Friday, August 18, 2017

The Terrible [early] Teens? Eeeek!

Parents, listen up. I have a confession of sorts to tell you. It's like a little secret that isn't widely discussed much, but maybe it should be. Kids between the ages of 12-15 are generally butts. There. I said it.

Now, let me back it up, and explain it. When my first child was around 13 and in middle school I was talking to another mom about her behavior. This mom had 3 kids all older than mine. She told me that no one likes their child while they're in middle school, but after that awkward growth spurt those same little jerks turn into great people. She talked of how her, and her daughter were best friends now, but she couldn't stand her during that time. At the time, I thought that was a harsh thing to say. Now that my last one is about to turn 14, I can tell you, it's so true. Autism, or not, verbal or not, it makes no difference. The hormones get to them all, and change them into moody messes that want to do everything on their own, but also want to jump in bed with you still when there's a thunderstorm. They don't know HOW to feel. Their hormones are out of control, and they feel that way, too. It reminds me a lot of the terrible twos. It will likely wear you out, and use more patience than you knew you even had. You'll get through it, though. I promise that one day they'll return back to a nicer, calmer, more mature kid. Most of all, know that it's not anything that you did. They all act up around this time, It's developmentally normal. It's not about a failure on your part to guide them correctly. I know I certainly felt that way the first time around, and a little the second time, too. This time, I KNOW it's not personal.

I think the best we can do is dig down deep to find empathy for what it's like to be them, yet be certain to set firm boundaries that aren't too harsh, but not too lax, either. It's not easy. Every kid is different. We have to parent them on an individual basis for what that child needs at that time, which makes it so much more challenging, because there isn't any set rules. There can't be.

So, if you're having a hard day, or week, even.... know that all of the parents with kids your age are likely feeling the same. Also, maybe give the middle school staff some extra kudos for dealing with them all day in and day out! Their job is not easy!


  1. Think you so much for that reminder, I needed it! DD is 13 and I know it's really hard on her but some days I have to remind myself that I love her unconditionally. Here is to digging deep for empathy and getting through it! Thank you for your post xx

  2. Thank you for reading it. You're not alone, but I promise you it gets better! Hang in there!


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