So it begins...

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-2013
So it begins...
Fri, 05-24-2013 - 10:22pm

Hello Everyone,

I am new to the board but am glad I found it...I am a single mom of three, I work from home so I am here and very involved. My ex is very hands on and we stayed friends so we are able to co-parent everyday. My oldest daughter is 12 (and a half if you ask her), my second daughter is 11, and my son is 10.

I am in need of some advice on the 12 year old. She mostly her dad's personality, so she is very quiet and stoic, with a stubborn streak 100 miles wide. We are close, we chat daily, of the three she is the one that seeks me out most. She is very focused, and goal driven. As a soccer player its just the way she looks at life. We just wrapped up her first year in middle school, I honestly expected it to be rougher. We had some bumps in the beginning as far as actual schoolwork as she adjusted, then bam high honor roll and easy. A few weeks ago, I got an email from her band director that she has a low C for the semester. When I asked her why she just shrugged. She wrote a report and in the 11th hour brought the grade up, but it was the start of what I now call the month of silence. Seriously who almost fails band when you have straight As in everything else?? Its obviously a choice, but why?She has stopped talking to me (or anyone), she pouts all the time, and when I give her something to do she either doesnt do it, or does it wrong on purpose. When I try various ways of working it out (talking, writing, talking to others) she clams up. She will sit for hours refusing to answer or talk about anything. I have also considered PMS or even the start of her period - but thats not it. I dont want to be one of those moms who battles with her daughter for years about nothing, but I am beginning to get frustrated and I get mean when I get super frustrated. Up to this point I have been fairly level headed and even tempered.  I am at a loss for how to approach this. I have tried giving her space and time to come to me, but she ended up being meaner to her brother and sister and more snotty to all adults. Obviously letting it lie isnt an option if her acting out is worse. Ugh. Any new direction, insight, or parenting techniques would be helpful.

Thank you all tons!


Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Tue, 05-28-2013 - 9:20am

Hi SP and welcome to the board!  Have there been any other changes lately, anything at dad's house, or with friends at school?  Has her dad noticed the same attitude when she is with him?  How long has she been doing band?  Could it just be that she's "over it" and doesn't want to play the instrument any longer but feels pushed to do it and is closing off because of that?  Is she planning on taking band next year?  You may want to look into that or reevaluate.  Also, just because she hasn't started her period yet, doesn't mean its not a symptom of that.  Girls can start the hormonal changes and moodiness several months in advance of actually starting their period.

One thing you may want to try, she is the oldest and I am sure even if you don't put pressure on here, there is a perceived pressure being the oldest that may be weighing on her in some ways.  I would start with taking some time out and doing something one on one with her, a favorite activity, going to get your hair or nails done together, or just going out for ice cream.  Kids are usually more relaxed in these situations and will open up easier if something is in fact bothering her.  As for parenting techniques, I would just take some time and sit all the kids down together and remind them all of the family rules of the house, doing their chores, helping out, being kind and respectful to all members of the household, etc. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-2013
Wed, 05-29-2013 - 1:48pm

Thanks for the response, I was one of those having issue logging in...

We have had a few changes in friends, and band is her choice. We talked yesterday and she said she was questioning her choices as a close friend betrayed her. I also have been tracking her extra moodiness and have found its on track for the last 2 months for her PMS cycle. Add it all up and we have 2 weeks of almost teenage crisis.

I really just wanted to check to make sure my parenting stategy isnt lacking...I feel tons better now knowing I was on the right track.

Thanks again! :D