But today I went up to Marietta with a friend of mine. We go up to the farmers market and buy fresh milk from another friend of mine's mama-in-law.
On our 20 minute drive, my friend and I had such a nice conversation. Her name is Lori, she's a sweetheart. Anyhow, Lori has a daughter that's 10, and a younger son.
Our conversation kind of ran on to grumpy hubbies and kids. She has an anti social hubby, as do I. And so we were kinda comparing notes on how to deal with the antisocial lifestyle when you are the exact opposite.
But mainly, she was worrying over her little girl.
It seems her sweet little angelic baby girl has suddenly become mean. She is grumpy with her mama a lot. She back talks. She throws temper tantrums. She growls in a generally cranky attitude daily, and refuses to do things necessary to living comfortably with other people.
It seems as if there is nothing that will make her happy other than getting her own way, which is not exactly how a mother wants a child to be.
Children, being members of a small society called a family, are expected to "do their part" whenever they're able. This is called learning to live with your fellow man.
About the age of ten, I've noticed with my own children, is when they decide that they should be waited on hand and foot and be given every little thing their adorable little hearts desire.
This does not flow well with others in the same household who in turn may have to pick up someone else's dirty underwear or clean up someone else's nasty toothpaste splatter.
It's really hard to be the mom in this situation. Here you have this child. This little girl - who previously was your biggest helper. Who loved to come assist in the kitchen or at the washing machine, or who begged to fold towels.
And suddenly! And with no warning! You ask your sweet lil girl to go put away the dishes, just like you did yesterday and BOOM! She turns into this unutterably cranky mess that runs to her room and covers her head and won't put away a single dish!
So here you are, going about your other business and you walk into the kitchen and see the dishes haven't been done so you look for your daughter and find her reading a book in her bedroom and you ask her to Please go and put away the dishes and she yells at you "why can't someone else do them?! I did them yesterday!!!"
Well ok then, since you, as a fair minded mama, want to make sure the children have a variety of life skills, you say, "fine. I'll put away the dishes if you'll please go fold the towels I was going to fold" Will she do it? Yes, yes she will...since she knows you won't give her any peace until she does. But she will stomp up those stairs and she will fold those towels as quickly and sloppily as she can and she will leave them on the couch and she will not put them in the bathroom! (a mere ten to twelve steps away from the couch, mind you!) So there!!!
Yes, yes. The grumpy teen has arrived.
It is difficult to know what to do with them, to say the least.
Arguments will follow. You can do your best to avoid the clash of wills, but other than doing everything for your kids, in the exact way they wish it, there is no way to avoid the battles. They will happen.
So what I've found to be the best way to deal with the grumpy teenage girl is to Choose Your Battles.
This is embarrassing to say, but it's true, at least for me. I happen to still be a grumpy teen myself about once a month. Ha. Therefore. I decided long ago that when I am on my period, housework was optional for everyone. It's just so much easier that way. Because chances are, the teens were also on their periods around the same time. That was one battle I chose not to have. Cuz the hormones will win everytime. And they fight mean.
So, to be fair, if a teen girl in this house begins acting this way, the first thing I do is ask if they're "raggin it" (I actually do use this term. I feel that it makes us all a bit more grateful since we don't have to actually wash nasty rags every month! Truly!) If the unfortunate girl is having to deal with that, we all try to help them out a bit and they get a little break.
I do usually have a heart to heart with a girl who is being un-live-with-able. Because they know they're being this way. And they feel bad about it. It's just that they can't seem to help themselves.
If we talk about it, it helps. Because they don't need you to lash out at them. They're getting that from the hormones.
Anyhow. I had this topic of unreasonably cranky teenage girls on my mind and thought I would put it out there so other mamas might not feel like a horrible parent when they end up in yet another contentious battle with their previously sweet and obliging daughter. :)