Tweendom Land: Parents, Here's How to Survive & Thrive the Preteen Years! by Janine Owens
My oldest is a tween. A girl, no less. When she was younger, she used to come home, eager to spill the beans on her day. She was happy to help around the house and hadn't yet mastered the eye roll (not very well, anyway). But then 10 hit. And it hit hard. Suddenly, my happy-go-lucky, motivated little girl had become a moody, unapproachable hothead. Ask her to the do the dishes? You get an exaggerated sigh. Pick up her laundry off the floor? A grunt. Play with her younger siblings? Major eye-rollage.
The old saying that my mom always used to tell me, "Little kids, little problems; big kids, big problems," finally made sense. The drama, the friendships, the pressure of school testing, the hormones; everything hit her and me at the same time. We had to recreate our relationship to reflect our new normal.
We're not quite yet there and I know the teenage years are coming, but talk to your kids. Keep talking. Keep asking them questions. Keep setting expectations. Keep after them on what's going on in their lives. They may not always answer, but deep down, they are always listening. One day, the grunts and sighs and eye rolls will turn into understanding. Hang in there.