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Ask the Expert: How to Navigate the Tween Years

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Has your sweet child turned moody and defiant almost overnight?  Wondering what's going on - and more importantly, how to handle it?

We've got help!

Julie Ross, M.A., Executive Director of Parenting Horizons and author of How to Hug a Porcupine: Negotiating the Prickly Points of the Tween Years will be here all next week to answer YOUR questions about tween behavior, and how to cope!

Ask Julie your questions today and you could win a copy of her book!  2 moms will win.

Thank you for joining us, Julie!


The Official Rules
To enter the this contest, reply to this post. Click on the 'reply to post' button at the top (or bottom) of that post. When the text box opens, add your reply. Once you've added your reply, click on the "Add Reply' button.

  • Posts must be made between Thursday, January 5 at 1 pm EST and Sunday, January 15 at 11:59 pm EST.  
  • This contest will end on Sunday, January 15 at 11:59 pm EST. 
  • Two winners will be selected randomly.
  • The winners will be posted on this thread and will be notified via CafeMom PM.
  • Multiple replies are allowed and will increase  your chances of winning.
  • Prizes are only available to members who live in the US or Canada (excluding Quebec).
  • Two winners will receive a copy of "How to Hug a Porcupine"  
by on Jan. 5, 2012 at 1:01 PM
Replies (41-50):
by on Jan. 6, 2012 at 8:53 AM

Too funny - just last night I was experiencing a porcupine child (in fact I compared his whining fit to the behavior of our 6 month old puppy) - and wondered where to post about it!!!

I have a friend who once offered to take my child(ren) when they hit 13 - I emailed her and told it was time!!!!!!!!!!

I've worked with kids of all ages for 26 years - I can't believe the things I do with everyone else's kids don't work on mine!

The spoiled, entitled, whining really bothers me the most - especially because we have not brought our child up to be like that.

by on Jan. 6, 2012 at 9:08 AM
It is so good to know that I am not the only one who has experienced this your humor!
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by on Jan. 6, 2012 at 9:09 AM

How do you instill in my dd to pick nicer friends when she wants to hang around the ones that are 'characters' and are already showing 'bad character' at such an early age?  We try as much as we can to keep her away from parties/get togethers in this group but we can't follow her around in school, stop her from after school activities, sports, etc. What do you do when you see your child is going down the wrong path?

by on Jan. 6, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Oh how good it makes me feel to read these replies!  My 11 yr old son is a difficult personality anyway on top of being adopted and being a tween, the issues just flow on and on.  Our neighbors on either side are just academically superb and don't seem to have all the issues we have and I get so tired of feeling the comparisons, which I know I shouldn't but so good to read of others having issues too.  I am not alone!  Whooo Hoooo!

by on Jan. 6, 2012 at 9:23 AM
I was a teen mom how do I help my daughter not be the same without saying it was a mistake to have a baby. It was but I love her and wouldn't change it. It was just really hard to be a mom at 17 still in HS.
by on Jan. 6, 2012 at 9:26 AM

How do I stop they neverending whining??  Anytime he talks it sounds so whiny.  He's very moody at times as well.  Sometimes I feel like I have to walk on egg shells with him just so I don't have to listen to the bad moods he has.  He shuts down anytime I try to talk to him and won't tell me what he's thinking??  Do you have any pointers??  I could sure use them!!

by on Jan. 6, 2012 at 9:38 AM

 what is the best way to handle the random tears?

by on Jan. 6, 2012 at 10:54 AM

 What are some good discipline techniques for the tween years?

by on Jan. 6, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Quoting Janet:

 When does the tween years generally begin?

The Tween years can begin any time between the ages of 9 and 14.  Girls have a tendency to enter the tween years earlier than boys.  Generally, your child will begin to experience the mood swings that come immediately before his or her body begins to develop -- those mood swings herald the beginning of the tween years! 

by on Jan. 6, 2012 at 11:17 AM
1 mom liked this

Quoting Jillysmom:

what is the best way to deal with the screaming?

Underreact.  Tweens scream when they feel that their developmental needs for independence and differentiation (being different from you) are not being met.  This is not necessarily due to anything that you've done!  Tweens interpret many of our casual remarks (like "Have you brushed your teeth yet") as if we've just insulted them, which makes them angry and triggers the screaming.  If you underreact you will avoid adding fuel to the fire.  The best thing to say is, "This isn't good for our relationship: I'm taking a time out," and walk away until the tantrum has finished.  At that point you can come back and calmly discuss the circumstances surrounding the outburst.

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