Parenting Girls – Star Wars Style

I don’t know what came over me… I’ve never even watched Star Wars!

It had been a long week, I’d been rushing around, I was tired, hungry and thinking of the many jobs I still had on my list for the evening. All I really wanted to do was to eat, drink, flop on the sofa and think about absolutely nothing.

Instead, it was way past the girl’s bedtime and there I was, battling the bedroom undergrowth and trying to find the right words to help my tween work out her problem.

Now, I have discovered that there is a special thing that happens to girls when they hit the tweenage years; despite asking for advice from worn-out-mum and tired-old-dad, who naturally do their best to have the answers and solutions to everything on the tip of their tongue, it turns out tween girls don’t actually need any advice after all, because they do in fact Know. It. All.

Yes, they may have tricked you into thinking they would like your opinion by saying something cryptic like “what do you think Mum?”, but you should not be fooled by this clever, complicated and misleading question. Do not for a second think that this is your moment to shine, don’t be so silly as to dilly-dally into the firing line with your well-oiled words of wisdom. No, no, no, Mum! If you think this question invites a response you are truly mistaken, this is not the time to step forth with your opinion, this is your moment to button up and make only indistinguishable mumbles at the very most.

When your tween says “what do you think?” what they actually mean is “please do not insult my eardrums with your blatant lack of knowledge and understanding of homework/sports/Zoella/Instagram/t-shirt & legging combos/what constitutes a healthy snack/American television programmes/my life/the world/the universe/everything else”.

Because, if you hadn’t already realised, your tween is in actual fact a walking, talking, fountain of knowledge with an encyclopaedic memory…so every opinion you foolishly proffer can only be WRONG WRONG WRONG!

Well how fortunate then, you might think, with such a wide, varied and rich knowledge of the world under her belt, I can leave my tween to solve her problem effectively and efficiently, whilst I slip back downstairs to carry on with my life…

Oh no, no, no Mum, wrong again! You may not have an opinion worthy of airtime in this bedroom but don’t think this is your moment to resume all normal activity, you don’t escape that easily! You must still nod, smile, listen, umm, err and generally take a great interest in said problem of small tween person until you are declared fully released and sent forth to bother someone else, who might, if you are lucky, think your opinion worthy of attention.

Anyway, I digress, I’m sure you get the picture…I’m trying to help yet am going round and round like a guppy in a fish bowl. It had been a long week, and it was getting to be a long night now too. I had nothing left to say, no answers left to offer, and no solutions creative enough to warrant even a flicker of hope…so I stroked my daughter’s hair and said the only thing I could think of that might get me out of that bedroom alive…

“May the force be with you”…

…and with that I made a fast exit.

I’m not sure if it was shock or simply the confusion, but in response my perfect little tween decided it was time to give up on her problem and sleep on it for a while instead. Bingo!


Ps. Because I truly don’t remember ever watching Star Wars ( I think my brother may have introduced me to the famous phrases many years ago, possibly whilst swiping a sabre in my general direction), I pondered who I had ‘become’ in my moment of desperation…was I Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kanobi or perhaps Luke Skywalker? (I’m under no illusions about Princess Leia). A bit of research later and I find out the phrase was in fact first used by General Dodonna…my (almost) namesake! Well fancy that!

Bye for now

The General ;o)

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