I believe in you – A message to my 12 year old son

Dear B1,

Tomorrow you start a new school.  Unfortunately, you will also begin a new school next year as well.  The timing of our move and your age isn’t great, and I’m sorry about that.

Your confidence has taken a beating with this move, and when I tell you I know how it feels, I do.  You see, my parents also moved when I was your age – 11 going on 12 and I too had to start a new school and make new friends at such a delicate age. It took me a very long time to find my feet, but I found them eventually.

I’m not sure which way this new start is going to go for you and that makes me anxious.  For me, when we moved was when I became painfully shy, and that’s why I struggled to make friends at the new school. I was only at the school for just over a year, but it felt like a lifetime when I ate lunch alone.

I can’t imagine you being shy; I think you’re going to be your usual outgoing self and everyone is going to love you.  I’m nervous for you though because I know how held back I’ve felt in life at times being so shy and I would never want any of my children to experience that.

Another thing we have in common is body image.  This is something you’re starting to struggle with.

See, as I’ve tried to explain to you, kids grow at all different stages.  Kids mature at all different ages.  And you are 6-9 months younger than a vast majority of kids in your year level.  6-9 months makes a BIG difference now, but it won’t always be the case.

Yes, people tower above you because they’ve had growth spurts but your time will come.  Just give it time.  Accept that you are not going to be stocky like other boys – I’m sorry, but you’ve inherited my shape – which isn’t one, lol. No curves, nothing.  In fact, at school, I was called “Sticks” because that’s what I looked like – a stick. The only advice I can give you here is rejoice in the fact that you can eat whatever you like and not put on an ounce of fat.  It’s fun, BUT it might not always be the case!

Your sparkling personality is going to win everyone over. The kids in our street already love you, they think you’re fantastic and look up to you as a big brother.  When we first met these kids was the first time I noticed your confidence had dropped.  Your usually shy 8-year-old brother ran to meet them, and I saw you holding back, standing back.  I encouraged you to join in, and you were OK when you did but taking that first step was hard for you.

Tomorrow, don’t be afraid to take that first step.  Don’t hold back.  Remember who you are and remember that anyone who doesn’t love you for being you are not worth having in your life.  Those who see your worth will gravitate towards you.  Stick with these people.  BELIEVE ME – stick with them; they are the ones you need in life.

You’ve totally got this and I know you will smash it B1.

Be yourself.

I believe in you.

Love

Mum x

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