just as the preteen girl in me wanted

Don’t be their friend, be their parent!“, they say…. Well, to each their own, but I pretty much think that’s the worst advice you could offer. I know far too many teens who come talk to me about their REAL life because they can’t talk to their parents. We are headed into preteen years and I want my girls to be able to talk to me about what’s really going on with them. I don’t want them to be scared to talk to me for fear that I will be angry or disappointed. People tell me that I’ll regret this and that it will bite me in the ass someday. I’ll take my chances. The way I see it is: You can’t scare someone into changing, you’ll just scare them enough that they learn how to pretend. They will put on a mask and they may never find the courage to take it off. I’ve been telling them they could trust me since they were born; not with my words, but with my actions. One reaction at a time, letting them know that I’m not scared of who they are. I share my opinions and I give advice when the time is right, but mostly I’m here to hold space for them while they find their way in this world. I’m not worried about my kids appearing perfect, I’m worried about them being one person in front of me and an entirely different person when I’m not around. I choose to be their friend and get to know them as they are, not as I want them to be.
—  Brooke Hampton