decided it was a good idea to sneak into my bedroom to wake my husband and I, to ask if we had fixed the Modem yet… safe to say, we were EXTREMELY unimpressed ! and he seemed surprised that his not-important question was not welcome at that time of the morning…

In the morning, this boy zombie had obviously had enough of no internet access, so made other plans to leave at 10:30am to go meet his girlfriend. 10:25am came soon enough, and we finally fixed the Modem, well the excitement that followed was amense, and safe to say the boy zombie didn’t end up leaving at 10:30am as he had planned.

Thankfully Miss I-Zombie noticed all of this behaviour, and soon worked out that maybe the friendship was not as important to him as it was to her. I feel sad for her, this is such a s*#t lesson to learn in life, but an important one.

So how do you help your son/ daughter through this, and similar situations? To let them know this is not because they are at fault for others decisions, or how they see you, or how they decide to treat you? How to work out good friends, quality not quantity right?

Miss Zombie is also the friend/ school acquaintance of the girlfriend of this particular boy zombie, they share the same class at school. She has started questioning lately “Why do these two always show up at my house after school, but don’t have much to do with me other times? or when at my house?” (boy zombie goes to my Miss Zombies previous school). How to answer the Question “Mum, are they only here to meet up with each other? not to see me?” …

The Girlfriend Zombie also self harms… a whole different ballgame that is, and a complete different story…

In the last few weeks, I have heard on two occasions (two to many), “Please don’t tell my Mum/Dad” and this screams  red flags to me, if you dont want your parents to find out, you know it’s not OK…

Please Parents, keep your finger on the pulse, be in the know, be involved, get to know who your kids are socializing with and guide them. These journeys through childhood and teenage hood are what moulds our children into who they grow up to be. Stalk their social media accounts, and I don’t mean behind their back, do it with them, if it means they think twice before putting something public online in case you see it, who cares, you may have just saved them from being publically humiliated. Just remember what goes online stays online, these posts can affect them later in life with jobs, relationships and life opportunities.

We are our children’s advocates, and in this day and age we need to protect them not only from the outside world, but the inside/ online world, there are just as many hazards, predators and threats online as out in the big wide world…

 

Note* there is a lot of background story and build up to this situation, it’s not quite as simple as it may seem, but this is the current challenge at hand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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