Thursday, February 14, 2013

The tween years

As a Mom of a tween girl can tell you these years can be a challenge. I’m constantly on the lookout for articles and tips from other Moms about how to navigate these tumultuous years, which can be full of landmines even when your daughter is as grounded and kind as mine.

It can sometimes be tough to find time just the two of us where we have an opening to talk about the sensitive topics these years bring. That’s why I was excited to learn about the GiRL (Girls in Real Life) Power event, which was held late last year in Plano, and we had a great time. The event was what I had expected for my daughter -- a day designed to uplift her self-esteem, learn about ways to stay healthy, and hear role models with sage advice on how to handle the tween years of life. What I did not expect was that I took away several key insights as well -- especially from the keynote presenters, DaNae Couch, Miss America and Dana Vollmer, Olympic gold medalist. They delivered excellent keynote presentations around achieving your dreams through hard work, encouraging all of us in attendance to never give up on our dreams.

The day also offered a presentation just for the mothers, and addressed what to expect in the tween years and beyond. It was good to gain reassurance that the changes I have noticed in my daughter are normal. I got an invaluable glimpse into her likely future, soaking up positive tips to help her grow into a beautiful young lady and to reach her full potential.

The icing on the cake was the memorable day of bonding with someone who is growing up way too quickly right before my eyes. I also have a son, and the days spent with just my daughter and I are not as many as I'd like. I always enjoy spending one-on-one time with each of my children. The GiRL Power event was a good opportunity to share a day together while learning some very worthwhile life lessons.

The event is put on by Texas Health Resources, in collaboration with the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health, and the next one is on March 3 in Fort Worth (click here for more info). I would highly recommend it for Moms with daughters entering the teenage years. Heaven knows it is a wild ride at times, but totally worth it!

Michelle Vanderburg works for Texas Health Resources as Program Manager, Brand Management and Promotions. She has a daughter in her tween years, and a son who is nine.

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