The Real Deal: Advice 4 Tweens & Their Moms



Dear Real Deal,133170277_0af6de8a34

My daughter is reaching the age in which most girls grow a strong disliking of past things that they once loved.  For example, the color pink has now been thrown out the window, ABC family has been replaced with the Simpsons, pictures of hearts and rainbows have changed to posters of boy bands  and Hollywood stars.  Now, yes, I knew these changes like so many others were bound to happen, but I didn't realize that I would be suddenly shut out.  My daughter has completely broken any form of communication with me. I'm lucky to even have dinner with her and her father at the same time because she is usually out at a friend's house.  When she does eat with us it's a pretty quiet meal. The part that I think really gets to me is that whenever I try to be with her for just some 'us' time she runs off, slams a door or simply screams the word, "No!" right in my face.  It hurts to be neglected, especially by a daughter so please I'm asking for help, I want to be able to connect with my child again.

Signed,
Lost In Translation

Dr. A's POV~  Your situation is the classic 'rock and hard place' that Moms of tween-age girls often experience. I went through it myself.

When Vanessa was twelve years old she was behaving like your daughter. She seemed unhappy but every time I tried to approach her about it she shut me down. What could I do?

Then one day I heard her laughing from the other room. She was IM-ing a friend. You probably already know how popular instant messaging is as a favorite form of communication for young people. So I tried the old, 'if you can't beat them, join them' strategy. From the other side of the house I IM-ed my daughter. She responded and soon we were having the in-depth conversations in IM that we weren't having out loud.

I don’t remember how long it was after that, I was putting laundry away in my bedroom. Vanessa came up to my room, threw herself onto my bed, and asked me for advice. I nearly dropped my underwear I was so shocked! We’ve been talking (out loud) ever since.

So you are not alone. In fact, what you describe is almost a rite of passage. This is a hard age for girls and their mothers, but you know that already. See if approaching her from her point of view opens a door for you.  Don’t try too hard. Let her come to you. The hardest thing for a parent to do is to just stand by, and be consistently accessible without pushing but that's what I'm suggesting you do. Chances are very good that if you don’t give up being Mom she will find you again.

Vanessa's Take~   I
know this response is clichéd but I feel that this is most likely just
a phase. Your daughter probably is going through a certain time of
difficulty, or simply puberty. All women know that hormones cause us to
feel weird things for no real reason. As my mother had mentioned in her
own response, I went through a similar phase.

At the time of
said phase I was not aware of my actions. I did not really know that I
was shutting my mother out. I was, however, going through numerous
milestones in my continuous journey though adolescence. I was in the
midst of developing feelings for a boy in my homeroom; later on in the
year I was caught in a heated, and completely unexpected, battle
between three supposed 'friends'.  Looking back, I think that I was
unsure of what to do. I was, in a single word, confused, as many
teenagers tend to be.

I guess what I am saying, really, is let
her know you are there. But, don’t hover or constantly ask her
questions. She might just need space as a form of comfort, for many
reasons. 

~~~~~

We welcome questions from Moms & tweens for Real Deal. Click on Comment below or send Dr. Aletta an email.

Photo courtesy of Heartborne

Leave a comment


Name*

Email(will not be published)*

Website

Your comment*

Submit Comment

© Copyright Explore Whats Next - Designed by Pexeto