My youngest daughter is 12 years old. She’s talented and wonderful and lovely in many ways, and right now she is often angry. I talk to other parents about their pre-teens and they often comment that they feel the tweenie stage starts at 8 or so years old. She’s the youngest of 5 girls, whose changes I have observed…I know what’s coming and so this was our conversation:
Why does everyone keep telling me I’m so angry all the time? I’M NOT ANGRY!!! (said as a yell)
I sit down on her bed, wrap my arms around her and pull her close to me. Her head rests on my lap.
You see, darling, it’s because you are angry. Every time you answer a question, you sound angry. Whenever I ask you to do something, you look angry. Your hormones are raging around your body. You are at a difficult and at times horrible, angry age. You may not realise how very angry you sound, because those nasty hormones make you think that it is everyone else who is having a go and getting at you, but we’re not. We are just being us and you are just being you and in a few months time that ‘you’ will be a slightly calmer person. You will be a teenager. You will still be horrible and angry, but slightly less so. You will still think that everyone else is unfairly having a go, but you will gradually begin to see it from our point of view too. Then, not too long after this you will occasionally be pleasant. Just often enough that I see glimpses of how things might be one day, when we might go for a coffee and chat.
Until this time sweetheart, we will take deep breaths and we will tolerate your anger. We will sometimes shout back at you, but this will not make us feel too good. We will love you with every bone in our bodies and we know that this time will, as it has done before, pass.