How to handle a "spirited" tween?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-12-2013
How to handle a "spirited" tween?
3
Fri, 04-12-2013 - 11:58am

My daughter is 12 and will be turning 13 soon. I'm very concerned about her attitude and back talk towards me. Everything is an argument with her. I'm already at my wits end and we aren't even officially in the teen years yet. Help!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-16-2012
Fri, 04-19-2013 - 2:08pm

I could have written this post myself with the exception that my daughter is 11. Unfortunately, I don't have any great advice for you since I'm in the same boat :(  One thing that has helped a little is that whenever she says something with an attitude, I asked her to repeat it in a nicer way.

The aruging over EVERYTHING is driving me batty, though!!

Avatar for janx7
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-26-2001
Tue, 05-14-2013 - 6:01pm

I'm thinking back to my years as a mom of tweens and teens... and at one point I had a full house of them!  5!

A lot of what I know as a mom is that this is a "testing" ground and a time for kids to assert themselves.  Problem is, they way they do it, grates on every nerve if we let it.  What are your house rules?  Are you consistent in enforcing them?  Are the consequences consistent as well?  Meaning everytime she talks back, do you talk back at her or do you engage her with, I see you're frustrated.  You're breaking the no disrespect rule.  I need you to reframe your statement if you are calm or you need to reset until you are calm so we can talk about what it is you need.  

Yes, this may take some time to get used to as Mom... since our normal tendency is to shoot the same tone or worse back at them.  If you can remain neutral and not add more fuel to the flames, chances are you'll be able to talk about what it is that is bugging her or what her most pressing needs are.

Should the intonations continue, my solution was to reset the child in a very neutral and non energized way and walk away.... I don't listen to kids who  are respectful in their tone or demeanor.  If it continued, I usually sat down with a book, invited them to join me when they were calm and we could talk.  

My kids did learn that they got more of a relationship with me when rules weren't being broken and we were communicating respectfully.  Yes, there was still some teen angst over the months and years that followed, but even to this day as adults on their own, their respect for me hasn't diminished.  Matter of fact, I think our relationship is stronger now than it's ever been before.  I still get calls out of the blue because they know I will listen.... and remain neutral and not take sides.  And I'm even seeing them pass on these same values to their children -- and I can't wait to see how they handle their tweens in the next few years.... we've got one grandchild on the cusp!  LOL  

If you need or want more ideas... be sure to send me a private message... I'll do my best to get back to here as quickly as I can.  I have missed being here.....

 

Avatar for janx7
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-26-2001
Sun, 12-22-2013 - 4:25pm

Oh, I'm hoping that in the last few months, things have improved around your homes.  
I hope you're enjoying a month of joy with your tweens!