Teaching independence and accountability to a tween is like playing with a nuclear bomb and not being a nuclear scientist; you just never know when they will explode even if you handle with care.
The one phrase I hear more in my house, other than maybe something about the Walking Dead, is “You hate me”. This clever phrase is used at anytime and quite freely. My kids know to not use the word Hate but all bets are off when it comes to knowing how to get a reaction out of me. Although, its effectiveness is now at zero percent. It could be anything; telling them to pick up their clothes, clean their rooms, making them pack their own lunch, or talking to their teacher about a problem. Their rebuttal is always “You hate me”, now I have come to the point to say things like ” IF Making you do chores is hating you then you must really super hate me because I have to clean the house, cook dinner, etc. (insert tween eye roll)”, ” Sorry you feel that way”, “Ok, can you get that done anyways?”
I know that I have to admit guilt about spoiling my kids to an extent. I did at one point work hard to make them happy but now I see it doesn’t produce happiness, it produces dependence. My girls were under the impression that I was to bring them a snack to eat in the car after I picked them up from school. Really? It took about two months for them to start packing an after school snack, so at least I have progress on one front.
It is amazing though that Genevieve, who has always been capable and independent, has consciously decided to regress and become whiny and dependent. Maybe, this stems from having a sister that requires a lot of time and energy from the adults in her life or the tween years are frying her brain. Yesterday, she refused to make herself food and just followed me around the house telling me how I was starving her and I probably didn’t care if she died right then and there. I will put her nomination for an Oscar. In the two hours she bugged me, she could have made seventy five sandwiches. You may read this and gasp that I wouldn’t make this poor child lunch but the rest had already eaten and she chose to stay at her friend’s house and I do have a strict rule about choices; if you aren’t home when we eat then you are on your own. When she goes to college her roommate will not make her a sandwich.
Raising tweens has made me realize this is the most verbally abusive phase so far and also the most critical; sometimes I come to work solely for the peace and quiet! I continually remind them that I will not engage in their less than impressive verbal bashing of me and they get punished. They are like Toddlers with boobs, acne, and hormones; just testing the boundaries and looking for acceptance, I do understand that. They need to see that I love them, Their emotions are confusing to them; they are growing up but are still children and they need the assurance that I am still there to guide them but give them independence.
This phase almost (ALMOST) makes me crave for the toddler years again…. almost.
Taking it one day at a time,
Mom Under Siege.