My preteen daughter and I are not getting along these days. Here is a typical snippet of conversation between us:
Her: I don’t want to be mad.(pause)
Me: You have a choice.
Her: I was just going to apologize, but you didn’t give me a chance. Now I won’t! (slams car door)
The world of tweens is fraught with anxiety. How they look, what they say, where they stand in the social arena (a brutal place that could give the Hunger Games a run for their money) – all conspire to make my adorable daughter angry and mean.
Preteens are caught in between childhood and adolescence. Some days my daughter is just a kid, happy and playful, practicing cartwheels and building forts in the snow. The next moment, it seems, she is a snarling, nasty critic, and every bad thing that befalls her is somehow my fault.
I should be used to this by now. She is my fourth and youngest child. But I am taken aback by the changes that seemed to have sprung up overnight.
I am thinking of rewriting the beginning lines of the famous serenity prayer:
God grant me the serenity to accept the tantrums I cannot change,
The courage to take away her privileges
And the wisdom to keep my mouth shut.