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Old 12-24-2009, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a question for you parents of 'tweens.' I have a much younger sister who just turned 12. I love her to death but she grates on my last nerve and time spent with her leaves me dreading this time in my own kids' lives. My parents seem to think that this behavior is normal and that "all of the kids are that way," but I really just can't accept that answer. So I thought I'd ask you if your kids and your kids' peers also act this way:

-she refuses to do anything herself. she demands that her meat be cut up for her, that people get her a drink when she is standing only 3 feet from the refridgerator, etc.

-she's very rude/negative and can't seem to say something positive about anything (esp. with her parents). it's like the only way that she knows how to interact with her parents is by insulting their cooking, the shows they like, their clothes, etc. ....I don't see anyone modeling this behavior when I'm over there.

-she constantly does things purposely to annoy people. (i.e., she is always trying to take my picture with her cell phone-she knows its bugs me.) She actually states that the reason she does it is because its funny to annoy people

-she's extremely boy crazy and very wrapped up in peer-related drama. (this is the one I suspect may actually be standard for her age)

So what's your experience? Are they all disrespectful and self-absorbed? I really don't remember acting this way when I was her age (though I did have my challenges when I was in high-school), but maybe I've just forgotten about it.

ETA: I thought I'd add, the reason I'm asking this is because spending time with her makes me have a mini panic attack about being a good parent when my kids get to this age. I need to know it's possible to have children that don't act this way.

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Old 12-24-2009, 01:00 PM
 
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ALL kids? No. MANY kids? Um, yeah.

My dd often acts like the laziest kid on earth and all those things she knows how to do for herself she doesn't do anymore. I just laugh and tell her to let me know when she is finished ____________. I do try to offer to make her tea, do her eyebrows, etc. because as they bridge from children to adults they need to feel that we are still caring for them and it can be a very insecure time. She is moody as h&*( and as much as possible I ignore the bitchyness and respond to the more pleasant. I do remind her to be sweet a lot which I know bothers some people but her little brother doesn't deserve her attitude and we still have to live with her.
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Old 12-24-2009, 01:05 PM
 
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I
-she constantly does things purposely to annoy people. (i.e., she is always trying to take my picture with her cell phone-she knows its bugs me.) She actually states that the reason she does it is because its funny to annoy people
This is the only one that rings somewhat typical of tween and early teen behavior in our house-and then it is MAINLY between siblings and peers. My daughters are not boy crazy yet, they are fairly polite, do things for themselves, and do not make people crazy.

Not to say they are not self-absorbed at times. My oldest at 14 can be totally self-absorbed, but the rudest she gets is plugging into her ipod in common rooms while we have visitors.

I wouldn't put up with the crap. Don't want to get your own drink? "What's wrong with YOUR legs? Get it yourself or be thirsty, Sissy. It's not like you're a little kid, or are you?"

Don't like the food? "What did you make? Nothing? If you don't contribute, you don't get to complain. Buck up, buttercup."

Personally, I'd take her aside and tell her in no uncertain terms that her rude behavior is so terrible, you have a hard time even being around her and that you are fast loosing all respect for her. Don't start out mean about it. Most little sisters look up to their adult siblings and want to be liked and respected as equals. Maybe if she has no idea how negative and annoying she is, and if she realizes everyone sees this and can barely stand to be in the same house with her, she'll stop. I'd just be honest, and would add something about how if you want to be treated as an adult, with respect, you have to GIVE respect.

If she continues to act as she does, then you can give her the eye every time. If nothing else, she'll know when she's over the top.

The older sister in me says that, if she keeps acting like that, start treating her like a little kid. Get her "baby" gifts, that you would for a 4 year old, telling her that if she acts like a little kid, she gets treated like a little kid.

The nurturing mother in me says to occasionally confront her about her behavior, model good behavior, and to reinforce any positive behavior. Set her up for good behavior "hey, come help me unload our Christmas gifts" and then thank her for her help. "Come take a walk with me, sis. Sorry, DH, this is a GIRLS ONLY, sister-bonding walk. No boys allowed!" Maybe she's just feeling so awkward and strange in her tween skin, she just needs some loveand acceptance to get over it.

And if you and the rest of your siblings turned out okay, then maybe you should listen to your parents. Maybe,when she gets horrible, you can ask your parents "God, I hope *I* wasn't as annoying as Sis when I was 12" and then your parents can entertain everyone for the next hour about how annoying all their children have been at 12--thus teaching your sister that her behavior is NOT okay, and simultaneously reassuring her (and everyone else) that everyone is annoying at 12 and that they have faith that she'll grow out of it into a lovely, wonderful person.
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Old 12-24-2009, 01:07 PM
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Being snotty and acting superior is something that many teens do on occasion, but I don't know any that do it continually. And I don't know any who act helpless and demanding.

Of course, I don't have any friends who would enable that, either. If my son demanded that I get him a glass of water when he's sitting right there, he would remain thirsty. He has two legs that work and a mouth that knows how to say "please".

Self-absorbed and lazy? Sure....sometimes. My oldest would rather skip a meal and wait until dinner rather than fix something himself. But that affects only him.

The stuff with "peer-related drama" is something I've only seen in kids who go to school. Mine do not, and 90% of their friends do not, so I'm unaccustomed to it.
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Old 12-24-2009, 01:30 PM
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Twelve was a hard, hard year here. That said, at least with my daughter, it wasn't like you describe... it was more chronic negativity and blaming me for everything that went wrong and lots of mood swings. There was some tough peer stuff, too, at 11 and 12.... Rain didn't go to school but she was doing a lot of theatre, mostly with slightly older girls, and that as quite drama-ful on and off-stage...

I think a big part of it is waiting it out, realizing that she probably isn't happy and her emotions are probably all over the place and maybe she isn't quite sure what to do so she's acting out some of the inner discomfort she feels... while still setting your own boundaries and letting her know what is and isn't okay, but keeping it as low-key as you can and reminding her that you still love her...

 
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Old 12-24-2009, 02:14 PM
 
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What Dar said is more of what I experience right now.

I have talked to my dd and she is well aware of how unpleasant she can be and she feels more negatively about herself than I ever feel about her. Waiting it out is good advice but be careful of telling her how awful she is because she probably doesn't need all that much help seeing it. Not tolerating the behavior quietly is a better strategy and follow that up with lots of love and kindness just like you would want to be treated if you had the worst case of PMS ever. My dd is SO easily frustrated/depressed and I think that is our biggest problem.
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Old 12-24-2009, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wouldn't put up with the crap. Don't want to get your own drink? "What's wrong with YOUR legs? Get it yourself or be thirsty, Sissy. It's not like you're a little kid, or are you?"

Don't like the food? "What did you make? Nothing? If you don't contribute, you don't get to complain. Buck up, buttercup."
And I think this is part of the problem in my sister's case. My parents will say something to the effect of "why can't you get it yourself?" ...and then they get it for her. every.single.time.

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Old 12-24-2009, 04:49 PM
 
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It wasn't that bad at 12, it is kind-a bad right now;

Boy crazy? Yup
Rude and negative, especially with her dad? Yup
Annoying people? I guess sometimes, but it's mostly comes down to saying things that are not nice.

The only thing that doesn't/didn't happen in this house is getting stuff for herself. DSD is pretty good at being self-sufficient, it's more doing things for other people that seems to be the problem. *sigh*

Just like someone else said, little siblings usually look up to their older siblings, and some heart to heart and words of wisdom coming from you might do some good.

Hang in there.

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Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
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Old 12-24-2009, 08:13 PM
 
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I have talked to my dd and she is well aware of how unpleasant she can be and she feels more negatively about herself than I ever feel about her.
Yes to this. I think it's really hard for girls to be in this stage-really disconcerting sometimes. My dd will sometimes say things that surprise me, but I think that she is surprised too! I try to quietly hold my boundaries, pull for anything even remotely positive during times of tension, and try to never create a wall between us. I need to be the rock that is steady, although it's really, really hard sometimes!
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Old 12-24-2009, 09:50 PM
 
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This is the only one that rings somewhat typical of tween and early teen behavior in our house-and then it is MAINLY between siblings and peers. My daughters are not boy crazy yet, they are fairly polite, do things for themselves, and do not make people crazy.

Not to say they are not self-absorbed at times. My oldest at 14 can be totally self-absorbed, but the rudest she gets is plugging into her ipod in common rooms while we have visitors.

I wouldn't put up with the crap. Don't want to get your own drink? "What's wrong with YOUR legs? Get it yourself or be thirsty, Sissy. It's not like you're a little kid, or are you?"

Don't like the food? "What did you make? Nothing? If you don't contribute, you don't get to complain. Buck up, buttercup."

Personally, I'd take her aside and tell her in no uncertain terms that her rude behavior is so terrible, you have a hard time even being around her and that you are fast loosing all respect for her. Don't start out mean about it. Most little sisters look up to their adult siblings and want to be liked and respected as equals. Maybe if she has no idea how negative and annoying she is, and if she realizes everyone sees this and can barely stand to be in the same house with her, she'll stop. I'd just be honest, and would add something about how if you want to be treated as an adult, with respect, you have to GIVE respect.

If she continues to act as she does, then you can give her the eye every time. If nothing else, she'll know when she's over the top.

The older sister in me says that, if she keeps acting like that, start treating her like a little kid. Get her "baby" gifts, that you would for a 4 year old, telling her that if she acts like a little kid, she gets treated like a little kid.

The nurturing mother in me says to occasionally confront her about her behavior, model good behavior, and to reinforce any positive behavior. Set her up for good behavior "hey, come help me unload our Christmas gifts" and then thank her for her help. "Come take a walk with me, sis. Sorry, DH, this is a GIRLS ONLY, sister-bonding walk. No boys allowed!" Maybe she's just feeling so awkward and strange in her tween skin, she just needs some loveand acceptance to get over it.

And if you and the rest of your siblings turned out okay, then maybe you should listen to your parents. Maybe,when she gets horrible, you can ask your parents "God, I hope *I* wasn't as annoying as Sis when I was 12" and then your parents can entertain everyone for the next hour about how annoying all their children have been at 12--thus teaching your sister that her behavior is NOT okay, and simultaneously reassuring her (and everyone else) that everyone is annoying at 12 and that they have faith that she'll grow out of it into a lovely, wonderful person.
Great post!

Kim
Mom of 9 yr old DD and 2 yr old DS
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:10 PM
 
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she demands that her meat be cut up for her, that people get her a drink when she is standing only 3 feet from the refridgerator, etc.
seriously!

My son is 14 and he has his good days and his bad days. He is a very good kid and is very independent and has been for quite some time. But he has become a very moody child once he hit about 12 years old and the least little things will bother him like me typing on the keyboard, chewing near him or even breathing near him. He also likes to do like you say your little sister does by talking negative about other peoples' stuff. He does this to his little sister a lot but at times will ask me if I plan to wear such and such or do this or that. It's annoying, yeah. But he definitely has good days and overall is a great kid.

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Old 12-29-2009, 03:28 PM
 
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-she refuses to do anything herself. she demands that her meat be cut up for her, that people get her a drink when she is standing only 3 feet from the refridgerator, etc.
Nope. My kids are NOT like this, and I don't put up with it if they try. Two of my kids have gotten very demanding at times, but I don't respond if they're rude about it. IMO, this one is your parents' fault- if they didn't give into her demands, she'd stop acting that way.

-she's very rude/negative and can't seem to say something positive about anything (esp. with her parents). it's like the only way that she knows how to interact with her parents is by insulting their cooking, the shows they like, their clothes, etc. ....I don't see anyone modeling this behavior when I'm over there. Yes, we have the negativity as well, but it's not that extreme. I generally "don't put up with" rudeness and constant insults, and we DO have more positive interactions much of the time. But there just is a certain amount of negativity that comes with pubescent hormones.

-she constantly does things purposely to annoy people. (i.e., she is always trying to take my picture with her cell phone-she knows its bugs me.) She actually states that the reason she does it is because its funny to annoy people I think this is a personality trait, more than an age-related one. My 8yo does stuff like this at times, as does my 13yo, but my 15yo was never like that. Both girls are quite selfish at times, and do things that annoy other family members, but they don't do it JUST to annoy others. They do it because they want what they want and they don't always thing things through. I'd probably confiscate the cell phone (or remove the photo capabilities, if possible) if the annoying photo behavior continued.
-she's extremely boy crazy and very wrapped up in peer-related drama. (this is the one I suspect may actually be standard for her age) Actually, this is the one my daughters have nothing to do with. They both think that peer-related drama is "stupid" and distance themselves from classmates who act like that. DD1 is all about the innuendo and baudy jokes (heaven forbid you say the word "ball" in front of her in any context!) but isnt' actually interested in boys right now. She'd rather read and joke about sex than actually do anything about it.

So what's your experience? Are they all disrespectful and self-absorbed? A certain amount of self-absorption and negativity is normal- but disrespect is learned.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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Old 12-29-2009, 06:17 PM
 
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Nope, they are not. If any of my kids refused to cut up their own meat or get their own drink, they would go hungry and thirsty. Seriously, like Ruth said, disrespect and putting up with stuff like that is the parents fault.
My experience with our teen (now grown up) is more like Ruths.

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Old 12-29-2009, 11:55 PM
 
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-she refuses to do anything herself. she demands that her meat be cut up for her, that people get her a drink when she is standing only 3 feet from the refridgerator, etc.
I don't know any teens/preteens who do this. I didn't know any when I was a teen, either.

Quote:
-she's very rude/negative and can't seem to say something positive about anything (esp. with her parents). it's like the only way that she knows how to interact with her parents is by insulting their cooking, the shows they like, their clothes, etc. ....I don't see anyone modeling this behavior when I'm over there.
I've seen a little bit of this with teens, both my peers and ds1's. But, it's not a constant thing - more like they're more comfortable with a semi-insulting teasing thing, so they can keep their feelings under wraps. I did a bit of this - but I also said positive things. DS1 does it a very small amount, and says lots of positive things.

Quote:
-she constantly does things purposely to annoy people. (i.e., she is always trying to take my picture with her cell phone-she knows its bugs me.) She actually states that the reason she does it is because its funny to annoy people
I used to see this with a fair number of teens - not my friends, because I was on the receiving end of a lot of this crap from other people, and wouldn't hang out with people who did it. IME, it's more common with boys, but it's still not really common with either gender. DS1 does it on very rare occasions, but only when he's really gotten wound up...think the uncle who won't stop getting the kids wired before he leaves. I don't think he finds it fun to annoy people - he just loses the filter that says, "I'm being a pest". I haven't seen this from any of his friends, except very occasionally from his 14 year old cousin.

Quote:
-she's extremely boy crazy and very wrapped up in peer-related drama. (this is the one I suspect may actually be standard for her age)
Sadly, this is very common, ime. DS1 has gotten wound up in it a few times, and I even got sucked in on occasion (mostly, it drove me nuts).

Quote:
So what's your experience? Are they all disrespectful and self-absorbed? I really don't remember acting this way when I was her age (though I did have my challenges when I was in high-school), but maybe I've just forgotten about it.
I was very, very self-absorbed, but it didn't manifest like this at all. I wasn't disrespectful of anybody, except that I was capable of dishing it back pretty badly if people (including adults) were disrespectful towards me.

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Old 01-02-2010, 02:34 AM
 
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I have two DDs, one is 11 and the other 13

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-she refuses to do anything herself. she demands that her meat be cut up for her, that people get her a drink when she is standing only 3 feet from the refridgerator, etc.
no, both of mine are independant.

Quote:
-she's very rude/negative and can't seem to say something positive about anything (esp. with her parents). it's like the only way that she knows how to interact with her parents is by insulting their cooking, the shows they like, their clothes, etc. ....I don't see anyone modeling this behavior when I'm over there.
younger DD never

older DD was super negative when she was 12 and is gradually phasing out of it. She wasn't rude, just a big wet blanket. Nothing sounded fun, when I spoke to her she would just sigh and slump as though any other response was just too much effort.

She seemed seemed to like us as people, she just was super out of wack.

Quote:
-she constantly does things purposely to annoy people. (i.e., she is always trying to take my picture with her cell phone-she knows its bugs me.) She actually states that the reason she does it is because its funny to annoy people
younger DD does this some, older DD never. when we get through to younger DD that it isn't funny, it hurts her feelings and she cries. I HOPE it's a phase.

Quote:
-she's extremely boy crazy and very wrapped up in peer-related drama. (this is the one I suspect may actually be standard for her age)
older DD not at all (but I think she is a bit unusual in this respect)

younger DD a little, but not over the top (may be next year ) She's a fairly focused kid with goals and thinks that most boys are idiots and that the girls who are really into clothes are boring.

Quote:
I need to know it's possible to have children that don't act this way.
I think that your kids will go through phases are unpleasant, but that your parents are really adding to the situation. The reality is that how we respond to icky behavoir effects how often it happens. It sounds like your LS is really unpleasant most of the time, and that isn't necessary.

Do your parents really baby her because she is so much younger?

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 01-04-2010, 01:08 AM
 
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I have two teen cousins. I can't stand being around them many times. At 12 and 16...more so the 12 year old...it's insanely how you described. What I do notice though it that the parents enable the behavior! Mom cuts her meat for her, and get's her drinks etc etc. It annoys me so much that one day I could not help but look at her and ask if her hands and feet were broken. She said flat out "no, I'm just lazy and want her to do it for me" I guess if that's what my aunt wants to turn herself into then so be it. It makes me sad though that the kids are being shaped into people that no one wants to be around and are disgusted by.

Let's not even mention the emo crap she puts on facebook I know alot of that peer stuff and FB stuff is total age appropriate teenage stuff so it's not as bad I guess.

I think I'm more annoyed by the parent than the kid now that I ponder it!

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