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12 year olds - does anyone else feel this?

(57 Posts)
TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 22-Apr-13 10:23:53

I don't know whether anyone saw this article on Saturday? Mine's a dd not a ds, but despite the slightly mawkish tone of the article (which I generally dislike in the 'a letter to' column), it really struck a chord.

I don't think I found dd1 so difficult, but am finding dd2 so arsey and stroppy and just generally feeling as though.... she doesn't really love me any more. I'm glum and (hate this excuse, but it's true) a tad hormonal today, and I'd love to hear from other parents of 11/12 year olds. I know she'll be arsey when she gets in from school, so I don't hurry to be home first. I know she won't really be grateful for anything I do, but I just pathetically keep on. When I suggest things, she never seems that keen. When I ask her to do stuff, she huffs all over the place. She's cutting and unsympathetic and generally gives the air of despising me - and it is me, it's not dp and not really her sister who get this.

She's doing amazingly at school - clocking up the merits, lots of good feedback, happy in friendship groups which she's broadened since starting year 7. I just don't think she likes me much, and to be honest, some days I struggle to like her. sad

Startail Mon 22-Apr-13 11:01:42

My 12y DD2 can be like this, Family are boring, grump, take dinner to her room and shut the door.

Unfortunately for her, she has three problems with keeping it going.

1) She lives in the middle of nowhere so actually seeing not texting friends requires mum onside to taxi.

2) She has always had phases of whinging and me and non nonsense DD1 (15) are inclined either giggle at her or ignore her, we are a bit mean grin

3) Most important of all, she actually needs to feel secure and loved and if she's too miserable, DH who she loves to bits, buggers of to his computer.

In the end living where we do and being a very sociable soul who eventually needs company and needs activity, she can't hide in her room forever.

But yes OP 12y behaviour can have it's downsides. We are very very lucky to have had DD1, who thinks teen behaviour is pointless, first.

All the advice I can offer is that the little child is still there sometimes it requires persistent ignoring teen stroppyness to find it.

Oh and one last thing, finding an activity they love helps too. Playing on the trampoline might be babyish, practicing gymnastics isn't wink

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 22-Apr-13 11:18:19

Thanks startail.

I feel I rely on dd1 too much as my 'comfort' - like at least I got one of them right! She also gets quite annoyed and defensive on my part when dd2 is rude or unpleasant, and it can be tempting to wallow in that when actually I shouldn't set up 'sides' and it will only make dd2 more resentful.

BeGoodElliot Mon 22-Apr-13 11:19:38

I have a 12yr old DD too and can relate to what you are saying. I think a lot of the time she just actually doesn't know how to express herself so just goes in a grump, like a toddler again.

She is also pretty much permanently in her room, apart from meal times and the odd occasion she needs something! grin

I am, according to her, "always getting on at her" which I do sometimes feel like I am, but I also feel like if she didn't keep doing/not doing the same things repeatedly I wouldn't need to keep "getting on at her". I have been trying to break this cycle.

The past 2 weeks she has been really quite ill and off school and the difference in her has been amazing, she has been lovely, chatty, generally just nice, but also too sick to move from the couch. I think she has secretly enjoyed being looked after. Although this morning she seemed back to her old self! grin

I do think it is a difficult ages with lots of going on (hormones, new school, trying to find their place)

Good to know there are others in the same boat, perhaps we can start a support group for each other!! grin

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 22-Apr-13 11:20:45

Good idea!

MintyyAeroEgg Mon 22-Apr-13 11:26:43

Yes, am walking on egg shells around my 12 year old dd quite a lot at the moment. But she still has moments of absolute loveliness and I cling on to them rather desperately grin.

Its all hormones! Hormones make you feel rubbish, don't they?

I remember that invaluable lesson from toddler years - pick your battles and keep showing them you love them. Its just another adjustment that we parents have to make as we guide our dc through to adulthood.

Have to say I'm a bit worried about the next stage though!

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 22-Apr-13 11:28:48

Yes, I have tried to pick battles, and to stop doing one of my bad habits which is the 'and another thing' rant, so that 'could you put your clothes away?' doesn't end in 'your room is a fucking shit tip, do you even appreciate anything I do for you, and you were very rude to me last week' etc etc.

I feel I've been a much worse mother to her than dd1.

MoreBeta Mon 22-Apr-13 11:37:12

It is a phase (I hope). DS1 has been quite difficult like this for the last year. Spends most of his free time texting friends or chatting on his iPad or xbox. Seems to have a good circle of friends but perhaps overly influenced by them and wanting to fit in.

Pretty much gets down from table ASAP once eaten rather than sit and talk. Mumbles a lot and not very communicative.

Getting good grades at school but letting things slip a bit perhaps last term but we will see if it is just a blip or trend. Struggling to get him to revise for summer exams at the moment but gets merits and consistently good grades mostly.

Motivated to do/watch sport or online music but everything else is just boring. Sometimes just rude and obstructive. Forgetful and will not organised.

It is just a phase.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 22-Apr-13 11:39:51

I hope it's a phase: do you ever wonder whether you're just not going to be close at the end of it all though?

insanityscratching Mon 22-Apr-13 11:39:55

I have a dd 20 who, looking back, I can see was a really easy baby/child/teen and then I have dd 10 who I can see, even now, is going to be a whole new kettle of fish. Dh is scared already <rolls eyes> because she has very definite opinions and she shares them forcefully and is as stubborn as a mule.
I'm not sure what you can do really other than be there and keep the channels of communication open.

Salbertina Mon 22-Apr-13 11:44:51

Dc1 always been a challenge.. And now at this fine age all the more
so hmm. I feel your pain! Hard to establish boundaries- what to let slide, what to haul them up on, a v new phase and a spotty one too..

BeGoodElliot Mon 22-Apr-13 11:51:48

I am really bad for doing "and another thing rants" too. I really need to try to do that less, as it never ends well.

I do understand your thinking about not being close at the end of it all, but like Mintyy I cling to the nice moments!

I have been thinking about booking a weekend away/short break just for DD and I at some point, as although she is an only child, we usually always have holidays with others, DP, grandparents, friends etc. Last summer due to a variety of different circumstances we had a week in Spain on our own and she said it was one of her best holidays ever! (Despite us not really doing much at all, as I was recovering from a hospital stay) So I am wondering if another break away might be good, or it could end up a disaster! grin

I will see how finances go in the next few months!

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 22-Apr-13 11:58:34

She never bloody wants to do anything sad

She was tired yesterday evening after birthday sleepover, and I was sitting giving her a cuddle and suggesting we went into town next Sat and spend her New Look vouchers and get some new stuff - after we chatted about it I said something like 'so we'll do that, yeah - that'll be really nice' and she went 'yes Mum, you have said that already'. And I just feel kind of despised.

Salbertina Mon 22-Apr-13 12:01:28

Ooh yes, despised.. And blamed (even for undone homework i knew nothing about?!) ..

BeGoodElliot Mon 22-Apr-13 12:01:31

I often get "Well I'll see if I am free!" if I suggest something, I love waiting to see if she can fit me in!

Salbertina Mon 22-Apr-13 12:03:03

We're all in for the long-haul, aren't we? Next thing we'll be posting same stuff on the teens threads. Sigh..

TheWave Mon 22-Apr-13 12:16:11

Ooh can I join in? Saw that article as well. I think when DD1 was 11-12 she was really busy and the stroppiness didn't kick in till 13/14. Passed thru that after turbulent 2 yrs but now going to be earlier and different with DD2 at 11 I can feel already that stubbornness and independence.

Hopefully learned from experience and I can cope but interesting to hear from others.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 22-Apr-13 12:21:08

Hi TheWave!

I think I have fallen into the trap sometimes of expecting dd2 to be dd1 again - but they are very different. And I think dd2 also suffers from the shadow of her older sister - which I worry has made her a generally dissatisfied resentful person.

I really bloody try, I do! I know, for example, that she gets angry at meal times when the conversation is all about dd1 - which it often tends to be, as she's about to start GCSE exams, and also because she generally 'shares' more. It's unfortunate for dd2 that, when dd1 started secondary, everyone - grandparents etc - wanted to hear about that, and she was the 'celebrity' - but when dd2 started, dd1 was beginning GCSES and that's all anyone seems to want to know about now.

So I tried a few weeks ago to make the conversation about her, and about the sorts of things we've often ended up chatting about with dd1 - friends, school etc. Things she gets cross about us being too interested in when they are about dd1. And then she said 'can I please stop being asked questions now' and I gave up.

carriedawayannie Mon 22-Apr-13 12:25:09

OMG I have a 5yo and a 2yo and my heart just literally ached when I read the line ' I have a photo of us from when you were small. It shows us smiling together, in a time when affection was easy between us and you weren't uncomfortable showing you loved me.' sad

I can't imagine a time when they don't need to climb all over me for cuddles when I sit on the sofa.

Sorry to be no help, I'm just off a weep

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 22-Apr-13 13:19:34

My heart aches all the darned time at the moment, or so it feels!

VivaLeBeaver Mon 22-Apr-13 13:28:48

I've got a 12 yo dd who some days I feel at the end of my tether with. She can still be very loving and affectionate but also can be a stroppy bundle of screechy hormones.

Moans and mopes about the place saying she's bored but doesn't want to go anywhere, do anything. Has no hobbies apart from Minecraft. Moans at me that her out of school life is boring, moans at me that she hates school, moans at me that I work, etc.

Tears this morning because she doesn't want to go to school as she says some other kids are calling her a freak.

Is doing really well at school results wise and does seem to have made some friends.

Then sometimes she screaming abuse at me, telling me to fuck off, etc.

MintyyAeroEgg Mon 22-Apr-13 15:17:03

Am emphatically not saying that anyone is guilty of this on this thread but I am doing my darndest not to be too sentimental and sorry for myself over the whole lost childhood thing, because I know for sure this would make dd hate me!

Am just doing my best to love and accept her as she is now (and to shield her younger brother from her scathing), which can be tricky at times!

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 22-Apr-13 15:18:57

Mintyy that is a good point, and to an extent I am guilty of it - I do miss the days when both were younger, and although I don't think I go on about it, maybe it's evident anyway.

And now as home from school time looms, I am wondering how many grouses she will have about her day to greet me with!

TheWave Mon 22-Apr-13 15:27:41

It's always the worst time just when they come out of school I find at that age. Just when I am trying to find out how her day was. Interested don't you know? Having to bite my lip and not chat on sometimes while she chills out in her own time.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 22-Apr-13 15:29:00

And heaven help you if you say the wrong thing..

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