Friday, September 10, 2010

How Do You Handle Pre-Teen Angst?

My daughter is eleven years old but wants to be sixteen.

She doesn't want to join in on any type of family fun (whether it's with me or if it's with her mom) because it's just "not cool" to do and it might hurt her "school rep".

Honestly...I don't remember having a "rep" going into the sixth grade other than being the class clown. Have times changed THAT much?? (they haven't for me, but that's another story)

She wants to dress older (tight jeans and a scarf around the neck when it's 90 degrees outside?). She wants to be treated like an adult. She wants to get her own way because that's what grown ups do.

So how do I cope with this? How does a single dad influence his daughter without it going in one ear and out the other?

Tell bad does it get when she eventually goes to high school???


Raquel's World said...

Sorry but it gets worse. The older they get the more "lame" we the parents, become. My advice would be to give a little. For example, a scarf is not so bad considering most girls in high school are wearing stilettos and tons of make-up. Maybe sit down with her and find a medium. "I'll let you wear the tight jeans but your shirt must be long enough to cover your booty." And also bust up on her because girls often change their appearance once they actually get at school and then change back before they head home.

They are gonna hate us at this age anyways so might as well give em something to hate.:) Trust me, she'll thank you later when all her friends are pregnant in high school and she's not.

When my son calls me lame or embarrassing or too strict I know that I'm doing a good job!

Canadian Bald Guy said...

I guess as a single dad who doesn't see his father too often, that advice seems easier said than done.

Please tell me it's not as difficult as it sounds (lol).

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Ooh, it's just beginning.
I wish you the best!

Canadian Bald Guy said...


matt said...

I had a girlfriend in HS whose dad used to wear a bag over his head with eye-holes cut out whenever he dropped her off and picked her up.

She would complain but he would just respond, "You can dress however you want - but it doesn't mean I have to be seen with you . . ."

Good luck!

PV Lundqvist said...

Have you considered laminating her until she's eighteen?

Canadian Bald Guy said...

Laminating her???

I suppose it's worth a try...

CityMom2 said...

Oh baby. I thank GOD every day that I have 2 boys. BUT take heart!
I can tell you from my son's perspective that males (ages 15 and 24) prefer "natural" beauty. They dislike all the garish makeup and too tight clothing.

I agree you can compromise on one article of clothing, but YOU are the DAD and you get to make the rules. Kids need us to put boundaries around them. It makes them feel safe even while they curse us under their breath.

It's not easy. Being a good parent is hard, often lonely, work. Before you talk to your daughter, write down which rules are ironclad and what you feel you can negotiate on.

Make her friends come to your house when ever you can. Buy them soda, make sure they don't sneak out of the house.
MOST of all, it's like siting a target. YOU decide what's acceptable and DO NOT give in. You can pay for the next 3 - 5 years. Or for the rest of your life. Hang in there and write when you need a boost (oh, and cramps and hormones are real...I'm sorry).

Anonymous said...

hm.. what to say... my mother used to tell me "small baby, small problem.. big baby, big problem"

the hard thing for me is to not take things personally. teens are like two-year olds -moody, impulsive, wanting things right NOW- but in adult bodies, which makes things more confusing for us parents. you expect your darling child who's now six feet tall to just "get it", and by now you think you do, but you don't, so... yeah...

most definitely not an easy time. just love her with a firm hand and a tender heart. this phase, too, shall pass...

Lucy said...

We are pretty lucky here in Sydney Australia.ALL schools here have uniforms and students in my daughters school are sent home and parents notified if they are not in school uniform.I got an automated sms last week that my daughter got to school 9 mins late!
As for wearing revealing clothing to go out....i tell her shes not leaving the house unless she wears something i approve of.
I dont care if im "lame" or "a retarded parent" here to look after her well being and i will do it 100%!

Everyday Goddess said...

Mine is only 9, but I am listening to what everyone has to say. I'm on the learning curve too.

Annette said...

I agree completely with CityMom2 - my 16 yr old boy automatically dismisses girls that try too hard, but I think that's a result of me not letting him watch MTV.

I have an 8yr old just like your 11 yr old, minus the tight jeans. I am not looking forward to the next 10 years.

Just remind her that her "rep" is also based on how she dresses and acts. My father always reminded that I needed to respect myself and comport myself in a way that others would respect me too.

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