On being the parent of a 9 year old

If I had been doing any other job for 9 years, you’d probably expect me to be pretty good at it. At the very least, I would be expected to know what I need to do each day when I turn up for work. Having been a parent for 9 years though, I find myself almost as clueless as I was on day one. At least back then I had nurses, health visitors and midwives hovering around in the background who I could glance at helplessly.

Helpful nurses
Look, smiling, helpful and reassuring!

Well now. Some days I feel on top of the world with my 9 year old. We get on, we chat, we laugh, we understand each other. I ask her to do her homework? She does it, without being asked twice. I don’t even have to ask her to help clear up the dinner plates, or to brush her teeth at bedtime. I know, amazing, right?

Our family, on a good day

Other days? Dare I say it, at the moment, the majority of days? There is attitude, there is a smug smile and a defiant twinkle in the eyes. There is basically very little chance that we are going to end the day on the best of terms. This is because she knows how to push the buttons which get me from zero to hot-headed banshee in 2.2 seconds. And don’t we all know how it goes – when the anger comes in, the control is lost and it is very difficult to bring it back.

Now, the premise of this whole website is that feelings, of whatever description, are okay. In that vein, anger is okay – it is at least understandable. What needs to be done though, is to find a way through the anger, and to deal with it quickly and efficiently in order to provide the best possible role model for the little person (don’t tell her I called her a little person, whatever you do).

In trying to calm myself down from tonight’s confrontation – I am not proud of myself, before anyone lambasts me – I did a quick online search for other websites covering the behaviour of 9 year old girls. I have found this, and man, I really needed to read this tonight.

I am leaving it here for now – if you have kids, particularly girls, of this age, I recommend you read the above link. It gives perspective, and it also serves as a reminder that you are not alone.

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