Parenting With Purpose: Developing An Action Plan For The Tween Years And Beyond
I will never forget the first time they laid her in my arms. She was 9lbs 11oz of pure amazing, and I would move heaven and earth to make her happy!
Everyone told me the years are short but the days are long. I never really believed them.
Until this past year when someone reminded me my sweet angel’s birthday candles would be entering the double digits.
Almost ten years have come and gone.
“Ohhh, that’s what they meant…. I get it now.”
Now, my days are full of answering questions I don’t know if I am prepared to answer, arguing about schoolwork, handling friendship drama, lecturing about the importance of not being “boy crazy” and being humbled (and offended) by the baby that is now on the brink of young adulthood and can break me down with an eye roll and a snappy response.
Navigating A New Season: Take Action
To be completely honest, most days I feel totally ill-equipped. The only way I am going to come out on top is with the Lord in charge!
My toolbox for this new season is:
- Prayer and reading my bible.
- Goal backward
- Talk about the hard stuff.
- Seek Titus 2 women that have adult children I admire.
- READ READ READ
Take good counsel and accept correction— that’s the way to live wisely and well. Proverbs 19:20
The foundation of everything I do is prayer and digging into God’s word! Prayer is our very first and most important tool in tween parenting.
- Pray for your child: Pray specifically and daily for your tweens needs. When I am at a loss for behavior problems, I ask for the Holy Spirit to work within my child and help convict her in the struggle that she is having.
- Pray for yourself: Ask the Lord to guide you in the areas you fail and help you to be the parent that this child needs.
- Pray WITH your child: I want to teach my children that prayer is the first line of defense in ANYTHING they do. Seek the Lord with you children in the small and the big things. He wants to know our heart, even in the tiniest matters!
- Pray with your spouse: I struggle in this area, I usually am a “private prayer warrior, ” but I want to add this to my toolbox. I want to pray more with my husband for our children.
Read Your Bible: You will only be transformed if you are renewing your mind daily and feasting on the word of God.
Teach your children through your daily habits the importance of seeking Him daily. Letting them see you read your Bible is much more powerful than telling them to read the Bible.
Look ahead to when your sweet girl is 18, what do I want 18 to look like? What character qualities, morals, and values do I want her to embody? Break this down into goals and start NOW. Thriving amazing children does not just happen by chance. Behind every amazing teenager and adult was a mom that put in tireless hours of mentoring, correcting, encouraging and quality time.
Talk about the hard stuff
Face the hard stuff intentionally and with purpose!
I was a good Christian girl that fell prey to a suddenly broken home very young and was left to raise myself at age 15 with far too much freedom.
I wish my parents would have laid down the foundation and the law that would have saved me all the heartache of my mistakes made. I would rather have a child that is angry and annoyed with me at a young age than a new bride that is heartbroken because she gave all she had to someone that was not her husband and has deep regret.
You must decide EARLY what the plan of action is in YOUR family. Every family is different!
Talk with your husband and decide
- What are your rules on dress?
- Purity and the sex talk?
The Brick Wall
Get on the same page, set guidelines and ages you are going to address them. Stand as a united front with clear rules.
My daughter has a nickname for my husband “The Brick Wall,” when it comes to clothing, being boy crazy and all the questions that come with being a tween. He is a firm but loving “force to be reckoned with.”
She can give him a sweet smile, but she is not going to sway him because he knows what’s best!
Because we have been talking about what we want to be firm on since she was a toddler!
Be a united front, have the hard convo as a couple early. Stick to your guns.
Seek Titus 2 Women
A God-Filled Life
Your job is to speak out on the things that make for solid doctrine. Guide older men into lives of temperance, dignity, and wisdom, into healthy faith, love, and endurance. Guide older women into lives of reverence, so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior. Also, guide the young men to live disciplined lives. Titus 2:3-6
Find a few core WISE women. The key is wise!
There are some women that you can just FEEL Jesus radiating through their words and demeanor. These are the women I want to follow. I have picked three wise women that I want to emulate. I feel that they will not lead me astray on this parenting journey but only enrich it and make me a better mother, wife, and mentor to other mamas!
These women are:
Read Read Read
Books transform your mind! A good book can give me incite that can change me for a lifetime. As my mom would say “garbage in garbage out.” Teach your tween to focus on the good and lovely.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8
Plan your reading strategically.
You need a reading plan:
- Books for you to read
- Books to read with your tween
- Books to assign your tween
Below I am going to list the books that have formed my tween journey and that I hope to form the rest of the journey.
Books For Mom:
- Heartfelt Discipline: Following God’s Path of Life to the Heart of Your Child
Five Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter ( This is on my read next list!)
- Read for the Heart: Whole Books for WholeHearted Families by Sarah Clarkson
- Honey for a Child’s Heart
Books To Read Together
Books for her:
Put this plan into action
Now it’s your turn to do the work! I created a FREE printable action pack so you can design your own plan of action for walking faithfully with your tween into her teens.
This pack will
- Break your goals down into bite-size chunks
- Give you clear vision to work through your plan.
- A record for keeping track of books you want to read.
- A page to design a mom and daughter “bucket list.”
Click below to get your Tween Goal Backward action plan! And start working towards your mama goals today!
Did you miss the other days of the Tween Parenting Blog Party? Check them out here!