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Parenting tween girls

Posted by on Oct. 8, 2013 at 9:56 AM
  • 9 Replies

I am having some issues.

I have a 10.5 year old girl. She is a rollercoaster of emotions. She has not started periods yet, thank God, and at her yearly checkup a few months ago her pediatrician said she didn't think it would be this year as there are things that "aren't happening yet." But she is a mess emotionally. She can be perfectly sweet and even-tempered and ten minutes later either screaming at someone or bawling her eyes out.

This morning, she was fine. DH got up early and took her running (we try to exercise her every day because she gets so anxious, this seems to help). Then we had breakfast - she was fine. Then we were about to leave for her piano lesson and she went in the bathroom and was sobbing LOUDLY. I asked what was wrong and she said that she needed to go to the bathroom but couldn't go. This went on for awhile, so I had to cancel the piano lesson because we would be too late. That set her off crying even more. 

She goes pee a lot, but not like with pain or urgency. It's just anxiety that if she doesn't go now, she'll have to go later and may not be able to find one right away (every time we are about to leave the house she goes). It's all nervousness. She has a great life - her parents are happily married, we take very good care of her, she has a few very close friends, all her physical needs are met, she's in various activities - yet she is riddled with anxiety and worry. Her dad is much better than I am about being patient and calm about it (I have a lot of anxiety so I think it upsets me to see I've passed on those genes), and stays up with her almost an hour every night just talking about things that worry or upset her. 

Ugh. Any great books on parenting tween girls? Or suggestions? She's always been a nervous child, I think with the hormones starting now, it's just making it a lot worse.

by on Oct. 8, 2013 at 9:56 AM
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by Platinum Member on Oct. 8, 2013 at 10:33 AM

I don't know of any books but I can sympathize with having a tween girl. I would work on the bathroom thing. Once something starts affecting life it is past the point of general anxiety. Sounds like she needs some real coping mechanisms. I say this as someone who has an anxiety disorder that gets so bad that I develop actual phobias from the anxiety. 8( I wish my mom had stepped up when I was younger.

by on Oct. 8, 2013 at 11:14 AM

 hahaha sounds like my second dd!! i dont know of any books, what we did we just kept the communication open, always talking to her, answering her questions, praying with her, always there for her, talking her through stuff,  trying not to get upset with her(triggers it worse!), being patient, just being calm when shes not. thats what we did and she made it all the way through those years, now shes a happy married pregnant women! yes she still gets nervious and stuff, but she knows how to handle it more and she calls me  to talk. the man she married is very calm and patient guy, the lord knew what she needed!

by on Oct. 8, 2013 at 12:35 PM

 I have my own tween DD 10y/o that is having her own issues & it is driving everyone in our house batty!

Mine dose the bathroom trips 3-4 times an hour at night. She is highly emotional & takes everything we say or do personally. She also is not sleeping well at night, she wakes up more times a night now then she ever did as a baby. We are all sleep deprived because when she gets up it is so loud it wakes everyone in the house atleast once a night.

I guess what I am saying is I am in a similar boat as you & all I can do is sympathies because I am still stumbling around trying to figure my DD out!

by on Oct. 8, 2013 at 2:33 PM
I don't have much advice, but I also can sympathize! I have a 10.5 yo dd, she is an emotional mess 90% of the time. Everything is sooo filled with drama, it drives me crazy. I've had a lot of drama in my life and we are finally past all of it, and then she starts with it! I don't know how to help her most of the time.

Autymsmommy has the best advice for parenting tween girls, but it's not always easy to follow. Hopefully she'll chime in to help all of us out ;)
by on Oct. 8, 2013 at 2:39 PM

My dd is the same age and has had periods for about 6 months now. I think most of your dd's issues have nothing to do with puberty and more to do with anxiety. I would take her back to the doctor. She and her family (you) should not have to deal with this. Poor girl, I really feel for her. This is not anyone's fault, but she needs some help.

by on Oct. 8, 2013 at 2:54 PM

I would talk with her about her hormones.   Justify how she is FEELING, but talk to her about how we might be FEELING out of control, but our feelings are tricky and sometimes they are wrong.   Talk her through how she's feeling.

"Ok, honey, you are concerned about not being able to pee.   What are you afraid of?   You might have to pee and not find a bathroom?  Ok, well there are bathrooms here and here where we are going, and there are ones here and here in between.   Go get your shoes and jacket on and try again in a minute.   Remember your feelings are real, but not always right... calm down.   We can always take an extra pair of pants if they help you feel better having them, but don't let your worry and feelings stop you from such and such..."

I don't know if drawing it out like that is helpful, but maybe coach her this way a few times.   In the bible it uses the phrase "take every thought captive."   I'm not trying to push religion on you, but when my tween is panicy, we discuss this... we picture her taking her thoughts and feelings that are plaguing her and putting them in a box so she can control them instead of them controlling her.

Sometimes, though, I just tell her.. "hey, we don't have much time to deal with all this right now, are you in control of your thoughts or are they controlling you?"   

by on Oct. 8, 2013 at 2:56 PM

oh, and my almost 12 yr old got REALLY bad around 9 1/2.   She started her period shortly after turning 11 this year.   So about 18-24 months before starting things got "moody."

by on Oct. 8, 2013 at 6:00 PM

Hang on this to shall pass. My DD went through the same thing without so much anxiety. She started her period at 11. I would maybe take her to a therapist to help her talk through her issues or maybe family therapy to help you and her talk through them. HAng on. enjoy the ride it will get a few years.

by on Oct. 9, 2013 at 7:36 AM

I have a slightly different opinion. Yes tween girls are emotional basket cases. But this sounds like something very different. 

It sounds like she is manifesting bipolar behaviours that are being exaggerated by changing hormone levels. 

It's just going to get worse until you get the bipolar under control. 

Then you'll get a normal amount of teenage angst! 

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