Dd is 9 nearly 10. She seems so confused and unhappy. Everything seems to warrant a massive over reaction, this morning we had tears because we had run out of jam. She also seems to have no interest in personal hygiene at all. I have to tell her to shower, she cries when I brush her hair but it's only knotty because she hasn't brushed it for days, she just doesn't care. Teeth brushing is a massive issue which we battle over daily. Is this the beginning of puberty? I feel like all our interactions are negative at the moment and she seems so sad. Any pointers for making this time less stressful for both of us?
There is a support thread for parents of pre-teen and teen girls under the Teenagers board, you may want to post there as well!
DD11 had an hours long meltdown on Monday afternoon because she was hungry but couldn't decide what to eat. I am pretty sure something happened at school that upset her, she came out of school in a bad mood again yesterday, but she refuses to tell me what it was.
She seldom showers without being reminded and almost always argues about washing hair. She will usually brush teeth. We have had big disagreements about anti-perspirant/deodorant use - it's the end of a hot summer where we live and she needs to use it but "forgets" all the time. Eventually I bought her a spray which she deemed more acceptable but she still doesn't remember to apply it.
I've been where you are now with feeling that every interaction is negative. I had to start with fixing myself and my mental health issues because dd mirrors my state of mind back to me, when I'm not well she behaves badly and it escalates and becomes very nasty.
Make sure to give her positive feedback whenever you can honestly do so: Wow dd, all that studying paid off, see how well you did in this test / thank you for putting your dirty laundry in the basket / that's a nice outfit you put together, I love the colour combination of your top and skirt.
Try to set up opportunities for positive interaction. Is there something she likes to do, e.g. bake, that you can do together? Give as little instruction as possible, only if something will go really wrong, and otherwise let her lead. My dd still enjoys it if we read to her or play blocks.
Pick your battles. It's hard not to get angry when they are being totally ott and unreasonable and I haven't managed to cultivate the right zen attitude yet. But I do believe that it's not worth fighting over every little thing, some things you must just let go. If she has yet again left the milk out of the fridge or not replaced the toilet roll, these days I usually let that slide.