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To Mothers of pre-teen girls?!?!?!?!?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone,

I usually don't post about anything other than cats/dogs...but, I am wondering how Moms of pre-teen girls survive or have survived through the experience.

My daughter, Alida, is 12. That right there is enough...lol. She is struggling with academics (mostly due to lack of effort). She is soooo emotional.

This weekend, she had a wonderful opportunity and basically sabotaged it. She has been wearing some inappropriate clothing to school (tank tops under sweaters, low-rise jeans) Her personal heros are Christina Agulaira (sp?) and Brittany Spears! She wants to be just like them. Look just like them. I am frustrated beyond belief. She says she doesn't have any "appropriate" clothes. For example, she likes to wear little tank tops and low-rider jeans (ugh), as do many of her friends. There are school policies in place that forbid tummies showing, etc. For good reason. She doesn't understand why that would be wrong, no matter how many times I try to explain it to her. She hasn't really hit puberty yet, although, she's getting there. She is also a little naive. She thinks her clothes are just fine. I try to buy her appropriate clothing...she thinks they are UGLY. THEY AREN'T! Her grandma and myself tried to take her out shopping on Saturday. This was basically a once in a blue moon opportunity for Alida. Her Grandma would have got her almost anything she wanted. NOTHING WAS GOOD ENOUGH! She picked out a few shirts and that was it. She had a bad attitude and said that she didn't want to waste grandma's and my money on things she didn't like. I was soooo upset with her. She needed jeans, sweaters...well, lots of things, and she couldn't find anything she liked. Granted, this is a small town without a lot of places to shop, but, she wasn't satisfied with anything!

She is upset that I am mad at her. She says...You don't understand me...You blame me... Would it have been better for me to pick out things to please you and Grandma, even if I hated them?!?!?...

She thinks that she has a bad life. That all her friends get everything they want...that they have all the cool clothes, that their families go on big vacations, etc. etc.

She is only 12, but, all she wants for her future is to be "rich and famous" like Christina and Brittany. Then she says..."if that can't happen, then, I guess I am just going to have a stupid life working at Burger King". She doesn't think she is smart (not true,but, she does lack effort), she seems to have a very poor self-esteem.

Her dad and I had a long talk with her last night, and that did seem to help, but, I just sense her being so sad...I am frustrated. She says she only has a few good friends and she doesn't fit in well with the other kids. She is shy and she hates that, too.

She is such a good kid, but, I don't know what to do.

Any ideas how to survive a pre-teen girl without losing my mind?!?!?!

Any advice is welcomed. Sometimes, I am beginning to think that I am not a good mom, or that I am not doing the things that would make her happy. I can't win. Scott and I try to do everything to help her, talk to her, everything...I don't know if we have any impact or not.

Signing off...
A Frustrated Mom...
Cindy W.
post #2 of 12
First let me express my condolences to you. I am a survivor of 2 teen aged girls and they were teens at the same time!

One thing that helped me was humor. When they are complaining or in a mood, find a way to turn it around to humor.

Listen to her. Calmly ask her what is bothering her and why her life is so bad and then sit back and listen without interrupting (that was hard for me to do!) Make sure this is done when you have time and are alone with her and there are no distractions. And do it often! Tell her about your struggles when you were a teen. Remember... you were there once too!

When you confront her refrain from starting any sentence with "you." For example, "You make me so mad. You disrupt the whole family. You break my heart." Always start with, "I feel _____ when you ______." This is less threatening and not accusing but addresses the point.

Be gentle but don't give in on important things such as your morals and values. If your values say she shouldn't wear mid-driffs and low riding jeans, then stand strong on that. (I'd be refusing to let my daughter dress like that too.)

Good luck dear. Believe me, it does get better although it takes time. Hang in there!

PS: One more thing. Watch for signs of depression. It sounds like she may have some signs. If you feel she is depressed, take her to a professional. Preferably another woman, where she'll be more comfortable and understood. One of my daughters ended up on anti-depressants for a short time and it made a 500% difference!
post #3 of 12
Hi Cindy.

I'm not sure if you would feel comfortable to me replying, But I'm 13 years old and a girl

I think your daughter needs to respect your wishes, and if you don't think those clothes are suitable, then they are the rules.We have to wear unforms at school so no problems there. I think a person such as a concellor(sp) or something would be good to talk to for her. I know it has helped me alot.I'm sorry you're going through this.If she's getting into trouble for these sorts of things, maybe after one bad punishment she will perhaps decide that maybe wearing these clothes isn't apporopriate. I know if I was wearing clothes like that to school, it would be for "my image" or trying to look cool. Why else really? It's not as if those clothes are comfortable.

Just My opinion.. Good Luck! and keep us posted!

Kind Regards,
post #4 of 12
Oh! and another thing.. I'm sorry but when my mum chooses clothes for me I never like them...
post #5 of 12
I understand exactly where you're coming from. My daughter, Rebecca, is 12 1/2 years old. She thinks that nobody loves her, no one likes her, and we blame her for everything. Not so. As for her clothes, we both pick them out. She has some of the low-riders but has to wear them with longer t-shirts. Nothing low cut is allowed. Rebecca is 36B almost C. So she wears sports bras. She dresses in the morning, and if it's not suitable, believe you me, I am hauling her back in the house to change clothes. I do it for her own good. I don't want the wrong image projected. I think deep down she knows why I do the things I do. The only thing that she does that drives me crazy is the boys that call. And they are so rude. Do parents not teach their kids phone manners anymore? Like someone else said, she does need to respect you and your wishes. You only do these things because you love her and are concerned for her.
I probably wasn't much help.
post #6 of 12
Yikes! My daughter is now 14. We have done a bit of the clothing battle, but mostly with her father, who somehow forgets that kids' fashion is ever-changing. He doesn't even want her to have bell bottoms! Anyway, my compromise is to give my daughter choice, but under my guidance. We shop at places like Old Navy, where the clothing is in style, but not too extreme. If my daughter makes choices that I consider inappropriate, I have the final veto....it's my wallet the money is coming out of. One thing I am very firm on is adhering to the dress code at school. There really isn't room to whine or complain about being mean. Rules are rules.
post #7 of 12
I don't have any kids myself, so perhaps I'm not the best person to answer. I just remember what a hellion I was around that age, and even though I was a horror for a few years, I got through all right. For me, laying down the law was the exact wrong thing to do. Talking, calmly, and my parents REALLY listening to what I had to say, and respecting my wishes too was the only way to go. It was good that they did trust my judgement up to a point, so I didn't feel like I couldn't do anything I wanted no matter what I said. Usually when I was absolutely forbidden to do something, I'd go and do just that- perhaps not at 12, but definitely at 13 and 14. Guess what I'm trying to say is pick your battles, and talk and make compromises. That's my idea of a good parent anyway, listening, protecting them and having faith in your kids.

PS I never liked the clothes my mom got for me at that age either...
post #8 of 12
I know when I was growing up the rules were strict. Curfew was at 9:00 p.m. no makeup, nylons, until we were 16. I have 2 sisters. My mother made all our clothes. I remember one time in high school being amazed she actually made us each a pair of hot pants!

You are the parent, and it is your rules that make the house have order and not chaos. You are protecting your daughter and after seeing the expose last night on Dateline about Brittany Spears I have to wonder why so many young girls want her as an idol?

I heard something the other day One mother was complaining about her child acting out, and her friend was listening sympathetically. The one lady who I guess had the perfect kid, said that her parenting comes from being her daughter's best friend. There was silence for a bit, and the one woman having problems said "My daughter has plenty of friends, but only one set of parents." I watch my stepdaughter and her husband parent as "best friends" and see disaster in the making. There has to be a compromise for you and your daughter, and perhaps she could enroll in some activity that will help boost her self-esteem?
post #9 of 12
Why don't you show her pictures of brit and christina from when they were 12 in the Mickey Mouse club when they TOTALLY did not dress bad.

It's hard for kids to understand right and wrong because so many parents let their children do whatever they want, and then they view you as the enemy, but that's how it's going to be for a while. But you know what, when she's out of the teen years she will thank you for caring. Trust me. I acted out as much as I could, pushed limits, and though my parents were understanding they stood firm about most things. Certain things you can give in a little bit for, but not anything that could be dangerous (like sexy clothes).

You need to encourage her to get involved with stuff. If she wants to be a britney or christina put her in dance class (if it's affordable for you). I think kids think that all brit and christina do is get up and look good, but it really is a ton of work. Plus the exercise is always good and it will also help promote a positive body image.

And it may seem like you are talking to a brick wall, and hardly anything may be getting through, but you have to keep saying it. They don't have the same experiences and wisdom and like knowledge to make proper decisions on their own, but she is getting to an age that she will be in situations where she will have to make decisions that could possibly change her whole life. You need to provide all the information possible to her, and try to guide her as best you can. Your roles are shifting, she is starting to view you as an obstacle instead of a loving helper and teacher. This is completely normal.

There are a lot of things to watch out for now, especially since she is shy. She may have a self esteem problem and that is very dangerous at this age. Watch out for her friends, boys, and for her feelings, all can be very destructive.

Why don't you take her out of your small town to a bigger city to shop for a day? You guys can hang out have lunch and try not to be negative. If she picks out something inappropriate, tell her no and see if you can find something similar but say not AS low cut or not showing the tummy, etc. Yes there will be problems but it's a shot.

Also, try relating to her. Tell her how you felt as a 12 year old and how you feel now. I always thought my mother was inhuman and made of steel, and then she started telling me about how she sometimes feels inadequate and has the same social and success fears that I share, and it made me view her as a person rather than a robot. Don't be afraid to be vulnerable in front of her, she might even think that she's the only one that has self doubts.. Kids that age don't really like to confide about such personal things, even older people don't. She could feel like she's the only one in the world having those feelings, and it may help to see that it's normal and she's not alone.

Of course I'm not a mom, so I may not know what I'm talking about! Good luck with her, just focus on getting to that light at the end of the tunnel!
post #10 of 12
You have gotten such good advice here, there isn't much I can add and since I don't actually have a pre-teen daughter I can't speak from experience, but I do have a toddler, (a girl) so I have all this to look forward to. I know having a 13 year old stepson is difficult enough although he is a very well behaved child, he is going through the whole hormone thing and is depressed alot. He went and got his ear peirced, which neither his father or I were very happy about...but his mother let him. He is having alot of "girl" troubles and is just finding it hard to fit in. I think it is much harder for kids these days then it was for us back in our day.

That's one of the things that makes me so mad about people like Britney Spears...she doesn't seem to know, or maybe just doesn't care, the impact she has on these young girls. Lately all she does is take more and more clothes off and kissing Madonna for shock value, etc...her largest fan base is 12-16 year old girls. I wish she would realize this and be a little better example to them.
post #11 of 12
I just wanted to offer my condolences. (((HUGS))) Teenage girls are not easy. My mom and I are polar opposites, personality-wise, and we had MANY struggles while I was growing up. Now that I'm older and in college, I realize that she was a very good mom, and always tried her best for me. She and I are now very good, close friends, and I realize in retrospect, that while our personalities are opposite, my values and morals are very close to hers. So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that while the next few years will be difficult, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

I think you got really good advice here, so I don't really have much to add to it. I would just say that everybody's problems seem serious to them, otherwise they wouldn't be considered problems. And while most kids' problems seem small to adults, compared with finding money for bills, etc., they aren't grown up yet, and so what they're going through is just as difficult for them as any "grown-up" problems are for us. So try to take her seriously and really try to listen to why she's upset. I also like the counselor idea, and it may even do you some good to go yourself, if for nothing else than a third party to vent to! Good luck! And if you ever need to talk, please feel free to PM me.

P.S. -- I'm sure you're a very good mom! Don't ever start worrying about that!!
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Been busy around here, and I haven't had a chance to get here much the past couple of days...

Just wanted to say Thank you for all the great advice. It's hard trying to be a good parent. You never know if you are doing it "right" or not.

Talking to Alida seems to have helped her quite a bit...maybe the key thing is to keep the communication open and keep her talking.

Gotta run again...busy around here lately!

Cindy W.
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