Almost 13 year old acting ditzy

(19 Posts)
BeatrixPottersAlterEgo Fri 12-Jun-20 23:28:55

Sorry, she's still 12 but only a few weeks from 13.

I'm not sure if it's a bit of lockdown boredom kicking in, but it's been off and on for a bit longer than that.

She's a lovely girl, very bright and sensible, but since about Christmas she's been going through spells of just being, I don't know how else to describe it ecce ditzy. For example, I'll ask her to pass me the cup, she'll look all around going "what cup", when there is one cup in the room and it's right in front of her. Or if I'm speaking to her she'll be nodding and "mhmm" and then go "uh? Uh? What did you say?"

I have to admit, as a one off it wouldn't bother me, but as a frequent occurrence I'm starting to find it absolutely infuriating and sometimes it's a real struggle to keep my temper.

Weirdly enough it has also coincided with her table manners taking a dip downwards. We eat together as a family every night and she's practically slumped over her dinner, spilling it everywhere like a toddler.

She's otherwise very organised, is a tidy girl, good personal hygiene and all the rest, mostly polite and hardworking, so I feel bad at complaining, but this really is immensely irritating and I don't want to end up snapping at her and hurting her feelings, but she really is being so dopey.

How do I best handle this? Is it a teenage thing?

OP’s posts: |
NuffSaidSam Fri 12-Jun-20 23:46:36

I think it's a hormonal thing, they get clumsy and ditsy and toddler like. I think it's to do with how fast they're growing and changing, just like toddlers.

DC1 used to drive me mad with this, but the book 'Raising Girls' has a section on this and once I realised she couldn't help it, it was much easier to tolerate!

carexfairex Fri 12-Jun-20 23:49:35

How do I best handle this? Is it a teenage thing?

Talk to her about it. Tell her to stop being silly.

GrumpyHoonMain Fri 12-Jun-20 23:53:39

Being dopey, if new, needs a visit to the GP. I got like that after starting my period with anemia. I also become clumsy when my thyroid is low.

AbsolutePleasure Fri 12-Jun-20 23:55:31

Ah, sounds like she might be going over to the dark side. You'll have her back in about 4 years.

Fifipop185 Sat 13-Jun-20 00:04:52

Verifying what @AbsolutePleasure said. My DD did this ditzy thing too at about 12 before turning into a stroppy horror night creature. She's now 16 and about 85% human and 15% stroppy horror. I got a voluntary hug yesterday shocksmile

mrsunicorn1807 Sat 13-Jun-20 00:17:41

It's definitely a hormone thing, I'm 25 and go through periods of being "ditsy" and clumsy still when my hormones are out of whack, it will probably settle in time


TemoraryUsername Sat 13-Jun-20 00:17:56

Talk to her about it. Tell her to stop being silly.

I'm sure that will be a great help if it's caused by the biological changes she is going through hmm

NuffSaidSam Sat 13-Jun-20 00:27:38

'Talk to her about it. Tell her to stop being silly.'

Yeah, that will be of no use. Be like telling her to shout 'stop bleeding' up her vagina as a way to deal with periods.

Clumsiness around the time of your period is something that affects some adult women too btw not just teenagers.

carexfairex Sat 13-Jun-20 08:03:57

Oh for goodness sake of course you can talk to a 12 year old about their behaviour.

And likening a discussion about how she is acting to telling her to stop bleeding confused

BeatrixPottersAlterEgo Sat 13-Jun-20 08:26:55

Oh God no, is this the precursor to her being a nightmare teen? grin I just can't imagine it, she has her moments but is generally a lovely girl.

I hadn't thought of hormones, right enough my parking is shit when I'm due. She's had periods for a while but they've been irregular. She might be a tad anaemic, it runs in the family.

I'll check out Raising Girls. Are there any other good books I should look at? I feel quite unprepared for the teen stage and very worried about not handling things well and was thinking I'd quite like something to read - I love a parenting book for the younger years but then they all seem to stop at 7

OP’s posts: |
BeatrixPottersAlterEgo Sat 13-Jun-20 08:28:14

If I tell her she's being silly she'll just get upset and huffy and say she doesn't know what she's doing wrong/she doesn't mean to

OP’s posts: |
NuffSaidSam Sat 13-Jun-20 10:35:44

'Oh for goodness sake of course you can talk to a 12 year old about their behaviour'.

You can talk to her about it.

But you can't tell her to stop it and expect her to be to do it because it's hormonal.

It's not in her control. It's not a behavioural choice.

Like you can talk to her about periods.

But you can't tell her to stop them and expect her to be able to do it.

FreeKitties Sat 13-Jun-20 10:45:08

Yeah the tell her to stop being silly is a great example of everyday sexism.

She isn’t being ‘silly’. Her body is starting to flood with hormones, and this not only affects her brain it affects every cell in her body. I’m definitely encouraging talking to her about it, but not framing it as silly, framing it as ‘this is how hormones can affect us’ and let her know if she needs 5/10 minutes ‘out’ from teatime or any discussion or activity then she can take it (sometimes 5 minutes mediations or yoga can really help ground and balance us).

carexfairex Sat 13-Jun-20 10:54:00

Yeah the tell her to stop being silly is a great example of everyday sexism.

Oh. Well this has escalated. I have clearly misunderstood what OP was saying. I'm not bloody sexist. I have read the OP again and I still doubt pick up where this is a sexist issue. I do tend to miss a lot of unwritten things though. Apologies for not seeing it.

carexfairex Sat 13-Jun-20 10:54:21

*don't pick up

Studycast Sat 13-Jun-20 11:02:47

Op - get your hands on a copy of "Untangled" by Lisa Damour (often recommended on this site). She explains exactly this issue - it's to do with brain plasticity I think - how teens can move forward and mature in some areas and regress in others ie progress is not linear. Don't worry, it all works itself out by the time they are 24 yrs when the frontal cortex matures!

BeatrixPottersAlterEgo Sat 13-Jun-20 11:11:43

Thank you, I've just downloaded it on Kindle.

Any other general teenage girl advice would be very welcome. I'm beginning to realise that picking battles and finding a balance between patience and setting boundaries is going to be trickier than I supposed. My teen years were complex. I'm worried that I'll be too hard on her and expect too much.

OP’s posts: |
QuirkyQueenCarol Sat 13-Jun-20 11:38:43

My son has been like this as well, he is 300, however he is like this because of his large history of drugs. He smokes a lot of weed now and has been smoking cigarettes since he was 9 or so I’m told by his teachers. But my advice for you is to try and get your child engaged in something, like maybe a board game or a project you could do together. That’s always a great way of getting your kids mind working. When by don was 14 we made a castle out of cardboard and painted it and he put a lot of effort into carefully painting the little windows and it really helped his concentration. I hope my advice helps grin.

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