Me and my 11-year old Grand Daughter, Carenna Katague Thompson
My youngest grand daughter is a preteen. According to the latest article on this subject Preteens worry about bullying, fitting in, making friends and perhaps thinking about the beginning of the whole dating scene. Preteens are still not prepared to handle many social pressures without their parents assistance and guidance.
In general, preteens understand that they can come to their parents with questions about bullying, peer pressure and other social problems that might be bothering them.
Here are excerpts from the Facebook page of the mother (my daughter -Ditas) of my preteen grand daughter, discussing some issues about her moving to a new school this Fall. The move will be from a small private Catholic to a public school in the Sacramento School District.
"Bittersweet today as I enter the first full week of my 50th year on this earth. I struggle with being joyful for finally finally becoming comfortable in my skin and then at the same time my heart aches as I watch my beautiful 11 year old daughter struggle everyday with her trials and tribulations of being a preteen with no friends (so she believes). For those who heard her original song "Start to Fly", the opening lyrics of "I wish I could be a hero, instead of being treated like a zero", break my heart and she is so hoping that when she leaves her current small private school that she will find a place and friends that have similar interests, background and outlook as her. What she doesn't understand right now is how very special and original she is - yes, she is different - and kids these days are cruel. I wish some how I could instill in her the confidence in herself, that she is so amazing and that it shouldn't matter what her classmates think or how they treat her".
Here are some comments (empathy) from some of Ditas Face Book Friends:
1. As parents we always want way more for our kids than we can give. Having two girls myself I understand the pain of seeing insecurities rise early as they don't completely understand the world yet and yes kids can be cruel. But take heart that our stead etc....
2. She is so very blessed to have you there when she needs reassurance. Keep on keeping on, lady. !
3. She's a great kid with a great mom.
4. Hugs to you, my friend. The teenage years are tough.
5. I was also "friendless" and picked on as a pre-teen. It was because I was tall and awkward, had come from Mexico and didn't understand New Mexican culture, had no sense of what the style of the 80's was (I was still wearing A-lined denim skirts, etc...
6. A friend of mine told me that kids naturally gravitate toward what is good for them. Keep being the rock she needs. You are too close to see how much she already leans on you. Your days of joy are coming.
7. So so sorry your daughter is going through this. She sounds like a wonderful, creative kid--I'm sure she will find her way esp. with such a great mom to guide her!
8. I feel your heart. Sending you & your daughter love & big hugs!
9. Those lyrics broke my heart when I read them. Keep being supermom, Ditas! You are amazing and your instincts are spot-on. Sometimes small, private schools are just too homogenous. A larger pool of kids may be just what she needs to grow her wings and fly!!!
10. Ditas - I hope Carenna finds a warm and friendly environment in her new school. You and Carenna are amazing and talented. are there any after school interests, activities and groups that Carenna can join to build friendships outside of school? i find that is helpful to balance the school social dynamics?
11. I'm seeing Carenna grow and find her place of confidence as you gently find the right school and/or other activities for her. She will survive and be a stronger and even more empathetic person as a result of this current misery. But as a mom, I know how hard it is to watch your child suffer.
12. Hang in there Ditas. Although kids can be cruel in so many ways, your daughter has learned to express herself. Just keep listening and helping her reach her personal goals. My own daughter found her voice through robotics team. She tells me now that she knows the struggles have made her as strong as she is today.
Personal Note: Carenna loves to sing and play the guitar. She also writes a few of her songs. Just recently she was the leading child actress in the Sacramento Theatre Company presentation of the Velveteen Rabbit. Her current private school( not-tuition free) do not offer courses in music and drama. Her future public school will have music, drama and speech classes according to her Mom from for free and part of their elective courses.
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