By the way, this started because I got fed up with her snarky talk to me an hour ago, so I abandoned a project we were going to do. I told her to let me know when she was actually ready for my help again. She snarled, "I am ready." I said that wasn't going to be good enough because it didn't show me that she cares or appreciates anything I do for her ... and it went downhill FAST from there.
I am really, really tired of the disrespect from her. My mother would have spanked or slapped me if I dared to talk like this, but that is not the type of parent I want to be. Instead, I have reacted in anger and denied her allowance or tv or computer for a week - until and unless she begins to SHOW us that she is willing to be a member of the family by helping and being helpful.
I really wanted to do this project. I don't want to put the materials away for another day ... but at the same time, why should I reward her for the hate?
I am going to ask this question in the tween group, as well.
I responded to this over in the preteens and teens group but will re-post here for those that might not go to both forums:
First of all, hugs to you for wanting to be a good parent, for wanting to avoid the snare of give-and-take screaming. Tis challenging when our sweet little girls become hormone-stricken banshees--that we love more than life itself :)
I agree with skreader, try very hard to remain calm and not escalate the situation while still letting your feelings be known. I used to put myself in time-out for a few minutes. That always shocked my daughter--when I'd tell her she was being hurtful and I needed a time out and I locked myself in the bathroom for a bit. It seemed to shock her out of herself for a moment.
This is an insane time of life for your daughter, hormones hit and your little girl has no earthly idea how to manage these psycho feelings. She takes them out on those she loves, those she trusts to be there for her. If you can ignore most of her jabs and simply carry on, speaking calmly or not speaking at all and being there when she returns after being ugly, you show her that you are there for her. Remember that she really feels out of control and that, with experience, she'll learn how to handle that better.
(I'm DanaB, new to this forum--momma to Jay (19) and Meghan (17) **waving hello**)
But seriously, 12 and 13 and maybe 14 are ages to get through rather than fix IMO. The hormones are just too much. Try to stay on her side and let her know you love her and went through it too. The ultimate goal is that the two of you get through these next few years and remain close. I'm sure it is this age range where my mom and I lost each other. I don't have a relationship with her anymore. I'd rather have a few sticky years with a disrespectful hormonal pre-teen and end up with a relationship I still enjoy than be harsh and end up not hearing from her for months on end when she's grown up.
I also think that with older kids and teens, the more you fight against them, the more disrespect you get. Try to work with her. Is she getting enough sleep? Is she eating well? Is she stressed with school or social issues? Those kinds of things can cause moods to be even worse than the hormones alone cause. Try to work with her on what is within her control anyway.
I had my last daughter late in my life, and I'm afraid she'll go through this just as I'm going through menopause. I hate to think of what our hormonal-filled house will look like. I think the biggest thing to remember here is that her moodiness is largely not in her control, so the best you can do is try to work with her to find better ways to live with and around it. It's got to be harder for her than you, so she could probably use some help as well. If you try to think of it as "how do I help her get thorugh this emotional time" rather than "how do I force her to control her emotions (which might not be completely within her control)" it might be easier to get through.
Good luck and keep us posted! There are tons of us just hopping on this bus and we'll all be interesting in how things progress. Hugs to you both!
For me that was last year, except I have a vague memory of it being OK by halfway through 12, and so far 13 has been a breeze. My 8 year old melts down like this on a regular basis, but my 13 year old has learned how to temper her emotions. It's very difficult when they want to engage you in their angry feelings and you don't want to be in that emotional place.
I've found myself becoming rather inured to it all sometimes when it feels so constant, but often I will announce I won't be a party to it, and I'm going to my room. It seems like when we were kids, our mothers could just order us outside to play or two our rooms, and we'd pretty much go. I get a lot of pushback when I try to do this, although when my kids are mad at me, they generally don't want to be around me. My 13 year old now willingly spends much of her time away from people, but then she will go out and walk the dog if she just feels like she needs to work off feelings, or get some exercise or whatever. My 8 year old would cut off her nose to spite her face, and in the past if I've taken away a privilege, she tries to outdo me. So if I tried to put away a craft, she'd basically grab what she could and throw it all in the trash. She's just not rational when she is angry, but if she finally stomps off, she usually gets a piece of paper and writes out all her angry feelings, telling me why I am wrong to punish her as I have, or what have you.
Sometimes if I react negatively to a comment, my 13 year old will apologize, and then start to say something, then stop and be quiet, and then I urge her to keep speaking, and it will come out that she thinks I'm too sensitive, and this is what her perception is, and one time in a similar situation I said something like she had just said and she wasn't angry. And then I give my perception, and share my feelings and we come to an understanding.
When I'm trying to help and I get snarky comments, I start to give warnings that I'm not going to tolerate it, and then I just say I'm done and walk away. But if she is snarling that she's ready, I'd probably say something like, "You seem kind of pissed off, you don't seem to be enjoying this, what is going on?" And then if the feelings come out, and we are having a discussion, I have been known to go on at length with my views of the issue, and it's usually during that process that they're all like, "OK, I understand, can we just move on now!" So maybe filibustering works, who knows.
Anyway, I don't think there is anything you can do in the heat of the moment that is going to turn off the feelings right then. It's usually a calming down process, and then discussion of what provoked it in the first place that seems to work around here.
I just don't want to lose the relationship with my children. my main goal as a mother has been to NOT be my mother.
Oh, yes they do!!!! They just don't admit it or do it in public.
My almost 14 year old was really, really emotional when she was 11-12. I vented here a lot. In addition to people telling me not to engage (which was so hard to do, but really good advice), people told me over and over and over again that 12 year old girls can be really hard.
There is a battle of two wolves inside us. One is good and the other is evil. The wolf that wins is the one you feed.
Book and herb loving mama to 1 preteen and 2 teens (when did that happen?). We travel, go to school, homeschool, live rurally, eat our veggies, spend too much time...
i have always told my dd that just because i am her mother i never expect her to love me.
nowadays she never says i hate you. but oh boy she speaks it LOUD and CLEAR with her looks. so i say it for her. and i say its ok that she doesnt have to like me very much at that time.
she is a v. intense girl so i have to give her time to calm down.
and make sure she hasnt eaten any sugar stuff. the only time she gets really bad is when she has had sugar.
i find a lot of her issues are diet related. she does not have any allergies. all intolerances.
I've heard the "/i hate you thing" a few times this year. I'm feeling like I wish I could do more to support the preteen hater in learning to cope with these new, big emotions. Does anyone know of books on the subject of your hormones/emotions for young girls? Also, I keep having this thought that exercise at this age is good for working all of that tension out...my dds play and do a dance class but I keep thinking how cool it would be to take up jogging like I did pre-kid, and go on girl power runs...
dd loved this book so much she wants to buy it. http://www.amazon.com/How-Raise-Your-Parents-Survival/dp/0811856968
i think for dd and me - its all about understanding. once that is in place we can handle strategy.
for me what helped me see was Louise Ames Bates' book "Your 10 to 14 year old".
yup yup some physical exercise is a good idea. the kind that pushes you both physically and emotionally. for instance when dd was younger just plain roughhousing was soooo good for her. now i am trying to figure out what will push her. perhaps a competitive sport as she hits the roof pretty easily. for us bike riding and listening to music (ipod or pandora - still have to try spotify) has helped. however i notice - i think she is off the intense phase now - diet and rest are still biggies for her drama.