Parents of 12/13 year old girls, please reassure me

(28 Posts)
Dancergirl Mon 17-Mar-14 12:30:32

I'm sure (well, hoping) this is all normal but she's my oldest so a newcomer to the teen stage!

Dd1 is 12 (13 in May), Year 8. She's always been a lovely child, well behaved, easy going, generally a pleasure to have around. But I'm noticing more and more lately a bolshy attitude. Muttering under her breath, acting stand-offish/haughty, backchat, VERY easily annoyed with other family members for example eating too loudly, swinging their legs etc. She can be quite nasty and hurtful to dd2 (11) at times, although they generally get on well.

We went out to eat last night, we were in the car waiting for her. Dh tried to hurry her along (in a nice way) and by him just doing that she got in a real mood which lasted into the meal.

I'm just seeing a side to her I don't like. Please reassure me this is just a phase and she won't grow into a horrible person!

She's quite a closed book and doesn't open up to me that much, so I try and spend some time with her alone, e.g. watching some telly together. Sometimes she wants to and sometimes she doesn't. She often looks like something is bothering her but won't tell me what and I don't want to hassle or pressurise her too much. Normal teen angst?

My instincts tell me just to let her know I'm there for her and to hang around in the background...but how do you deal with the attitude??

17leftfeet Mon 17-Mar-14 12:33:48

No idea how you deal with it but if you find out can you let me know because my 13 year old has had me in tears with her attitude

chocoluvva Mon 17-Mar-14 12:50:34

Ignore it unless she's using bad language or being verbally abusive.

I think it must be harder if you were a pleasant teen yourself - I wasn't, in fact I was probably horrible to my DM blush but I'm nice and polite now - honestly!

Don't take it personally - the teenage-brain rewiring results in a temporary loss of social skills/empathy/awareness of consequences unfortunately.

Teenage girls love a bit of drama. Don't get drawn in to it. No matter how infuriating it is.

All this is easier said than done, of course.

pilates Mon 17-Mar-14 12:51:12

I'm watching this post with interest as am in the same boat.

seb1 Mon 17-Mar-14 12:55:14

Oh that sounds perfectly normal, you are doing that thing that really bugs teenage girls - breathing !!!!!

Cocolepew Mon 17-Mar-14 13:03:07

My 12 yo does that muttering under her breath, drives me mad. I do call her up on it though. Most of the time grin

Has your DD started her periods? It sometimes gets better when they do, until they have PMS.

ivykaty44 Mon 17-Mar-14 13:08:38

yes it is a phase it can come and go but may last a while yet…

pick your battle carefully and don't sweat the small stuff.

Dancergirl Mon 17-Mar-14 13:08:42

Yes periods started about a year ago.

Nocomet Mon 17-Mar-14 13:09:13

I keep wondering when DD2(13 last month) is going to start with the attitude.

She was good at 6 and even better at 10.

So far she seems to be remembering that it doesn't get her anywhere and that DH, me and DD1 just ignore her or worst still find her amusing when she plays up, so it's pretty pointless.

In fact we were chatting last night and she said " I had right diva tantrums didn't I?" And I agreed she did, but she was fine when she calmed down.

She knows that living here stropping is pointless as I'll just refuse to taxi drive and she's stuck.

bigTillyMint Mon 17-Mar-14 15:22:37

It all sounds horribly familiar.

DD was the easiest and most eager to please child up until about 12.
Agree with Chocoluvva, it's a hard time.

Dancergirl Mon 17-Mar-14 16:39:31

Thanks all, so glad I'm not alone! Middle dd is not far behind her, she's 11....it won't be long before I have two stroppy teens! Oh joy smile

Mumzy Mon 17-Mar-14 22:43:33

She sounds like me at that age. I use to get the rage with my family just because. My DM said I improved around 16.

chocoluvva Tue 18-Mar-14 09:21:21

Another thought - a good supplement for women of child-bearing age, containing EFAs, vit B, chromium and magnesium should help a bit with PMT.

Hedgehog80 Tue 18-Mar-14 09:24:04

Dd1 has days like this and at times can be really moody and short tempered. Its often worse if she's tired and hungry. She gets very irritated y ds1 at times too! I thinkits normal (I hope!)

Dancergirl Tue 18-Mar-14 09:45:46

Oh and another thing - when THEY want to talk to you, it has to be right now hmm

Nocomet Tue 18-Mar-14 10:36:57

Grrr never post smug posts about DD2 being reasonable.

Slinging the remote control across the room and then refusing to go to your room is not reasonable.

(Even if your big sister was winding you up and being a prat).

kilmuir Tue 18-Mar-14 10:41:43

DD2 is 12. She can be like your daughter, go upstairs and come down later as a lovely girl!
Keep talking to her, but make sure she knows when she has crossed the line!

1. This is totally normal
2. You have my utter and heartfelt sympathy
3. I have been told they outgrow it by around 16 or 17 (but no one has yet explained how you are both meant to survive that long)

I now know exactly why my parents regularly threatened to send me away at that age! My DD is also 12 about to be 13. Started her periods last year. Was truly, truly awful (angry, aggressive, the works) for what felt like for ever. Now it comes and goes (PMS). We are in the midst of a bad spell at the moment - yesterday I told her she couldn't watch telly til after dinner which set off of slamming doors, calling me crazy, telling me she hates me and that she only loves her dad, phoning her dad to pick her up. Still at it today. In fact I literally just popped on to Teenagers to start a thread to ask advice about her (don't want to hijack yours).

Olivegirl Wed 19-Mar-14 21:00:56

Your instincts are to let her know you're there for her

Follow your instincts they are right

As a mum of two dds 18 & 16 I know this is all you can do... Just be there
They will grow out of it I'm realising now how much I am enjoying them again....mostly
As for the attitude, I remember trying to be firm but not reacting too much to the trivial dramatic stuff. It's a tough time ..ignore where you can and if they need you be there with a big hug wink

bigTillyMint Wed 19-Mar-14 21:22:50

Kids, 16 or 17sad

cordyroy Wed 19-Mar-14 23:59:03

So many posts about 13yr old girls at the moment! I'm currently riding the wave myself and it's not a lot of fun!! Like your DD mine was the most cooperative, easy going child up until recently and it's like getting to know a whole new person (not always one that I like). Have just had an awful few days with her and this evening she skipped through the door with chocolate for me, dh and her little brother - I never know what to expect!!

It sounds like you are doing all the right things, I hope for all of us it's not like this for ever. As for dealing with attitude and smirking I'm still working on that and unfortunately have no words of wisdom. Good luck xx

teenageperspective Sun 23-Mar-14 11:18:11

We all go through that stage, but many of us forget that we did. Apparently around the ages of 13/14 I was a lot more catty, bitchy and all around a nightmare for my mother, but I never really saw it. Its difficult finding the balance because things that you think aren't annoying, aren't important or are a perfectly natural and polite way of saying things are just going to frustrate her and send her off the roof for what seems like no particular reason.

My parents always made it clear there was no room for this kind of behavior, if I acted like a baby then I was treated like one until I could woman up and apologize. If I acted like an adult, I was treated like one.

The eye rolling and muttering under her breathe will only continue if she knows that it annoys you. If its something that sets you off she will constantly do it.

As my mum told me recently she "picked her battles" i.e. I wore a lot of eye makeup but she only made comments when it passed quite a far line. She got a picture of me wearing enough to make me look like a raccoon and after that I stopped.

In contrast I said that I would get back from a movie at 10:30pm later and at 11:00pm I was just walking through the door. I didn't think it was a big deal but my mum flew off the roof and I had to write an apology explaining why it was irresponsible to be out by myself that late.

All in all, now at 18, I am a much nicer person and I can safely say that just year 8/9-year10/11 are a stretch, but try to be understanding, don't sweat the small stuff, but never make an empty threat.

Mum's POV: "She was a nightmare for about a year and a half but we worked through it. We had boundaries and DH and I made sure that there were penalties for crossing the boundaries. The eye rolling stopped when I started doing it back to her. As my daughter said- Pick your battles ladies, this is DD3 and we've only just perfected this method third time around."

Dancergirl Sun 23-Mar-14 22:18:09

Thank you teenage for your helpful post. Glad there's light at the end of the tunnel!

I've been trying very hard this week not to sweat the small stuff and I think it's working. However I DO pick up on any nasty behaviour so she learns that's not acceptable.

So glad I'm not alone!

Nocomet Sun 23-Mar-14 22:29:51

And make sure you have one ultimate wepon.

DD2 loves gymnastics, offending the taxi driver will not end well.

Dancergirl Sun 23-Mar-14 23:45:52

noco has it ever actually come to that, refuse to drive I mean...and how did she react?

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