No I’m not about to launch into one of those woe is me I found a wrinkle posts (I haven’t – yet!). The ten year old is growing up fast, yet it seems not as fast as her friends and I don’t know whether this is a good thing or not.
It’s my fault entirely, having worked for the police and seen the delights of unruly teens first hand along with dealing with cases of missing and abused children, I’ve kept her pretty sheltered to a certain extent in terms of where she can go without me and what she can have – although that’s more down to financial reasons and my archaic views. Having lunch with one of her school friends recently made me question whether keeping her as sheltered as I have done is a good or a bad thing though.
Although the same age, this girl exuded a confidence far beyond her years whereas my daughter although confident around people she knows is very reserved around those she doesn’t to the point where she questions her own abilities. My daughters friend is allowed out in the area she lives to visit other childrens houses etc whereas I don’t even let my daughter take the bins out (outside our gated apartments and across a road) and if she goes to a friends I expect her to stay inside that friends house. On one occasion she visited a friends house who lived near a park and despite me telling her she wasn’t allowed to go without her friends mum I knew full well her friends mum wouldn’t stay with them and I felt sick the entire time she was there. I think I have to learn to trust her, she is sensible the majority of the time, but I worry she will be led astray by other kids.
As for the material side of things I am a terribly unfashionable mum and probably cause her much embarrassment. She doesn’t have a mobile phone for a start – her little mate on the other hand had one resembling a blackberry that she happily tapped away on, updating her facebook page throughout our day out. I did promise I would let the 10 year old have my old phone, a horrificlly old fashioned little flip phone that is worth about a fiver for when she goes to her friends houses and might want to contact me, however I then worry about her being bullied for not having a more fashionable phone.
She didn’t have a DS until she was 6, despite asking for one for 2 years and her peers having them much sooner, but I was determined not to let such a young child have a computer game. In an ideal world she may have only received one for her tenth birthday, but in actual fact she got a 3DS as the DS is no longer cool or something along those lines. Her friends all have iPads and laptops. She bought herself a cheap android tablet using her birthday and Christmas money and instead of accessing her facebook account on her behalf and relaying information to her to ensure she isn’t receiving any messages she shouldn’t be, I’ve let her access it on her own, however I still have it registered under my email address and can see what she does and what is sent to her etc, so I’m gradually letting go, even just a little. (Another instance of my being rather embarrassing is she wouldn’t have been able to have a facebook profile in the first case if we hadn’t moved away from all of her friends – twice, as I’m not keen on kids having them)
I really am feeling torn between keeping my little girl as a little girl for as long as possible or encouraging her to spread her wings and gain a little more independence. What do I do?