If you were to come into the world singing this popular song, “you’ll be wrapped around my finger……”, it would only have been fair warning. Your cherubic face was capable of scheming, manipulating, twisting me around to get what you wanted. Before I could succumb to the maneuverings of a mind much sharper than I suspected – you looked at me pleading, and I picked you up for a cuddle. You smiled winsomely and everyone around applauded.
You made a tiny little whimper and mummy ran to check if you were wet, hungry or sleepy. What more could I have asked for? And as you grew up from a baby to a brat (wink), your power over me just kept on growing. Although I realized it’s awry and managed to restore the power balance, but sometimes I ended up totally under your thumb, not knowing how I got in there.
You have been smart enough to use the “you don’t love me” line, because you know how much I love you. It was just out of surety you used this phrase.
I have always been consistent about the kind of behaviour I expect from you and I stick to it. Making emotional decisions once in awhile is fine but just once too often, and I’ll be putty in your hands, I know that.
I realized when your winsome approach changed to ballistic, full-blown tantrums, deliberate bad behaviour and barely-veiled threats became the order of the day. You were likely to say, “okay, don’t give it to me…..then see if I listen to you,” left me to wonder if I was a little too harsh.
A well-behaved child is a compliment to her parents, right? By the same coin, is an ill-behaved child an insult. I had always been susceptible to the thought, and you were well aware of this. Rules are the number one tactic for me. I had set standards for good behaviour, and expect acceptable behaviour. I didn’t hesitate in this age of discipline to lay down the line of control. Without it, even you would have felt at a loss for what to do. So I always called the shot and stood firm. Without being forceful, I have always re-defined your limits.
You also came up with innovative approach. “Lets make a deal” and I knew it is my preteen girl. You wanted the latest CD and I wanted the car washed. So we made a deal and I paid for your CD. This was to make you realize and understand that nothing in this world is for free. It’s been difficult to deal with your mood swings sometimes but I held the line of discipline firm while creating reserves of love and security in your growing years, so I need not walk on eggshells around you. I held out strongly against all emotional blackmails in your tumultuous years so you should not learn to get your way by hook or by crook. I know you are carefree but not careless.
You cooed, ” she is so-o-o slim!” when you saw her (Hannah Montana). Instantly I knew that this is affecting you in more ways than one. You wanted to look like her, dress like her and try to be like her. While I wondered when you’ll find your true self. I knew that these were your adolescent years and like every other teenager you too are fascinated by the role models and actresses. Trying to wear clothes in a manner similar to your favorite model is to create an image you look for. You have the right to wear the clothes and other paraphernalia that you consider fashionable but I have the right to insist that the appearance be clean and not sexually proactive and within the family’s budget. You may not realize that your clothes send a message that may invite sexual harassment…. Even if you are earning your own money, you shouldn’t spend it all on clothes.
This time I have my parent hat on. I want to raise a girl who is proud of her body and in control of her sexuality. It’s important to put on the brakes when something feels wrong. And I am here to always tell you the right from the wrong. There is a period of trial and error, you may be little unsure of your decisions, but with little communication, a lot of understanding and love, it should not be difficult to resolve so that you become a person, an individual whom I can be proud of. I wouldn’t be your friend and I would make sure you know that. I would keep the lines of communication open but I’m not your friend. You need a Mother who will guide you and reassure you and listen to your cry and be strong when you rebel, cause you have to in order to individuate. Does any of this mean that we can’t have fun and share things and activities with each other? Of course not! We still have moments of bonding together.
The obvious things about you are apparent. You are strong, beautiful, intelligent and a smart girl. You are so much more than that. You are kind, generous and you treat people well. You are an amazing daughter. You have a self-respect. I know how compassionate you are and how you look in the eye when you speak. You do not let others define you, whether it’s fashion or your thought process. I had showered you and spoiled you not with things but with moments. I wanted your childhood to be a constant reminder of happiness, precious quality time and unconditional love. Although you do rear your spoiled head sometimes. But I have full faith on my values and upbringing that I had inculcated, you can never let me down with your decisions.
With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you… my darling daughter.
originally written for mycity4kids.com