The tween phase:
My daughter who is in the throws of it has just turned 12. The attitude and goofiness fills every moment of everyday. Extreme mood swings and emotional fallout are the bane of her existence. Some times she makes me laugh inside and other times I want to shake her back into reality. I am glad that I have become resilient to things and that I’ve learned to take things less personally because sometimes she makes me want to cry. But in the end I know “this too shall pass” and I just hope that I can influence her and guide her through it with grace and wisdom that may have some lasting lessons.
My own tween years were extremely unstable and some of the most traumatic times of my life. God was surely watching out for me and used the trials to strengthen me and later to teach me.
The Whining, Ohhh the whining is endless. I’m doing what I can and as I learn to handle this time I am dealing with it with patients.….. What can you do, I’ve listened to broadcasts on focus on the family that are very informative about Tweens; and I’ve read and always looking out for good reads to guide her through this time of turbulence. We are learning as we go, as I was too much of a wild child during my tween and teen years to have really learned much about the art of parenting an adolescent, and my husband only had a brother. So we was never really exposed to any girls at this age. I know as a mother now I am much more sensitive to her feelings and the state that she is in, because I recognize that most of what she goes through on a daily basis is fleeting and hormone driven. I am also very sensitive to her inner confusion and feelings of instability. I recognize now that when I was her age most of what I went through emotionally was traumatic and I know now that much of my feelings were not really rational. However my adolescence was also much less stable then hers. So I’m not sure how much of that also influenced my unstable irrational feelings. We have been trying very hard to make hers much more stable. Even to the point of returning to homeschooling after her first year at a private school. I think now we know what we need to focus on and what are the actual factors so that next year when she goes back to school we will be able to recognize what is hormone fueled and what is actual reality and needs to be dealt with. I do not want to shelter her, but rather protect her from the most unnecessary influences and troubles that she may face at this stage. She was never really very sheltered as a homeschool kid, and we did not do many of the traditional homeschool life, but it still seemed to be a wonderful way for me to learn as a mom, and her to learn how to focus on school and make it a priority.
Some of the wonderful books and resources that I have learned from so far:
Preparing for adolescence, by Dr. James Dobson
Bringing up girls, by Dr. James Dobson
Boundaries with teens, John Townson
Strong and Kind, Willie and Kori Robertson
Captivating, John and Stacie Eldridge
Thriving Family Magazine