7 Ways to Fix Rude Tween Behavior
Tips to deal with your child's attitude as she grows into a teenager
When my daughter, Anna, got home from school the other day, I told her, "We've got to get you new shoes. Take a quick break, and then let's jump in the car. " In response, my usually mellow and mild-mannered 12-year-old threw down her backpack and snapped, "Oh. My. God. I JUST got home and you're not EVEN gonna let me rest for five minutes? FINE! LET'S GO! "
"We don't have to leave this instant," I said. "Let me get you some iced tea."
"NO! I have to get in the car. COME ON!"
"Hey, calm down. You can rest a minute..."
"YOU rest! I've got to go somewhere NOW!" And she slammed out the door.
"What's wrong with her?" my 8-year-old asked.
"I think the hormones have arrived, " I said.
When your tween starts talking back, or yelling at you, or rolling her eyes every time you start to open your mouth, you're bound to feel shock, then maybe anger, followed closely by hurt. "In the beginning you try to chalk it up to a reason, just as you did when she was younger: Is she hungry? Overtired? " says Christina Bess, the mom of a 9- and a 12-year-old in Maplewood, NJ. "And then you realize the reason is, she's a tween."
"The first time I heard her say something under her breath, I was surprised," says Gamin Summers of her "extra-sweet" 9-year-old daughter. "She'll mutter, 'You clean your room' at me. I know it's normal, but when you put everything into raising them right and they come back at you with disrespect, it stings, and it makes you second-guess your parenting skills," adds the mom of five, including two tweens, from Flagstaff, AZ.