Grace is hurtling towards adolescence with a speed that routinely makes me catch my breath. It feels like yesterday I shared this piece about what I wanted her to know as she turned ten, and I actually wrote it two years ago. When I hug her now the top of her head doesn’t even fit comfortably under my chin. It’s very easy to mix up our pants when I’m folding laundry, and I can squeeze into her shoes, no problem. I feel as though I’m entering a new, shaky season of motherhood, one more fraught and perilous than even the infant months which were very difficult for me.
I’m guided by a few key principles and one is to help Grace continue to feel good about herself as she moves into a time famously full of self-esteem pitfalls. I am always looking for resources to support an environment of strength and positivity. One area I’d love to see some innovation – and have thought about this as something I should do! – is clothing for tween girls. There must be a middle ground between Justice and J.Crew? Something that’s appealing to my daughter without forcing me to wade through the perfume-drenched, spring-break-bikini-athon that is Abercrombie? Here are some of the resources that are front of mind for us right now. If you have other suggestions and ideas, I would welcome them!
Grace reads a lot, and the books she reads often feature strong female role models. I love Young Adult as a category and often read alongside her. A few recent ones that we have both loved:
The Fault in Our Stars – Hazel might be my favorite narrator of all time. Literally, of all time. Funny, brilliant, honest, optimistic despite her situation.
Gathering Blue – The second book in Lois Lowry’s Giver quartet (which I worship), this is Grace’s favorite. She chose to do her last book report of the year on it. The narrator, Kira, is brave, human, and deeply relatable.
The Hunger Games (Book 1) - The book’s not new, but I only recently let Grace read it. I think Katniss is a terrific role model, for her strength and courage, for the loyalty to her family, for her fierce love for and protection of Prim and others.
I read with enthusiasm about Allison Winn Scotch’s new endeavor, Moms Read Best, which will be a book referral and suggestion site focused on children. I’m really looking forward to finding new titles to add to this list for Grace and also to find books that will capture Whit’s imagination.
Firebugs is a monthly book subscription service catered for girls ages 3-9 and their parents. Founded by seven women at Harvard Business School, their mission is to inspire confidence and leadership potential from an early age through enhanced story time, with themes like building confidence and self-esteem as well as analytical skills development. While this is too young for Grace, I love what the company is doing, and again, like supporting female entrepreneurs. I am thrilled to offer $5 off a one-month ($15) Firebugs subscription to the first 10 to comment!
I’ve written about how much I love GiftLit, another book subscription site, and I love the empowering angle that Firebugs has put on this idea.
I share founder Megan Grassell‘s horror at the over-sexualized underwear available for tween girls. I’ve been shocked to see padded bras and bikini tops and a host of options that don’t feel right at all. I love what she’s doing with Yellowberry, love the product, love the mission, love the message, and also love being able to support an entrepreneurial teen girl. I will certainly be purchasing some Yellowberry products.
Do you have ideas, wisdom, or suggestions for me, as I forge ahead into this scary and uncharted territory of parenting a tween?