'My tween woke me up to hand over a list. It made my heart expand and shake.'

When I came home from work last night I exchanged the usual info about the day’s going ons with the kids. It’s a pretty quick exchange.

They’re two teens and a tween on school holidays and their days seem to involve sleeping in, “not much” and “I was just about to clean that up and you came home before I could do it”.

I talked a little about my day and must have said somewhere in there that I had to write my weekly newsletter, and I didn’t know what to say.

The night moved on and pretty soon we were arguing over the unfairness of the couch blanket length.

As I was drifting off later that night my 12-year-old came into my bedroom.

Jackie and her daughter (plus dog). Image: Supplied.

“Mum? Mum?” she half whispered, half yelled (which is a skill).

“Yeah?” I was warm and comfy and hoping the toilet hadn’t overflown, or the dog we are minding hadn’t had another “accident” on the carpet or we hadn’t run out of toothpaste or… my list is actually endless.

“I’ve written down some ideas for you” (BTW: my husband can sleep through a multitude of night conversations. Again, another skill a family member of mine has).



“For your newsletter. So you don’t have to worry tomorrow.”

I sat up and she handed me her list.

“It’s a bit messy because I did it in bed.”

My heart did that thing where it expands, warms up and shakes at the same time.

Here it is:

glorious mess letter

So in a change of plans, today’s newsletter is brought to you by my 12-year-old daughter.

Here's what the world should be talking about:

  • How much money everyone spends during school holidays.
  • 3-in-4 tweens spend less time outside than prisoners (I did ask her where this fact came from- she responded with the Great Fact Defence: “I read it somewhere”)
  • Sport: how it’s a good idea to get your children to play a team sport.
  • Children and their eating habits. How the more TV you watch the more likely it is they will snack on unhealthy treats. Also how kids often skip lunch or only eat their treats, not their fruit and sandwiches.
  • The expectation of kids needing to do more study and do more work than a few years ago.
  • How kids feel inclined to wear labels (Nike, Adidas, Calvin Kline and Victoria’s Secret).
  • This one is silly: How no radio stations play music!

LISTEN: This Glorious Mess- Turns out our kids actually do listen to us. Post continues below..

I know. I know. The list does smack of someone (Ok, me) giving a lot of “talks” about “life”. But, see, kids do care and listen to what you say. They are sponges that love you (I don’t think a more lovely description has ever been written).

I think it's time my 12-year-old gave me some 'life lessons'. Enjoy the holidays if you can.

Have your kids ever done something so perceptive beyond their years?