Originally Posted by meemee
but i would entreat you not to throw in the towel yet. i think you will get what you wanted if you give it a bit of time.
she never went anywhere and then boom gone for weeks? nope. even at 12. actually esp. at 12 really hard to do.
I completely agree. I found 12 to be a very difficult age with both my DDs, who were totally AP, GD, etc from birth. Its just a rough age.
Also, there can be a difference between what an adolescent is expressing, how they actually feel about it in the moment, how they feel about it in a month, and how they feel about years later. With little kids, what you see is what you get, but not necessarily true about adolescents.
Your memories are that you LOVED your trips, but you may have spent part of the time being pissy and moody. Its really normal for kids this age, even happy well adjusted ones, to not have a clue when they are acting pissy and moody. Part of the problem is that if kids have been raised that it is OK to have a full range of emotions, then they express them. The art of learning to express our feelings appropriately with tact and grace is beyond most 12 year olds, and their emotions are often on overdrive because of hormonal imbalances.
It sounds like in the end, you guys did great. She enjoyed the trip, and it sounds like she got to do some things she usually doesn't get to. I think you should invite her back sometime.
As far as making fun of you for eating differently than she is used to, I suggest kindly explaining to her that making fun of people isn't kind, even though she most likely sees people do that in other context. In your house, the rule is not to make fun of other people. Some kids in tough situations have learned that they have to put other people to be on top -- its a survival skill for them. You can show her another way, but it has to be gentle, or its hypocritical. You can't put her down either for the way she eats or the way she puts others down without doing exactly what you would like her to stop doing. You can model total acceptance of her, while showing her that *in at least some situations* she doesn't need to put others down to be OK.
I think she needs you, and that she likes you. This is just the start.