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Mother - Daughter Bonding - Tips for Tweens

September 26, 2012

Mother daughter bonding - braiding hair into the Bo Derek look together

There is a sacred bond between mother and daughter that is like nothing else. As a woman who was lucky enough to have a wonderful mother ( and traveling Grandma) and waited a very long time to have a daughter, I am so grateful for our world trip these last seven years and the gift of time together that it has given us.


A mother's treasure is her daughter.  ~Catherine Pulsifer

A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no  law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path." Agatha Christie

"Who fed me from her gentle breast and hushed me in her arms to rest, And on my cheek sweet kisses prest? My Mother."  Anne Taylor


It's not aways the big things that matter, but more than anything, I feel like the daily time together is the biggest key on staying close and attached through the tween and teen age years. Things change fast at this age, just a few months ago a simple pleasure for us was me braiding her hair daily for school, but for quite a bit now, she has learned to do it herself.

One of the things I love about Asia, is it's cool to walk hand in hand around the mall with your mom, even if you are a teen or tween! Mozart's always been a Mama's girl, but she also has a fantastic bond with her father.

My fast growing tween with Bo Derek braids

FINDING TIME IN A BUSY WORLD

In todays busy world, it can be hard to carve out that time, especially with school, work and extra curricular things. We mostly homeschool with our travel, but sometimes we dip into schools as we are now in Penang for her Mandarin immersion. Last semester we made a switch in her Chinese school, so much extra study for her Mandarin, that it was challenging to find that daily time, but we did.

Thankfully, this semester we have a lot more free time and soon she will be on a two month vacation, so we will have more time to travel and just hang out together. We had a giggly, talkative long bonding session this past weekend, when she asked me to cover her hair in tiny braids, so we work on this project together. I knew it was a memory in the making.

MY 5 BEST TIPS FOR MOTHER-DAUGHTER BONDING

SPEND QUALITY AND QUANTITY TIME TOGETHER

Childhood zips by fast, each day and moment you lose in busy-ness, you will never have again. Unplug and if you travel, do slow travel. Look for ways to simplify and slow your life down, be more present in the now, do less.

ATTACHMENT PARENTING BEGINS IN THE WOMB AND NEVER ENDS

That doesn't mean you don't support freedom and independence in your child, but you demonstrate the value of loving, attachment, kindness and relationship that will support them forever.

LISTEN TO YOUR CHILD AND GIVE THEM  YOUR FULL ATTENTION

Have sacred times like when they go to sleep and first wake up where the whole family can relax and talk intimately. It's a bonding ritual we all love. We do this too at every meal and after school when she is on a school schedule to reconnect and learn about each others day when apart. We enjoy cuddling together and reading books too - skin to skin touch is a type of attention and "being there", sharing passages we enjoy.

PLAY AND PRAY TOGETHER EVERY DAY

Being playful is as important in our family as prayer, since our God is a joyful one, so we encouage laughter, dancing, creativity and see them as a form of prayer and gratitude.  We are a family who believes in the power of prayer, so "But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD" is our foundation and heart compass. I've been meditating daily for over 30 years, so pass that on to her.

EXPRESS YOUR LOVE OFTEN IN WORDS AND DEEDS

In this world, we all need more love, forgiveness , acceptance and tenderness. When my brother died young and suddenly, I was reminded about how important telling someone often how much you love and appreciate them and demonstrating it in many ways is. I was at peace with his passing because I had done that, but it reminded me that we never know when our last moment together will be, so make the most of the ones we have.

"Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children." Swindoll

What are your best tips for keeping that loving bond with your life through the teen years and through all of life?





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Darleen

So right you are! Those wonderful bonds will last all though her life including the teen years too. That is how it has been for us. Why? Because you have taken the time to form them and you both don't expect anything differently.

I am reading a most interesting book called "Teen 2.0: Saving Our Children and Families from the Torment of Adolescence" by Robert Epstein, PhD. He concludes that adolescence as we Americans have come to know it is largely conjured up, partly due to our odd legal system and our extra long childhood and partly due to our expecting our children to struggle. He also notes that adolescence is quite different in other cultures.

Being cross cultural Family think this book will be very interesting to you. I highly recommend reading it. I am in the middle of this hefty volume and am enjoying it very much.

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