Email a reader I am sharing here w her permission:
One of the things I would recommend for mothers of girls (preteen or older) is a book by Lisa Damour called "Untangled". It talks about the 7 transitions girls go through on their way to adulthood. It's been a great resource for me that I keep going back to when I am lost as to how to parent a particular situation. She also has a podcast called "Ask Lisa: The psychology of parenting" that's got some great advice as well.
I suuuccckkked at the tween/teen years as a parent. I now have a granddaughter I spend a lot of time with and vow to do better with her. Being a soft place to land is very important to me. My kids are adults and we are very close. Keep on keeping on. It gets better.
I had to laugh at the Amelia Bedilia line, as my son used to do that. We called it 'word games', as in "we are not playing word games about this".
It gets better, etc.
Thank you for this! My oldest two are eight and eleven so we are just rounding the corner to these years but I can already see the obstacles (and joys!) ahead. Of course, most of all, it helps to know we’re not alone and many have walked this path before us and lived to tell the tale.
This: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_Witch (for girls) and Percy Jackson (for all genders). Carson McCullers "The Member of the Wedding" and "Wunderkind", "To Kill a Mockingbird" and the sequel-the-name-of-which escapes-me (all genders).
Shout out toJenny Rosenstrach at "Dinner a Love Story", who used to do yearly round-ups of YA fiction.
I loved the piece of advice about providing them with lots of teen-centric fiction. Our kid often groans at the coming-of-age novels I recommend because they are SO OLD (there are no cell phones). Anyone have recs for great and au courant teen fiction series? Our oldest loved/loves all of the trashy/weepy John Green, but I don’t think the 12 year old is quite ready for that--though maybe I’m wrong!
I have a 12-year-old whose moods can escalate very quickly, which leads to some language that I used to think I should not tolerate. But if I engage, things get worse and my kid does NOT respond if I threaten punishments of any sort. I had to learn to walk away. If I do, she immediately calms down and apologizes within minutes. The image that helps me is of a kinking, spitting firehose. I'm just going to keep my distance until it settles down.