Five Ways to Not Lose It When Talking to Your Tween

I find myself increasingly raging (in my head) at my tween daughter. I may have even let slip a curse word in her direction, completely out of earshot, but still, I felt guilty. I do not want to get in the habit of cursing when my daughter treats me like, well…you know, crap.

Here’s what I do when my daughter pushes me to my limits. (Twenty20 @@lina_tol)

My tween’s backtalk started a while ago

She started backtalking more than a few years ago. It seems she entered tween-hood at an accelerated pace. Always complaining, giving me nasty looks and acting like an entitled little—you get the idea.

So, if you’ve been finding yourself on the receiving end of phrases like: Whatever, or I’ll do whatever I want or You are so mean, in fact you’re the meanest mom in the world (when you ask her to pick up her room enough so there’s at least a path through) or you’ve gotten the eye rolls and heavy sighs and harrumphs that make you want to swing a cat around your head by its tail while fire shoots out of your eyes, here’s what to do instead.

Five ways to keep it together around your tween

1. Give her a dose of her own medicine.

Roll your eyes, heave-ho your deepest sighs and say in a truly whiny voice, “Oh my gawd, you are…like…so frustrating!”

Disclaimer: This does not actually work.

2. As quickly as possible, find another adult (not one of her siblings) to complain to.

Without using any bad words, fully express how frustrating it is to be spoken to by the fruit of your womb as if you are the devil himself.

Please see above disclaimer.

3. Express your feelings creatively.

Color, paint, dance or whatever strikes your creative fancy to expel the crazies inside of you into art instead of resorting to name-calling.

Bonus: This one can actually work if you can find your outlet immediately and you stop your simmering sauciness from blowing before reaching your appointed artist’s garret.

4. Use a self-calming technique.

These relaxing and restoring ancient methods are super helpful for releasing the stress that causes rude monikers to arise in your consciousness. Activities like yoga, meditation or Tai Chi should be practiced on a regular basis so that you will not even feel the urge to lash out at all.

When your tween blatantly demeans you in front of her friends, you will smile and say “Oommm.”

Seriously. It’s true. I’ve done it and it works (in my dreams).

5. Become a better person.

Clearly, this is an option not meant for wusses. In fact, it is my preferred method of self-control. You simply become a better person who would never even be tempted to utter a negative adjective toward anyone.

True. It isn’t easy. Or simple. Or fun. It’s a butt load of work (but it also might help you become the kind of person who wouldn’t say butt load).

Clearly, I am not an expert yet. But I hope that as my tween becomes a teen, I will have mastered at least one of these methods. Or if all else fails, I will simply practice some baby goat yoga and everything will be yogically (is that even a word?) delicious.

More to Read:

Pediatrician Says Bullying Prevention Starts at Home

About Sheila Hageman

Sheila Hageman is a women’s issues and lifestyle writer, a teacher and an author. Sheila’s freelance work has appeared in Salon, Yahoo, Your Tango, Mom Babble and others. Her memoir, Stripping Down is a meditation on womanhood and body image and her novel, Beautiful Something Else, is a contemporary romance with smarts and humor. To learn more about Sheila, please visit her on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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