behaviour better during summer months - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 07-20-2011, 06:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My 12 year old returned to school this last year.  She chose to, and has enjoyed many aspects of it.  She will go to school in the fall, as well.

 

Here is a minor gripe (really just to vent):  DD and I were not getting along during the year.  She was argumentative, mean to her sister, flew of the handle at so many things...it got so bad we went to counselling.

 

Summer is now here and she is back to being the girl I once knew. Some of it, I am sure, is due tot hte work we have done on our relationship.  But some of it seems to be due to the quiter pace of summer.  We still occasionally get into it - but it is once a week or so, not daily.  It seems to blow over quicker as well.

 

She claims she was happy at school, and I believe her - but the difference in behaviour between school days and summer days is amazing.  I imagine it comes down to sleep, and the fact that no matter how much she prefers schools, there are stress factors there that are not at home.  

 

I really do love summer.

 

 

 

 

 

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#2 of 13 Old 07-20-2011, 07:25 AM
 
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I think your family's experience isn't uncommon, especially for adolescents. It's one of the reasons I like year-round schooling with frequent vacation breaks including a lengthy summer vacation. It regulates the pace at school and gives some breathing room throughout the year. 

 

Is there any way to preserve some of the happy from summer and extend it into the fall? Maybe plan a No Stress Weekend for late October where everyone in your family gets to sleep and eat and not much else?  I know it will depend on exams and assignments, which are out of your control. I wonder if the school would be open to the idea of a homework moratorium for one weekend in the fall and one in the spring. They must notice the stress on their students themselves. 

 

It's good insight to have, in any case. Does she recognize that she's managing better during the summer break? Will she be able to use that insight to self-regulate a little more once school starts? Protect her sleep a little, try some meditation and yoga and exercise to manage stress, find a sympathetic ear when the workload starts to increase etc. 

 

I realize you just wanted to vent a little, so ignore if you didn't want any suggestions. 

 

And I agree that summer is lovely for re-connecting and enjoying each other. 

 

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#3 of 13 Old 07-20-2011, 08:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post I imagine it comes down to sleep, and the fact that no matter how much she prefers schools, there are stress factors there that are not at home.  


nod.gif I've had the conversation with ds about our bodies being like batteries that have to be recharged (he's 7, but a techie who knows how to charge and change out the batteries for all his gizmos lol.gif).

 

 

Schools Waking Up to Teens' Unique Sleep Needs

 


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#4 of 13 Old 07-20-2011, 08:45 AM
 
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There are other factors too like there being less to bicker about in the summer. I don't know about your kids but there isn't much they have to do that they don't WANT to do in the summer. They go to bed late, they sleep in. When they have to wake early it's for It's for an activity they are passionate about. Both my kids love school in general but there will always be aspects they rather pass on... in the summer, there is almost nothing they'd want to miss. 12 is an age where girls in particular can be difficult and pushing for more control. During the school year, they just have less control and it's not be your fault at all but your the one she knows will love her even when she's nasty. In the summer, they have less to rebel against.

 

Is she an introvert naturally? If so, introverts get their energy from solitude. As much as she enjoys the other kids in school, they may also be zapping her of all her energy. If last year was you DD's first year in school, it's very likely that she hasn't striken a balance yet. She HAS to keep it together in school and so when she comes home, you get the over-exhausted meltdown. It took my DD a couple years to really find that balance (but she was less volitile at home because she was 5 and 6.) She had to learn how to carve time for herself during the day AND at the same time increase her tolerance for delayed solitude. She got really good at it. Even then, this first year in high school was tough because she went to a specialty school with an entire campus full of kids who shared her interests. Instead of spending her lunches with a favorite teacher, a couple quieter friends or taking a walk on the field like she used to, she's hanging out in large caotic groups for 6 hours staight. Yes, she's having a blast but comes home and locks herself in her room for 30 minutes and I don't argue. She needs that time to recharge before dealing with the family. We ALL need her to take that time lol.

 

Enjoy the summer and take advantage of this time to reconnect and have fun with your DD. Hopefully, it'll continue. I know DD and I went through a rough patch this past school year too (she's 14 but just started her period so hormonally like many 12-year-olds.) It was bad for about 6 months and then it started to get better. We're approaching normal again and it makes me happy!

 

 


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#5 of 13 Old 07-20-2011, 12:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post
I realize you just wanted to vent a little, so ignore if you didn't want any suggestions. 

 


I was wondering about that too! 

 

 

My DDs are now 13 and 14, and I thought 12 was very hardest age for either of them so far. They were ....difficult. I'm hoping, for your sake, that the improvements you are seeing this summer aren't just because school is on break, but may be because she is moving out of that difficult transition phase, and that all the hard work you've both done on your relationship is paying off.

 

If I remember right, your DD started school last year after homeschooling. For us, the first year in school was the hardest for each child. Hopefully, going BACK to school will be my less stressful for her than STARTING school. The exact same pace is different when you are used to the pace.

 

I wish you well. I hope you have a much easier time with her this winter. hug2.gif

 


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#6 of 13 Old 07-21-2011, 04:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone smile.gif

 

Linda - you are correct.  It was her first time in school since grade 2.

 

Kathy

 

 

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#7 of 13 Old 07-21-2011, 11:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

She claims she was happy at school, and I believe her - but the difference in behaviour between school days and summer days is amazing.  I imagine it comes down to sleep, and the fact that no matter how much she prefers schools, there are stress factors there that are not at home.  

 


5 days a week school was a real strain on me when I was her age (and older).  I wished school was 4 days a week with Wednesdays off...  Instead I got sick a lot and developed chronic fatigue syndrome.  Too bad it is such an all or nothing set up.  College was great, though.  Enjoy the summer!

 


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#8 of 13 Old 07-21-2011, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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She has said in an ideal world school would be 3 days a week.   She does not want to go part time though, as she does not want to be different from the other kids.  I arranged my college and uni years so I went only 3-4 days a week, and took very few early morning classes.  Yes, it did work well!

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#9 of 13 Old 07-21-2011, 01:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

She has said in an ideal world school would be 3 days a week. 


That would've worked for me!  For ds, 3 half days a week would be about right. 

 


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#10 of 13 Old 07-21-2011, 03:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

She has said in an ideal world school would be 3 days a week.   She does not want to go part time though, as she does not want to be different from the other kids.  I arranged my college and uni years so I went only 3-4 days a week, and took very few early morning classes.  Yes, it did work well!



This is why my DD really loves the block schedule at her high school. Last year, all her academics were on one day and all her performance classes on the other. She felt like she only had to go to "school" every other day lol. Even if it doesn't work out so neatly this year, she still likes only having 4 classes a day even if they are longer.

 

We have charters that work on a 3 day schedule and the middle college DD is looking at for 11th and 12th grade can be arranged for 3 days a week.

 


Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.
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#11 of 13 Old 07-21-2011, 09:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

She has said in an ideal world school would be 3 days a week.   She does not want to go part time though, as she does not want to be different from the other kids.  I arranged my college and uni years so I went only 3-4 days a week, and took very few early morning classes.  Yes, it did work well!



Are there any options where you live besides traditional school? DD#1 did much better this year in an alternative school. Her one year in a traditional school didn't go well and she ended up being only part time part way through the year because she really couldn't handle being there all day. She has intense sensory issues (as part of some other special needs) and the just the sounds of the bells and lockers were overwhelming for her.

 

(BTW -- her being PT was a totally PITA for me. I wouldn't recommend it except as a last resort)


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#12 of 13 Old 07-22-2011, 03:31 AM
 
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I don't know if this is true for you but I get along better with my son in the summer simply because homework is not a factor. He usually has a lot of homework, often procrastinates, then wants to rush through it, reducing the quality of what is getting turned in. It pushes my buttons and we struggle about it a lot. I'm concerned about next year because he's taking an AP course.

 

It's nice not to have that during the summer!


 
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#13 of 13 Old 07-22-2011, 05:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Homework was an issue (although hardly the major one).  She has an acceptable amount (probably averaged 2 hours a week) but she would procrastinate until 9:00 at night - which is when she should have been going to bed.  She would want company as she did homework - she would want me to sit there, but she was so miserable because she was exhausted.  Borderline tears - sometimes real tears.  

 

It eventually got to the point where I told her I would keep her company while she did her homework, but after 9:30 was me time, and I was not available to keep her company.  That seemed to help her get it done earlier as she really did like company during homework.

 

She chronically "forgot" about her homework until late in the day, and that did not change despite many discussions and attempts at pattern changing.

 

 

The above could probably be a thread on its own, lol.  

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