My granddaughter turned 13 August 8, 2013, this started me to thinking about how times have changed since her mom turned 13, but more importantly, how much is still the same for these budding young women. This is the year of new beginnings, they leave middle school (now called Junior High) behind and head off to be the freshmen at a new school.
The year a girl becomes 13 is a year full of transitions. Body changes make her more self conscious and she is struggling with not being a little girl and not being a woman either. This is a time when you can take the bull by the horns and make the transition a bit smoother for her by giving her a teenage type party but not so grown up that she cannot enjoy the games that she is used to playing with her friends.
The best way to deal with this birthday is to communicate with your child. Ask her what type of party she would like and if she wants it to be co-ed or just girlfriends. Many girls feel they are too old for birthday parties of the type that you are used to throwing. They may want to celebrate it more in a manner befitting their new stature.
If you are set on surprising her, why not have a spa day for her and her best girlfriends. This is a simple and grownup theme that she is sure to enjoy and it is enough to put you into the “way cool mom” hall of fame. Spas can be expensive so you should think of an either/or scenario. Explain to her that the more people she invites the more expensive it will be. Have a cheaper alternative handy for large group activities.
One of the things that truly mortify most teenagers is the “helicopter mom”. While we are not suggesting you take the kids someplace, like a concert or adventure park and just let them run wild it is advisable that you keep a respectable distance so that the girls are free to giggle and have fun.
Venue visit are great because it takes the pressure off you. The venues will have a set of rules that the kids must follow and you don’t have to worry about being the heavy. If you and other parents are inclined to leave them on their own for a couple of hours, check with the establishment first. Go over their rules with your kids and let each parent relay their own set of ground rules before leaving. Everyone will have a great time and your new teenager will feel empowered.