Pls tell me what you would have done differently with your teens...

(10 Posts)
Ilovemybabygirls Tue 25-Aug-15 18:40:23

I am very keen to hear any advice on whether to be strong with discipline at the pre teen level or is a more relaxed approach better for pre teens/teenager.
My dd is approaching 11 yrs old but is very tall and well developed (her clothes are 13-14 yrs) she is just about to hit puberty (usual signs are there very visibly now) and I believe she is just about to start her periods, we have been very positive about these developments and sharing her changes, but she seems quietly worried and doesn't want breasts which she finds embarrassing or periods. I have talked to her at length about feeling proud of her developments and changes, and that many wonderful things await her as she grows up, some of her friends are equally tall and are experiencing the same, but most are not.

It seems she is seesawing emotionally and is being really quite rude to me, very snappy, volatile and back chat etc and generally not the gorgeous gentle girl she has always been.
What am I to do? As an experienced mother of teens what worked for you? Did you find certain things helped? Did you put your foot down or wish you did?
Is it better to be strong now, and make sure she knows the score? I am worried if I start letting certain behaviour pass it will become worse as she gets older, and properly into teenage years. We are now the same size, so even that I find quite intimidating in some ways when she gets really angry, I feel a little afraid of her when she loses it, although she never hurts me, I feel vulnerable in a way I didn't when she was younger. In some ways she is ten and still a young girl, and in some ways she is moving into teen world too soon....

RachelZoe Tue 25-Aug-15 19:20:45

Foot down and nerve of steel from the outset from me. Obviously be sensitive to the changes they're going through, that's a given, but zero tolerance on bad behavior.

I would also try and focus on the emotional developments and maturation rather than the physical. Talking about her being tall and developed and all of this might make her more self conscious about it. I was like that and aside from buying bras and tampons I wanted no more discussion on the subject at all in terms of physical changes.

It's a difficult time, but teenagers can be lovely, I have far more enjoyed being a parent to teens than little ones, I promise they can be a ton of fun!

ClareDeLune Tue 25-Aug-15 19:27:48

I'd have zero tolerance from the get go. Dd1 was "challenging" at times and tbh I used to let it go such a lot because I felt sorry for her and put it down to being a teen and a "phase". Some of it definitely wasn't, she was just being an arse.

When she used to say "but xx is allowed to do xx" I'd hum and haa a bit then usually let her. I wish I'd have had the confidence to just say "well that's not happening here". I feel she spent far too much time on social media - wouldn't do that again. Would be more rigid with consequences.

Other than those things, I'm fairly relaxed. And dd1 is a love now (90% of the time!) but I do feel having some unbreakable rules would have helped.

WavingNotDrowning Tue 25-Aug-15 19:38:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ilovemybabygirls Wed 26-Aug-15 12:40:27

Rachel zoe ~ What an interesting point! Thank you for your post. I had not realised that talking about the physical changes with her might be making it MORE uncomfortable. I agree, this could definitely be happening, in my efforts to make her feel more at ease it is possibly having the opposite effect. Maybe I am drawing attention to it. I will adjust my conversation and see if it helps.

Foot down it is as well!! I have been reflecting how to deal with the meltdowns and rudeness, my dh is an easy ride with both dds so one of us needs to have a rod of steel. Thanks so much for your thoughts.

Ilovemybabygirls Wed 26-Aug-15 12:44:20

Clare I feel just like this, she looks so 'anguished' and 'confused' with her own lack of self control, it makes me feel sad and want to comfort her more than anything else, it is quite uncomfortable watch. Like an internal battle of wills. We have been at a loss as to know what to do, we were not exactly prepared at 10yrs old for this, and assumed this would happen around 13-14...your wisdom and tips are gratefully received thank you.

Ilovemybabygirls Wed 26-Aug-15 12:50:59

Waving, it is comforting to know that we may be getting the worst of the hormonal stage out of the way now, and this is not the start of years and years of it, which is a private fear of mine.

I am not very well and have a chronic illness, it is taking its toll trying to be a good mother and dealing with seriously challenging behaviour when I am so compromised with my health.

I was just hideous during my hormonal years as a teen (karma I am sure is at work!) I remember the fog and the anger, and the surges of intensity. I also remember it clearly passing and becoming 'me' again. My poor parents were horrified and thought I had gone forever. But no, it is just a stage like all the others.
I will try and remember this when we have our moments with our own dd. My dd looks so shocked by her own words and behaviour, I think she is more shocked than us and is always so deeply sorry afterwards. It makes it harder for me to deal with it robustly as she seems so genuinely contrite and mortified sad Thank you so much for your post, it is good to know we are not alone with these worries.

clam Wed 26-Aug-15 12:54:22

I would agree that being firm and not a pushover is important, but it can be done without alienating them unnecessarily by being overly aggressive or authoritarian about it (although, hands up, there are times when just being in the same room breathing the same air as them can alienate!).

I try not to sweat the small stuff; bedroom a pigsty? Fine. Shut the door on it, as long as I can first retrieve the numerous damp towels left on the bed/floor and hang them back up to dry in the bathroom. However, I will not tolerate rudeness. Mine are now 17 and 19 and the raised eyebrow on my part still works if I detect a "tone" from them. They know that ultimately they need my assistance and monetary support in daily life so it's better not to piss me off too much.

Also, maintain a sense of humour - have fun with them whenever you can. And pick your moments for a hug - make out it's for your benefit rather than theirs. And make sure they always know they can come to you for anything if they're in trouble.

wickedwaterwitch Wed 26-Aug-15 13:00:09

Ah, poor her!

- keep calm (easier said than done)
- sympathise
- use the GROW coaching model (sounds corny but it works) here

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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