Moms of Tween Girls Unite (You Are Not Alone)!

Behavior Management, Parenting, Teacher/Parent Resources | 0 comments

mct224

mct224

July 19, 2016

I’m not annoying, YOU’RE annoying!

Did you know that I am “the most annoying person in the entire world?” Wait, what do you mean “I thought I was the one with that honor, how is it possible that it’s you?” I assure you, it’s me. My lovely 11-year-old daughter tells me at least 10 times a day that I alone deserve that title! Here are some examples of our daily conversations:

Me: “Please get up and get dressed, it is noon.”

My daughter: “Uggggggggh you are the most annoying person in the whole world!”

Me: “Are you hungry? Can I make you something to eat?”

My daughter: “Yes.”

Me: “What would you like?”

My daughter: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Noodles? A sandwich?”

My daughter: “I don’t know. You are SO annoying!”

Me: “You look so pretty today!”

My daughter: “Ugh, no I don’t. You are the most annoying person EVER!”

Sound familiar? If so, I am sure you are as frustrated me! What’s more, my son (now 14) never acted this way! I regularly feel as if nothing I do is right, no matter how hard I try to please her. Now, I know as a parent it is not my job to please her. I need to keep her safe and teach her lessons. Also, to provide her with the tools she needs to become a responsible, successful woman. Plus it is probably a GOOD thing I am called annoying when I try to instill these lessons, right?

How hard is a simple thank-you?

However, it would be nice to hear “thank you” once in awhile! Perhaps after buying her new clothes or taking her friends to a movie, right? I am one of three girls. Seriously, I ask my dad several times a week how he handled THREE girls! I mean, here I am pulling my hair out with one!

So what can we do (aside from wine, lol) to balance raising good kids with saving our own sanity? Deep breaths, for sure. Or possibly a Girls’ Night Out to complain with other knowing moms? Absolutely. Further, repeating over and over “she’ll be in college soon, really she will” wouldn’t hurt either.

Try some empathy

But in all seriousness, good old fashioned empathy works best. It is vital to put ourselves in our girls’ shoes. We need to understand what is going on in their pretty little heads so we can, well, empathize. Can you remember when you were a tween? I guess that depends on how old you are, right?

Well, I will date myself here and say that I was a tween in the early 80’s. There were no cell phones, no social media, no Internet (my kids still can’t fathom this last one). We didn’t worry that every single thing we said would be posted to the world. Nor were we scared that bad pictures would be shared without consent. And we definitely were not stressed out about responding to texts in a timely fashion. Apparently making a friend wait more than 2 seconds is the worst possible thing you can ever do.

Sure, we stressed about what to wear, or whether a cute boy was interested. We worried about being “popular” at school, and how to deal with peer pressure. And that was a lot. A whole lot. Imagine having to deal with all that PLUS all of the things technology bestows upon kids today! It is definitely a double-edged sword.

It’s not easy being a tween in the 21st Century

Perhaps we complained about having to share a phone with multiple siblings. Or maybe having to wait a week to get a return letter via snail mail. I bet some kids today wouldn’t mind having these problems. Wouldn’t they appreciate a little less worry about conforming to what social media preaches as the norm?

True, I’d be called far worse than annoying if I suggest that my daughter not use her phone or social media. Evenso, it is important to understand that while most disrespectful outbursts by tweens are unacceptable, they are often not delivered with any ill intent.

Stress, hormones, and immaturity cause many kids to do and say things that they don’t really mean. Tweens should absolutely be reprimanded and/or punished (depending on the severity) for their bad behavior. Parents should be sure that “the punishment fits the crime.” Events must be used as learning tools, rather than an excuse to run away.

So now what?

So the next time you are called annoying or any other lovely adjective, take a deep breath, count to 3, and try to imagine yourself in your tween’s world.

Think of how you feel when trying to make everybody happy (impossible). This while simultaneously being worried about whether you are going to get the bills paid on time (and how you are going to pay them). Then add in various colleagues (or other parents) telling you exactly how you need to do things (and when) or nobody will like you. Finally, throw in your own mom breathing down your neck saying “well, I wouldn’t do it that way, but I guess it’s ok if you think it’s ok.”

Don’t take it personally!

I know it is easier said than done, but try not to take the name calling personally. (I need to take my own advice on this one). Instead, reach out to your daughter if she seems willing (or wanting) to talk. Or simply leave her alone if she might benefit from some time to process her own thoughts. Remember, she really does love you, and really does appreciate that you are attempting to help. However, she may not know how to show this (or can’t through no fault of her own - i.e., hormones). My husband’s grandmother always said “this too shall pass.” I think that’s a great mantra for dealing with tween girls.

Here are some resources that may help you get through the tweenage years. Some have genuine info, others are great for comic relief. Not to mention to help you see that you are not alone:

If you have any of your own tips PLEASE share in a comment so we can all benefit from them! And if all else fails, keep this in mind:

mct224

mct224

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