Week In Review – Growing Pains


Valentine's-Day-Nails You know those children who don’t seem to have a filter, and who can talk your ear off for hours at a time, filling even the smallest fraction of a second of quiet time with jibber jabber? Well, I don’t have those children. I have children who contently ride in the car in silence, only talking when someone infringes on their personal space or prompted to speak, but sometimes not even then. They’re not apt to butt in to adult conversations, although sometimes they do, and they’re not one to seek attention from visitors with elaborate stories and endless questions. For years we figured this was a relatively good thing. With us, they’d open up and of course talk, but when in the company of others, they were often mutes, and car rides were always relatively peaceful. But now, especially with Taylor, that ongoing silence has proven to be at times detrimental.

We’ve had various bouts of school drama the past couple of months, no doubt brought on by the simple fact that Taylor isn’t much of a talker, and it only seems to be getting worse, where the important stuff is concerned. We’re working hard with her, trying to get her to open up, reassuring her that she can talk to us about anything, and reassuring her that she can and most certainly must, stand up for herself when she’s out in the big bad world on her own, aka, school. It’s been a learning process, especially the last few weeks. Learning not so much in how exactly to get her to open up, but learning when we need to be alert and at full attention, when we need to back off, and when we need to step in. As she nears 10 years old, I know this is only going to get harder and so we’re trying our best to develop some tools for all of us, so that we can deal better as we head into 5th grade, and eventually the dreaded middle school days. I use to always get so irked at those “Just wait” parents, who were always warning of impending doom and harder days ahead as our children grow and mature. But now, I all too often see how right they are. Of course it’s not all doom and gloom, but as they get older, I can definitely see how the stakes are greater and the challenges┬ábecome┬ámore complicated. The last few days I feel as though there’s almost no room for error, but of course I know I’m being overly dramatic and during those moments of self doubt and anxiety, I remind myself to breathe, just so I can think more clearly.

I’ve toyed with the idea of having her go see the school counselor, just so she knows she is safe to be open and honest with the events and pressures at school, but after a positive visit to the principal’s office this week, where some girl drama seems to finally be sorted out, she’s assured me that she’s doing okay and a visit to the counselor isn’t necessary. I drove by at lunch time today, something I often do since we live right across the street, and she was laughing and playing happily with her friends, so I do hope she’s being honest and is feeling better. I’m on high alert though, and I’ve gone ahead and ordered this mother-daughter journal called Just Between Us, which will hopefully provide a pathway to better communication between the two of us. Lord knows I’m trying here, and will continue to do so. As I try to achieve the ever-delicate balance between hands-off mom and helicopter parent, I take some minor comfort in the fact that she’s got a hell of a better support system at home and at school than I ever did, and even still, I turned out okay.

Interesting reads around the web:

Death to the Chicken Finger (I wonder if the author of this piece ever caught wind of my hashtag #nomoreeffingchickenfingers?)

This video of the making of a Dior bag is fantabulous!

I shared this article, How To Become a Morning Person, with Art. I think our marriage could only improve if he and I were both on the same page with regards to our nocturnal schedule.

Current obsessions:

I completed the The Lunar Chronicles last night, and I can’t believe I have to wait till November to see how the series ends!

I need to dedicate an entire post to my new-found love for my brows, thanks to the Tarte Volumizing Brow Powder. Seriously, my brows have never looked better.

What I’m pinning and making this week in the kitchen:

For Valentine’s Day I’m making this raw cheesecake, which gets ridiculously good reviews.

And just because, I’m also going to try this life changing bread.

I’ll keep you posted on the results.

Follow me along on Pinterest to see all the recipes and other stuff I’m obsessing over.

In the mean time, please let me know anything new and exciting you’ve stumbled across, and if you have any suggestions for good books to read on the subject of daughters and the approaching tween/teen years, I’m all ears!

Andrea is the founder of For The Love Of, a lifestyle blog dedicated to approachable, modern living. She writes about style, her love of DIY, and living a healthier life through wholesome, nutritious cooking. She is also a regular contributor at Babble. Get in touch: Facebook, Twitter You can find Andrea on Instagram @andreavhowe and @gwynethmademedoit

  • Sarah Penagos says:

    Hi Andrea! I’m the silent reader sort, and I can fully relate to Taylor with preferring to be quiet and keep thoughts and emotions tucked away. I am also a school counselor (great job for someone who prefers to listen rather than speak). While Taylor may not need anyone at this point in her school-life, she may at some point and it’s important that she be comfortable with the counselor when that time comes. I just wanted to encourage you to reach out to her counselor for an informal introduction so that when/if she feels like she needs someone the nervousness of meeting someone new doesn’t overshadow her desire to get help with difficult situations.

    Best wishes to you and to Taylor,

  • Karri says:

    Ah yes, tween girls. We are in the thick of it and some days I want to cry. My boys are open books and love love love to talk. My girl? Notsomuch. I am going to look into that journal you mentioned.

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