Keeping an Open Dialog In The Preteen Stage

Ready or not… I’m in the thick of it. The preteen years. It’s fun y’all (insert auditable eye roll). But, I think the work my daughter and I have started doing will, hopefully, help to lessen the blow.

If you know, you know.

These days are tough. Full of emotions, heartbreak, mean girls and body image issues. We’ve all gone through it and remember how horrible it can become. This is the reason I am making a point to be open and honest with my daughter.

She’s beginning middle school in a couple weeks (gulp!) and I know the next few years have the potential of being rough. Over the last couple of years my daughter and I have had some really great open conversations. She comes to me with everything, and I hope this continues. She knows about the anxiety issues I have. I know about the mean girls AND boys.

I had her read The Body Book for Younger Girls a couple of years ago to prepare her. I strongly suggest having your daughter read this book. It’s amazing! It gives real information and advice on a level that is easy to understand. This was the first step in working on our open conversations. I allowed her to come to me with ANY questions she may have as she read.

Since then she talks to me about everything, or I think everything. This summer we had to deal with some very hateful boys. We talked about it, I gave her tips, and another momma who we are close to also gave her some advice. We all know a lot of times they will listen to other people before they listen to you! She listened. She took it in. She used it in the next situation. Win!

We’ve had discussions all summer about what to possibly expect for middle school. She’s told me about nightmares she has had… she seems to be anxiety-ridden like her mom. It’s a lot of change. I get it. Change is tough. But, don’t we all do whatever we can to prepare them?

I feel that she is prepared for most of what will come in the upcoming years. But, she is aware I am here for a shoulder to cry on and always will have an ear to listen without judgment.

Keeping an open dialog with my preteen

Patrice LaBauve
Patrice is a Baton Rouge native that moved to the area to attend UL Lafayette in 2002 and never looked back. Since graduating with a degree in Public Relations she has worked in the insurance business on both personal and commercial sides. Her love of her Cajun heritage made it an easy decision to marry her New Iberia born and raised husband, Matt. They now resides in Youngsville and have two daughters Jolie (9) and Amelie (5) and her bonus son, Eli (14). On most weekdays you will find her running the roads to the dance studio, soccer field or her favorite place, 220 Fitness. The weekends are her favorite family time and are usually spent cooking with her family, watching her daughter show off her goalie skills, checking out any festival around the area, and catching all Saints and Cajuns game. She and her husband are craft beer drinkers, but she also won’t turn down a good Pinot Noir or fancy cocktail. She loves a good philanthropic event, to-do lists, singing in front of people whenever she gets the chance, her gym family and live music. Lafayette has been the perfect place to raise her children and immerse them in the culture she loves.


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