How to bond with your growing girl

When my daughter was small, I thought things would get easier as she grew up. Now she’s eight and I am still in a turmoil whether things were easier then or now. Being a baby or a toddler, she was obviously dependent on me for the smallest of things and that meant very little free and me time. Now, she goes to school from morning to evening and weekends go in making plans, attending play dates, birthday parties, family functions and getting ready for the week ahead.

As she is getting older, her need to hang out with her friends and kids her age seems reasonable but that invariably means less time with us. In order to spend time with her, at times, what I do is invite one or two of her friends. This way, I get to hang out with her, interact and know her friends well and understand how she’s doing, what they talk about these days. 

It is time to embrace the fact that girls grow up extremely fast and as much as we love them and they love us, they love their friends more and bonding with their friends is the best way to keep them close.

A few things I have learnt over the years of being a girl mom and rather, a mom in general:

  • The best way to keep them close is keeping their friends close. I am extremely fond of her best friend and I make it a point to pamper and treat her just like my daughter whenever they meet.
  • Accept it that your daughter’s friends means you are friends with her mothers! If you share a good rapport with the parents, the kids’ friendship will grow and nurture, as well.
  • You cannot be an introvert and expect your daughter to have and maintain friendships that last beyond school days. I was happy in my limited bubble of friends and social circle but to her social circle thriving, I made it a point to interact with everyone of her classmate’s parents and that has worked wonders.
  • It is okay to ask.  It used to bother me earlier that I was the one taking all initiatives and making plans but to see my daughter thriving and growing closer with her friends is what mattered. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who takes the first step as long as you take it.
  • You can behave perfectly well through the year but for important milestones like birthdays, new years and such occasions- it is important to invest in good quality gifts for your daughter and her friends. Do not be stinky by purchasing cheaper gifts as they reflect your standard and your views on them. I keep a minimum budget of 200$ or Rs.2000 when buying a gift for my daughter’s close friends.

At the end of the day, what matters is a healthy relationship between a parent and a daughter. The relationship and the way we bond will change, with every passing year and it’s best to embrace her growth, the challenges and hiccups that come with her growth and make the most of your ‘limited’ time with your little girl.

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