Five Ways to Build Relationship with Your Tween

Every time I hear Nichole Nordeman’s song “Slow Down,” I cry ugly mommy tears. Nordeman sings “slow down” to her child who, like all children, seems to be growing up too quickly. It’s beautiful, nostalgic, and heartbreaking.  (Have you seen the music video? Get the tissues ready!)

The chorus is:

Slow down
Won’t you stay here a minute more
I know you want to walk through the door
But it’s all too fast
Let’s make it last a little while
I pointed to the sky and now you wanna fly
I am your biggest fan
I hope you know I am
But do you think you can somehow
Slow down
Can you relate? This song strikes a chord with me because my tween is growing up quickly! Her curly blonde baby hair has transformed into a long, straight brown. She does all of her math homework on her own. She makes friends and has plans and thinks deeply about God. She is in a wonderful season of life!
They say that when our girls are in elementary school, they are in the Golden Age of Childhood. They are growing and learning, playing and exploring, riding bikes and star gazing. To be honest, in this season of life, my tween is easy for me, which – sadly – makes it easy for me to overlook her.
I’m sure my daughter wants me to savor her childhood, to be present, and to be connected with her, but I’m often consumed by my task list or other demanding relationships. I’m busy tending to the tyranny of the urgent. In our family of eight, the baby, the toddler, and the teenager take most of my energy, focus, and time. Add to that work and ministry – not to mention personal health – and you have days that go by without me connecting with my tween. But my call to disciple, embrace, and love her is just as urgent as everything else. I want to heed the advice of the old ladies who stop us in the grocery store and say, “Savor it!”.  I want to notice my tween, hug her, and spend time with her. She might be growing up quickly, but to be honest, I’m the one who needs to slow down.

I’m the One Who Needs to Slow Down and Make it Last

 God cares about over-committed, distracted, busy moms. He’ll give us mercy, wisdom, and help to treasure and invest in our sweet girls here and now. Today, I’m sharing a handful of ways that I aim to connect with my daughter each day. Perhaps you could try them out, let me know what you think, and share your own ideas in the comments. I’d love to learn from you!

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17

Five Ways to Make the Most of Your Daughter’s Childhood.

  1. Thank God for Your Tween’s Special Moments
  2. Smile at Your Tween 
  3. Listen to Your Tween 
  4. Share an Experience with Your Tween 
    This can be something simple like when you open the pantry to grab a piece of chocolate, grab two and give one to your girl. Sit side by side and savor the sweet treat. Or, when you are running an errand, ask her to come along so you can listen to music that she likes. When you’ve learned something from God’s Word, share it with her at the breakfast table or in a little note. Ask her to join you on your morning walk. Point out your favorite view or show her the house in the neighborhood that sparks your curiosity.
  5. Rest with Your Tween 
    Relationships grow deep roots in the slow moments of life that don’t have an agenda. So treasure the times when you and your girl can sit on the couch and chat. Grab a blanket and lie on your backs looking up at the stars. When she is slowly munching her toast and staring out the window, take her lead and let yourself linger at the breakfast table for a few precious moments before tackling your to-do list.

Tween girls are very good at resting, creating, playing, dancing, daydreaming. When you notice your daughter doing this, join in.

In their beautiful God-given childhood, hear our daughters singing to us,

I am your biggest fan
I hope you know I am
But do you think you can
Slow down
Slow down
May God open doors of opportunity for you and me to treasure our daughters this week. It will be sweet to our souls and it will be a picture of God’s love. What a gift! What a possibility!

(This post was first published at!)

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