You bet there is! Times of testing and unseen results loom ahead—at least that’s what everyone who has “been there, done that” predicts. It used to be that the teenage years had the reputation for being difficult to maneuver through; now a title has been tacked onto the pre-adolescent years (10-12 years). Oh my!
Don’t panic. Keep calm and do what every able-bodied mother has done: PRAY! And, consult this five-step process which has been implemented in countless research laboratories all over the country; their similarity to the tween home-turf is eerily alike! First, let us identify:
THE HYPOTHESIS: Specific measures are needed for raising a young girl, prior to the onset of adolescence. A clear, concise plan of action must be utilized:
Know your subject matter (a.k.a. your daughter). Observe her likes and dislikes; mentally note the strengths and weaknesses you see developing in her life. Your goal is to understand and encourage her through this time of transition. Exemplify the character of Christ. Your influence upon her is at its peak.
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32 (KJV)
Develop a strategy which focuses on interactive parenting. (This “hands-on” approach will be even more beneficial once the teen years arrive.) Actively participate in your tween’s life, even when you sense indifference. Get to know her friends by making your home an inviting arena for socialization. Be flexible, be willing to make sacrifices, and most of all, remain approachable.
“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17 (KJV)
Time for discovery! Tween girls need to know they are cherished, created with a purpose by an Almighty God. Abilities, attitudes, affections and appearances—all are shaped by a Biblical perspective and a firm foundation in Christ. How effective have you been in communicating this truth to your daughter?
Jeremiah 29:13 “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”
Are you pleased with the results? Make the necessary adjustments, when necessary. Parenting is an endless journey, requiring enormous amounts of patience and perseverance. Yet, it is also the most rewarding experience, reaping immeasurable peace and pleasure. Trust God to provide you with strength and wisdom. He will not fail you.
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” 3 John 1:4
God has given us His Word as a reference tool, one to be used consistently and without hesitation. Don’t neglect its authority or application. The Bible is our source of knowledge and provides insight and truth for every decision we need to make. Our daughters’ spiritual walk is additionally strengthened by observation (of our godly habits) and communication (prayer). Results (a fruit-bearing testimony) will follow.
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105
THE CONCLUSION: Parenting a tween is a process of discovering new knowledge. It is gaining a familiarity with your daughter and observing her growth and development in all aspects of life: physical, emotional and spiritual.
But it doesn’t end there. Mothers must apply this information and use it to create an improved product. With God’s intervention and blessing, there is no limit to how victorious and far-reaching the results will be. And, that is the essence of science!
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”1 Corinthians 10:31