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They all say it’s coming. I have an inkling it might be true.

Yet I’m holding on–I’m believing the same things that worked when you were a little girl, will work during the tween years too.  Some of my methods might need tweaking, but the principles are the same.

When you’re upset, you’ll still want to be held.

It just might take you a little longer to realize it.

When your feelings are hurt, you’ll still want to be heard. I might not have as many answers, but I can still offer my listening ears.

RELATED: The Secret to Parenting Teens? Listen and Repeat.

When the emotions are soaring (and then plummeting), prayer will still be the best bet for me. The difference now is, you can pray, too.

And when all else fails, chocolate chip cookies, or a milkshake, might still be the best medicine.  

Mother means nothing if not comfort, after all.

When you’re pushing the boundaries, you’ll still want to know that nothing can push me over. When you’re testing the limits, you’ll still want to know you can test me all you want, but I’m not going anywhere.  

And when–forgive me for saying it–but when the tantrums come (I have a feeling they will at 13 or 14 as they did at age 2), you’ll still want to know that I won’t have a tantrum of my own to match yours.  

See, when your seas turn murky, it’s tempting for me to jump off the boat and join you in the fray.  t’s tempting to think, “I’ve never had a tween daughter before! I don’t know how to do this!”

No, I haven’t had a tween daughter before. 

But I’ve been a tween daughter before. And I know what she needed. She needed to know that no matter how stormy the seas were, the boat would not be rocked. She needed to know that she could have her ups and downs and could test her independence, but some things would never change. She needed to know that she could do all the normal pre-teen things, and her parent would not be shocked. She needed to know there was nothing she could do to get her kicked off the boat.

RELATED: Dear Teenage Daughter, I Will Be Right Here Waiting For You to Come Back to Me

And, dear girl of mine, I know something now that I didn’t know then: God is the boat. And He will not be rocked. He won’t be surprised by our trials, either. See, He’s been there before, with all His daughters and sons.

When I don’t know what to do, He does. He’ll hold us both, no matter how dark or wide the sea. So climb into the boat with me, dear daughter, and we’ll ride out the storm together.

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Laura Costea

Laura Costea is the author of "The Inheritance," a novel about faith, family, and small-town life. She is passionate about Jesus, the outdoors, and strong cups of coffee. Laura is blessed to live in Idaho with her husband and four young children. You can find her online at www.howtobless.com.

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