Tweens are no bottle of wine!

We are approaching an ambiguous period of childhood where innocence is fleeting and attitude is sprouting right up. Many times when I blog, I reflect on the abundance of blessings my sweet, little children bring me. The good times do always outweigh the bad. But, as of July, I’m beginning to wonder if the body odor is also bringing more than just deodorant! Unlike wine, these tweens aren’t getting better with age!

Lately, we have been experiencing some tween-behaviors.

  • moodiness

  • whining, complaining, and overall discontentment

  • talking back

  • getting irritated by normal, daily expectations, from showering to do a grand total of 2 chores

  • some huffing and puffing

  • refusal to take a picture smiling, or even be in a photo

  • activities and outings they used to enjoy aren’t fun anymore if they aren’t with friends

  • and even, “I have my first pimple”!

Is anyone else dealing with this? Life may have not been easier but it sure was simpler when I sent them to the bottom of the stairs for time-out and they hated being without us.

We are getting to a point that if friends aren’t in the picture, be it here at our house or even what I would deem a fun outing, they just aren’t going to have fun. Not yet, I’m thinking. I’m not ready for this….We are still fun and cool. Why can’t you be more appreciative? The influence of their peers on their moods is just annoying…. yet, I can recall doing the same thing. Just because it’s developmentally appropriate doesn’t make it easy.

*(Notice Brody’s face below: not happy and never wanted to do this in the first place! And, in the second photo, they are both walking back to the trail to go because “it’s too hot” and they won’t pose with the beautiful 17 acres of sunflowers! Urgh!)

It seems like we are just on the cusp of change. Middle school is right around the corner. And while I do want them to be independent, it would be nice if there was just more time. I knew I wanted to freeze them a couple years ago. I was aware that periods of ease and happiness couldn’t last. Yet, recently, I find myself readjusting as they also shift into an older type of kid, and I’m having growing pains too.

What are we to do? Well, we can commiserate. That seems to make our kids seem less annoying to know that there are others out there doing the same things! Then, we review family expectations. I recently reminded my lovely angels that following first request isn’t a wish; it’s an expectation. Sadly, we often move on to consequences (which means more chores, and/or loss of electronics in our house).

We also have to speak to our kids when they are happy and calm, asking them what’s going on and what we should do differently. Just yesterday morning, Brody left for soccer in a foul mood only to arrive back home 2 hours later in a great mood. I asked him what changed within the past 2 hours and he said he guessed he just needed time to wake up. (We will wake up earlier next time then!) Speaking of, we really have to make sure they are getting enough rest. Proper sleep and downtime makes a huge difference to Brody, especially. An oddly enough, I still have to make sure to feed my children regularly with decent foods or they crash. They are yet to regulate this on their own.

Lastly, and most importantly, I remind myself that we are constantly changing. They are growing and that means I too am changing as a parent. Just like when they were babies, we have good days and bad days. We have outstanding moments and times we’d just like to fast forward. But, for now, I’ll just pour a glass of wine and accept that these moods and friends aren’t going away anytime soon!



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