Posted in Pre-Teens

My daughter is a tween. 11 years old. She’s becoming more expressive which we condone. But how do you teach a tween where to draw the line? For example, rolling her eyes and not wanting to answer simple questions. Or slamming the car door as I drop her off for school. It’s a tough one. Anyone have any experience or tips on how to go about this? #tween #preteen

  • JJ
    Apr 29, 2018

    There’s a difference between being expressive and being disrespectful. Sit her down and make sure she knows the difference. Let her know it’s important for all of you to keep open and honest lines of communication going. Let her know she can go to you for anything, but she needs to be respectful. My older ones know that acting like a petulant child will just make them lose credibility. If they can’t respect their father and I then they can’t have certain privileges. We keep a very open, honest dialog with our kids, but at the end of the day they need to know that we are the parents and we mean business.

  • Mary
    Apr 29, 2018

    Simple, you talk to her about respect! If she doesn’t respect you maybe it’s time to temporarily lose some privileges.

  • Kady
    Apr 30, 2018

    JJ & Mary I could not have said it better. Letting your child be disrespectful as a form of expression is giving them the wrong message. You are the parent, which makes you the child’s ethics and manners professor. These two things are not nearly covered enough in schools. There is nothing wrong with taking away privileges if they can not present themselves to others with dignity and respect. If the child out-lashes in rebellion it shows insecurity,and of course cause they are children, immaturity. Having your child implement this type of behavior at this young of an age , gives the child the impression that it’s ok, and as the strength and confidence builds behind those learned behaviors, you will start to lose the the very ground you stand on. I get that no one wants to be like their parents. However, at the end of the day you are the only people in your child’s life, that can make an immediate difference. It is your duty. Not anyone else’s. Think about when your in a store, and you hear kids running a muck causing havoc with other shoppers, or a small child throwing a tantrum, and the parent ignores it, and you wanna pull your hair out because the parent is doing nothing, that is the early stages of teaching them it’s ok to act a fool in public. If you say she’s just expressing her emotions (slamming a car door), you need to teach her healthier ways to express her feelings. If you find there are no feelings behind it, it means she’s just acting a fool. Lines of communication should be opened and established , the sooner the better. If that is not implemented you may lose all your teen conversations with her. Don’t teach her to push and shove her way through life, instead, teach her to walk with pride, head held high, treating others with kindness and respect that is deserved. I’m lucky that my kids, 9 and 11 , are respectful, yet they act out every now and then, but when they do, I see them looking at us to see if we will correct them, cause they know they acted inappropriately. Correct the behavior, immediately. Weather you talk it out or if you have to take away privileges. Heck I take my kids things away if they leave them lying around. I’m not their maid, and those are not my things. To leave them lying around on the floor, the couch, outside... wherever it may be... shows total disregard. So if you feel that way about things, you don’t need them. I’ve confiscated kindles, Barbie’s, books, stuffed animals, clothes, which all go into my closet, in what I call the “I found, you lost it” box. 9 out 10 times, they don’t even notice its missing, and forget they even have it. Including the kindles! Respect goes a long way through life in many different ways, shapes and forms. Learning to respect early establishes a good foundation in which to build your life upon. Give your child the best possible foundation.

  • Holly
    May 02, 2018

    I also have an 11 year old daughter. What works for us is to, yes, set expectations of respect and behavior, but most importantly, to notice and acknowledge what is great about her. Make sure you take the moments to enjoy her, too, quirks and all. At least with our girl, she needs to feel listened to and seen for her wonderful self. When we focus on this, the disrespectful behavior wanes. :) Best wishes!

  • Desiree
    May 09, 2018

    I shut it down immediately when she crosses the line. It will not be tolerated. Taking tv/YouTube time seems to work great. I do give a tiny bit of hormonal leeway when it’s around her time of the month. I let her know that even if she feels like she can’t control her anger it’s not an excuse to take it out on us.

  • Lauren
    Jul 06, 2018

    Can’t say how bummed I am to hear these habits will stick around until at least 11. Today my 5 year old said, to her uncle: “ha ha - you’re bald!”