Immediately, I laughed out loud. Then realized my response was inappropriate. My child was no longer the little nugget running around without a care in the world, unaware of who saw her and what they thought. This realization was a sad moment for me.
I know what you’re thinking, body odor? Really? This may seem like a sliver of a problem, right? Who cares? That’s not the case for my preteen and probably for yours too. Our preteens are growing into young adolescents and these worries may seem small to us, but they are larger than life to them. Unfortunately, appearance and approval matter a great deal in today’s society. I hate that my beautiful, smart, funny, talented, daughter is worried about what people think of her. I wish I could protect her from all the icky parts of the world that I still hope she will never see but I can’t.
I imagine that most of you moms feel this way. So a few words of advice to the moms who are reading. Be present for your child and teen. Let them share their silly slivers of a problem. Let them spill their worries and concerns. Take their concerns seriously. This stage of life is hard. Change is hard. Growing up is hard.
A few other words of advice to the teens who are reading. Find your person. Find that person you can trust to talk to about anything. Whether your “person” is your mom, guardian, caretaker, brother, sister, whomever. Know that your “person” loves you. Your person looks at you with rose colored glasses and sees all the best parts of you. Don’t ever stop talking to your person about your worries. It doesn’t matter how big or small they may seem. Because these worries will start to feel a little bit smaller if they aren’t hidden and tucked away.