Joined hoping I can get some good advice and perspective on an unusual situation I've gotten into.
Background here, but necessary, I think, to explain the issue fully. Skip over if you want to. I was a full-time nanny for a little girl, raised her really, for 7 years, from the time she was 12 months on. It broke both of our hearts when her father had to move her and I couldn't go, like losing one of my own children for me and like losing a mother for her. We do keep in contact and she visits one weekend a month and stays with me for a week here and there in the summers. But it's not the same as being with her all the time. She's 11 now.
Long story short, her father has to move overseas for employment, minimum 4 year commitment, and she didn't want to be uprooted (and with his high-travel job there, she wouldn't have been able to have a normal life anyway), and we came to an arrangement that she could live with me. I am happy to have her again and she is thrilled. But having missed so much of her everyday life these last 3 years, I can't help but feel nervous about for all intents and purposes becoming an insta-parent to a tween.
What have I missed - socially, emotionally, mentally, developmentally - in the last 3 years, from being a "little kid" at 8 to a "tween" at 11? What is "normal" life for a tween? How do I make life as normal for her as possible?
Edited by Iridescent - 8/1/12 at 11:17am