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#1 of 13 Old 08-15-2008, 12:12 AM - Thread Starter
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They don't make enough drugs to get me through another week like this last one I've had with my 11 yr old DD.

I wish I felt more compassionate right now, but I feel more like my head is going to explode into a billion pieces.

There hasn't been a single day without tears, the kind of unexplainable, out-of-control hormonal rages of emotion to which pre-teen and teen girls are prone. I know it's normal. I wouldn't be surprised if she weren't far away from starting her period. I have tried and tried to be patient, understanding, gentle...I've given her her space. I've cuddled with her when she wanted me. I've tried to talk to her about how she's feeling. I've tried not prying.

Every day is a repeat of the same...and I don't think this is a situation of something bigger going on that she's worried about or afraid to tell me. I honestly believe this is just part of the normal score of puberty. We are having some issues at home in general, money stuff mostly, so she may be internalizing some of the residual stress of that, too.

And while I totally get that it's normal...I'm about to lose my freakin' mind. My patience is wearing thin. She's driving me crazy and all I want to do is scream at her, "WHAT ARE YOU CRYING ABOUT, FOR PETE'S SAKE!" even though I know she doesn't have any idea what she's crying about and it's probably making her just as frustrated as it is me.

Yes, going nuts.

Please talk me down off the ledge. I don't want to make things worse on her, but honestly, I'm not doing so well myself and things are really, really difficult for us right now. We are broke, we have big bills that need to be paid and a negative balance in the bank account. I have a job interview I'm supposed to be traveling for this weekend and I don't even know where I'm going to get the gas money for the trip. I want to be a good, attentive mom and take gentle, loving care of my girl, but frankly I'm barely holding myself together, and that's only with the care of my anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds.

I can't talk to her about anything, anything at all, without tears, attitude, sarcasm, you name it...and I'm doing just about all the deep breathing I can stand.
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#2 of 13 Old 08-15-2008, 02:47 AM
 
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Another med mama here who has no teens yet but a preschooler who is carrying on like your 11 y.o. (Thank goodness for those meds when you need 'em, eh?

In an effort to be supportive, loving, etc. I think sometimes we bend over backwards. You can have some boundaries with her, yk? Like it's okay to be upset, etc. but I don't want to be spoken to that way. Then model how you want to be spoken to.

Is there something that she can get involved in that might capture her attention, let her blow off some steam, and enjoy herself? That might make things at home more bearable. I know my dd is always more bearable when she's had lots of exercise.

Sorry, wish I could help more. But also just wanted to give s

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#3 of 13 Old 08-15-2008, 04:07 AM
 
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I feel for you. Really I do. She's only 9 but we've started witnessing the hormonal moodswings. I'm just grateful it's not everyday yet and hope it takes a long time to get to that point.

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#4 of 13 Old 08-15-2008, 10:31 AM
 
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I asked my Dad (I didn't grow up with him) how can I get a relationship with my children where they will talk to me and feel comfortable sharing their feelings with me. He told me that a relationship like that must be reciprocal. That I had to share with them in order for them to share with me. Makes sense, but that was a major DUH moment in my life.

I don't suggest you dump any or all of your emotional trials onto your DD, but take a moment when she's not so hormonal and ask if she has time to talk. Then tell her you have a worry/concern/ problem that you aren't too sure how to deal with and would like her opinion. Don't make it about household finance as a whole, if your DD is anything like mine it will just cause her stress. Something simple. This puts her in the position of helper and she feels as if you trust her with somewhat important decisions and that you value her opinion. At the end of your talk, tell her you feel so much better for getting it out and that her advice was helpful. Walk away. Don't ask her to share a problem of her own, just walk away.

It reassures her that the lines of communication are open, and gives her an example of how to come to you with a problem. It also shows her that it is a safe environment to vent emotion, free from judgment. And perhaps next time she' feeling a bit off, she'll come to you. It'll probably make you feel a little better as well.

I know the hormonal roller coaster all to well, we have one at our house too. Sometimes I just have to walk away and check on how fast the grass is growing in the back yard.
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#5 of 13 Old 08-15-2008, 12:13 PM
 
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BTDT. It's not easy.
DD has had intense emotions the last 2 years. She's 13 1/2 and really fun to be around.
I feel like I am finally coming up for air.
I did some things right and some things wrong.
Communication is key but I think mostly listening on our part. I very respectfully disagree with the PP about asking for help from an emotional 11yo. My experience is that it could be overwhelming to her, even when she's not deeply "in it." I don't mean to say absolving her of responsibilities but I wouldn't ask her advice on problems.

I did my best not hover, try to solve whatever problem was causing her strife or take things personally. I did set boundaries for what is an acceptable expression of emotion...No dumping on people. I bought her tons of journals, art materials and books. I also helped her discover what she's good at and
worked it into the budget to support it. I realize budgeting lessons is probably not an option for the OP but perhaps there are after school programs or school clubs, etc.
Making sure she gets adequate nutrition to support her rapidly changing needs was and is something I'm adamant about.
I recognized a need for her to pull away and got OK with having a little distance between us.
It's come full circle where she's coming to me to go for our early morning walks, asking my opinion on stuff.

Where I messed up...blowing things out of proportion...feeling that this stuff was surely leading to drugs, eating disorders and promiscuity, worrying, yelling, demanding respect and acting like a moody 11yo myself.

Christian Northrup's book, Mother Daughter Wisdom has been a lifesaver to me.
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#6 of 13 Old 08-15-2008, 12:36 PM
 
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My 11dd BAWLED loudly through a third of Mamma Mia because it was so beautiful and all I could do was laugh. She knows she acts crazy and she can't help it but when it gets to be too much I will tell her I need a break and she needs to go read a book or listen to music in her room. You'll get through it and it will be better. My dd has been much easier to be around since she got her period.
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#7 of 13 Old 08-15-2008, 03:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emese'sMom View Post
Another med mama here who has no teens yet but a preschooler who is carrying on like your 11 y.o. (Thank goodness for those meds when you need 'em, eh?
My 6yr old DD is this way. She is already very hormonal I think...has been since she was about 3 yrs old.

My oldest son is 13 now but I went through a lot of this with him.

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#8 of 13 Old 08-15-2008, 03:30 PM
 
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I don't really have anything to add advice wise, but I did want to offer my commiseration and s because I have three girls (see sig) and they all have their periods and OMG! is all I can say. I just focus on the mantra that "I" am the best parent for these girls - I was given the opportunity to parent them because I am somehow best equipped to help them grow. (this isn't a religious thing...just sort of a thing...) Really. Believe it.
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#9 of 13 Old 08-15-2008, 03:54 PM
 
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My oldest dd is 11. It is a wild place to be. Not quite a child. Not quite a teen. She got her period last summer. The six months before were a living hell. She has always been super emotional but this was like living with a crazy person. She is still hormonally emotional but it is easier to track now. Good luck. I'm betting you'll see Aunt Flo soon.
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#10 of 13 Old 08-15-2008, 05:21 PM
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Yeah. Eleven was just really, really hard, for all the reasons you've mentioned. Does it help to know that it's normal and will pass? A little, anyway?

I also think it's important to know you're own limits and boundaries. This is *her* issue to deal with, not yours. No matter how much you love her and want to help her, it's important not to take on her feelings and feel responsible for making her feel "better". Be there for her as much as you can be, but don't let your own feelings of well-being become wrapped up in hers. That's something I struggled with... I wanted Rain to feel better about her life, so I would feel better.... but she wasn't and isn't me. At eleven, it became really important that I kept our emotional lives separate, if that makes sense... and I still struggle with the line there sometimes, but it's much better now.

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#11 of 13 Old 08-16-2008, 01:34 AM
 
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My oldest dd is 10.5 and I empathize totally. She and I are also a lot alike, so we really butt heads! She is also a total daddy's girl which helps. He often steps in to deal with her, and it really helps her calm down. I guess it's good that he gets along best with the one most like me and I get along best with the one most like him, LOL.
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#12 of 13 Old 08-16-2008, 03:30 AM
 
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We went through this at 11. 12 is MUCH better; just hold on til then! My dd1 is 12 now and really a sweetheart and very helpful and much more even than she was last year.

What helped:

*food. Honestly. Low blood sugar and that kid don't mix. I am the same way.

*music. Either listening to it in her room, or playing on the piano. Just her and the piano; no one in the room listening directly. Does she have a cd player in her room? i-Pod? Even just headphones so she can listen to music on the computer?

*basketball! Oh this was my life saver, I swear! Dd joined a basketball team through Boys & Girls Club. I think it was $90; they gave her a team shirt and a basketball. Practice one night per week for nine weeks; games on Saturday mornings for six weeks. I cannot tell you how valuable this was for the sanity of everyone in our house!!!!! She could be in a MOOD, I mean hating everyone and everything, mouthing off and pouting and slamming doors. I'd drop her at basketball practice (which she'd also complain about as that was just the theme of the day) in the worst mood ever. Hour and a half later, I'd come back to pick up.... the sweetest, happiest kid you ever saw. "Love you, Mom!" and everything. Nicer to her sisters. Just made the whole world better. Go! Now! Look one up in your area! They do basketball year round.

*little things for her. Get her favorite ice cream flavor at the grocery store. A new lip gloss with a "Love, Mom" note near her bathroom sink. Search TiVo to see when the Jonas Brothers will next be on a show and set it to tape for her.

It will get better soon. Hang in there!!!
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#13 of 13 Old 08-16-2008, 05:20 PM
 
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what about a teen herb supplement for hormonal balance support? I know it's 'normal' to go through this, but why suffer when it can be balanced with some mild, nourishing/gently tonic herbs?

Heather, mama to Harriet, Crispin, in with Tom and 2
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