My eldest child — a son — is (almost) eleven and we’ve sure noticed a change in him now that the hormones have started kicking in. He’s still my sweet, compliant boy most of the time, but not all of the time. He’ll throw out an attitude or tear up about something inconsequential (in my eyes) and I can see the internal battle through his eyes.
We’re in uncharted waters, here, and we’re all trying to figure out how to navigate them. There are a few things that have worked, so far.
1. Ask them what is going on. The first answer in usually “I DON’T KNOW!” Then I’ll try again, reminding him that I love him and want to help him sort out what made him lash out. It usually ends with him either telling me the background or telling me simply, “I don’t know, Mom.”
2. Tell them your own stories. Becoming a tween or a teenager is a whole new world. I share my own stories from that stage — everything from funny stories to awkward moments and it makes him feel like what he’s going through is “normal”, or as normal as it can be. He will now ask me questions when certain situations come up to see if something similar happened when I was his age.
3. Keep your sense of humor. We have an open line of communication, always, and it has come in handy. This past weekend we were at our family cabin on the ski hill and my preteen was moody about it. We teased him about his “rough life” and made some jokes and soon he was laughing. In between moody moments.
Do you have a preteen or teenager with raging hormones? How do you diffuse the time bomb?
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