an open letter to my tween daughter


Dear Savannah,

First of all, let me tell you how much I admire you.

What all parents want for their children is for them to have a better life than their own.  We want you to inherit our good qualities and run – take them further than we ever could.  We want you to learn from our mistakes and be wiser, do better.

While you are still so young, with so much to learn and achieve, you are growing into a beautiful young woman.  Some days, I want to wring your neck – it’s true.  Some days, you don’t like me either.  But most days, I just sit back and stare in awe that I partly created you… and blessed that God felt I deserved you.

One of your best qualities is your confidence and excitement to try new things, even when they are out of your comfort zone.  This is an attribute that I have worked hard to develop over my 30 years and still struggle with it.  I am always amazed when you just fearlessly throw yourself into a foreign situation- a new team sport, a new school, a new activity and always with so many strangers around.  …but they never really were strangers to you, rather friends you had not met yet.

This year, you decided to join a competition cheerleading team, despite your lack of… cheerleading skills.  First practice came and you walked right in.  Girls younger than you were tumbling around the room, sliding into splits and showing off their jump skills.  Many already knew each other from school or previous cheer squads and they clustered together in tight cliques.  You knew no one.  I could feel your nerves as you grabbed my hand and squeezed it tight at the door.

There you were, so vulnerable, and I was terrified for you.  When I was your age, I would have run right out the door.  But, you stayed and you introduced yourself, you danced wild and free, you volunteered, you laughed out loud and you had a blast.  You made instant friends.

I’m so envious of you in this way and so happy you didn’t inherit my shy, wallflower tendencies I had as a child. I shouldn’t be surprised, though, since this is not your first time jumping into the unknown feet first.  This summer when you decided you would like to do a 6 week long theatre camp, I was the only one with nerves.  So many kids of so many ages, none of which you knew yet most knew each other.  Day one was the same as it always is for you.  You clung to me for a brief moment and then off you went – a smile on your face, excitement in your heart.  You didn’t look back.

And you know what?  You totally rocked that camp, learning how to tap dance, square dance, perform sign language, project your voice, stage fight and act.  You even marched right up on that stage and sang endless amounts of karaoke in front of everyone.  You were also the only girl to eat a cricket during a challenge test.  That’s my girl!

Your two night performance weekend came and you confidently said all of your lines, danced every move, fought (and died) like a real pro.  We were so proud.

You are brave.  You are smart.  You are unstoppable.  The possibilities for you are endless and your future is very, very bright.  I will always hold your hand to the door and promise to let go at the threshold – stepping back to allow you to spread your wings and soar.





annnnnnd tears.  I suggest now that you go write a letter for your tween or teen.  Tell them how they inspire you, what you admire about them the most.  While choking back tears, reading this to my daughter, I realized that I’ve never written her a letter before.  I tell her constantly why I am proud of her and how much I love her, but there is something special about just writing it down.  My daughter is pretty stoic, but when I read this letter to her, she had tears in her eyes.  I gave her the letter and told her to keep it in her nightstand.  I hope when she is having a bad day, she can reread this letter and know how much she means to me and those around her.

Where did all of this come from?  Yoplait Go Big, a new product from the yogurt brand, is challenging us parents to write letters to our tweens and teens.  Put pen to paper and tell your kid(s) how they inspire you and why they are so amazing.  In the tough, judgmental world we live in, we could all use a little praise and encouragement. Head over to the Yoplait Go Big Facebook and share why your tween is so amazing.

Yoplait Go Big yogurt pouches are supersized to fit your tween’s supersized appetite.  Savannah never really ate much as a little girl, mostly pecking at her plate like a little bird.  Once the puberty signs started arriving, her appetite picked up big time.  Now she claims she is “always hungry” and keeps up with the rest of us.  Luckily, she is into healthy foods of all types and all cuisines.  Go Big is a good source of calcium and contain real fruit.  They do not contain artificial flavors and NO high fructose corn syrup.

She has always been a big fan of yogurt, so when I let her know her yogurt tubes had just gotten BIGGER, she was thrilled.  She was even more thrilled when I shared the flavor varieties with her, peach mango being her favorite.  These super yum yogurt pouches are perfect for tweens on the go.  She can grab one for the car ride to cheer practice, a perfect pre-workout snack!  Their easy-open “grip and rip” packaging prevents any struggle or mess upon opening.  I found mine at Stater Brothers, but also saw them at Walmart!

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