The irrational and uncontrollable behaviour of my 2-year-old was a major challenge, but I came out pretty much unscathed (bar the odd dent to my pride).
When the new-found
cheekiness independence of my 5-year-old daughter surfaced (strangely coinciding with her first few months at 'big school') I was relatively unfazed - the books had warned me.
But NOTHING, prepared me for the arrival of a
The Tween turned 11 last November, just a few months after entering her final year of Primary School. By now most of these girls are in the thick of puberty and somewhat over-confident in their role as the oldest pupils in the school. All of this, coupled with a year which is fraught with the pressure of SAT tests, impending goodbyes and the promise of many life-changes ahead, we've had a 'tricky' time at home.
You may remember that The Tween suffers from anxiety - not extreme but enough to have an affect on her day to day. She manages to hide it incredibly well when at school, but the hidden 'worries' tend to result in poor behaviour at home and difficulty sleeping. I'm not going to lie, this year has been hard on all of us.
I know that she's a good girl at school - her incredibly supportive and encouraging teacher has told me many times herself over this last year. But no matter how many people tell you how wonderful your child is, when you're having a tough 'ride' at home, you find it hard to believe, hard to see very much 'good' in them at all.
So as a result of this 'tricky' year, my belief in myself as a parent has taken a lot of beating. Then last week, the big white envelope returned home from school - the one with the school report inside and the SAT results we've been waiting for....
"extremely polite and helpful" "mature" "conscientious and hardworking" "sensitive and supportive of those less able than her" "kind and caring with a friendly nature" "very aware of the feelings of others" "a sensitive and thoughtful nature which will be an asset to any class".
As if my magic, I realised that my sometimes sorry attempts at parenting cannot have been all bad. In fact some of them must have been incredibly worthwhile! Yes she can be 'difficult' at home and I imagine we are just about to enter even deeper waters, but these words mean the world to me. We're creating an individual who we can be very proud of.
And somehow the SAT scores no longer seemed all that significant....
When was the last time your child did something worth remembering? Write it down. I think the record of these treasured moments, are going to help us through the difficult times.