To my dear tween

Posted By on March 28, 2012

Jing Wen, I’m noticing that you are no longer the cute little boy I once knew with chubby cheeks and thick legs. You are becoming bigger and more mature, almost like an adult, but not quite. Your body, your face and your behaviors are all changing … not quite a child, but not quite an adult either.

Sometimes I hear you say things that are very difficult to hear. Like just then, when you called your brother “useless” which saddened him enough to cry. I’m reminding myself that you are stretching and growing in every way … learning about this new body and new person you are in the process of becoming, and you don’t really mean to be unkind … maybe just having feelings that are strong: frustrated and bored perhaps? I just want to let you know that no matter what you do in your growing and learning, that I love you and care deeply for you. You will always have a place in my heart.

My 10.5 year old listened as he sat against the edge of the claw foot tub in our bathroom. I was sitting on the stool my youngest uses to reach the sink. His face was kind and soft. We had a moment of silence, looking at each other. I thought, here is a beautiful human being who is experiencing discomfort and doesn’t know what to do with it because it’s so new. So I offered my arms to him. Taking a step toward me, he accepted my hug with his not quite grown-up arms which stilled wrapped all around me. I knew just then, I had just added a whole bunch of points into our trust bank*.

For the rest of the day, he became much more agreeable and played patiently with his brothers. A vast difference from the morning, where at every turn, he teased his brothers mercilessly because he said he was bored, admitting quite shamelessly that he was feeling crappy and wanted to spread it. I chose to speak to him when the incident defused a little and when I was no longer attached to changing him. I believe he must have felt it because he was so receptive to listening.

Perhaps this was just a taste of the teenage years to come. It is only fitting that I get my practice in now to be the most patient parent I can be.

*trust bank – a collection of experiences, memories, interactions that show our children we care for them, that we are honest and real, trust worthy or that we follow through with our word.

About The Author

I am a Chinese-American mother of three boys, parenting with the traditions worth keeping from the East and West. I continue to learn new ways of raising a family and myself.


3 Responses to “To my dear tween”

  1. […] was our night. Thank goodness for a time out to help ground my frustrations, for my savings in the trust bank with the kids and for the gift of my […]

  2. KC says:

    This made my day, I can relate to Jing Wen, being the oldest sibling. He is a shining one, and blessed to have you as a Mother. Thank you for sharing this, it is healing for everyone that reads it. I love the trust bank concept/idea, it holds true for all that I have learned in my life. I love my parents for being real and true. To have courage for the truth, and trust in life, one must listen often to the heart, which is our true home. Blessings Min Yi, Thanks for being You, and sharing your life experiences with us all. Keep on Shining.

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