My Preteen's Driving Me Crazy: What Should I Do? - FamilyEducation

My Preteen's Driving Me Crazy: What Should I Do?

There may be a developmental reason for what you view as laziness or hostility in your preteen. Find out where your child is really coming from. Take this quiz!

Quiz

There may be a developmental reason for what you view as laziness or hostility in your preteen. Find out where your child is really coming from. Take this quiz!

1. My daughter would sleep all day if I let her. What should I do about it?

  • Wake her up! She's being lazy.
  • Let her dream on; it's not abnormal for kids to need lots of sleep at this age.
  • Bring her to the doctor. There may be something wrong.

2. My sixth-grade son used to be an excellent student. Now that he's in middle school, he won't even glance at his homework. What should I do?

  • Be patient. He'll outgrow it.
  • Take charge! Hold him accountable, and determine (with him) a good time to study.
  • Threaten him: "Wait 'til your father gets home!"

3. When my daughter leaves for school, I tell her she looks great. But she tells me everything's wrong with her from head to toe. What should I do?

  • Stop complimenting her. Your opinion doesn't matter.
  • Keep complimenting her: She needs to hear positive comments.
  • Argue the point: Convince her she looks great.

4. My son always "did his own thing," but now he won't do anything unless everybody else is doing it. What should I do?

  • Don't worry. He can look like everyone else and still be his own person.
  • Worry, scream, then throw up your hands in despair. Welcome to pre-adolescence.

5. Dyed hair, tattoos, body piercing -- you name it; my child wants it. Should I give in?

  • Yes, it's not worth the argument.
  • Yes, but use it as leverage for something you want.
  • No, you need to set limits for what's acceptable in your family.

6. It seems as though the phone is permanently attached to my child's ear. How much is too much?

  • a. No limit is necessary. How else do you expect her to find out what's happening at school?
  • Leave the phone rules up to your child.
  • Balance is the key. Some phone time is important, but you can set a limit.

1. My daughter would sleep all day if I let her. What should I do about it?
Let her dream on; it's not abnormal for kids to need lots of sleep at this age.

2. My sixth-grade son used to be an excellent student. Now that he's in middle school, he won't even glance at his homework. What should I do?
Take charge! Hold him accountable, and determine (with him) a good time to study.

3. When my daughter leaves for school, I tell her she looks great. But she tells me everything's wrong with her from head to toe. What should I do?
Keep complimenting her: She needs to hear positive comments.

4. My son always "did his own thing," but now he won't do anything unless everybody else is doing it. What should I do?
Don't worry. He can look like everyone else and still be his own person.

5. Dyed hair, tattoos, body piercing -- you name it; my child wants it. Should I give in?
No, you need to set limits for what's acceptable in your family.

6. It seems as though the phone is permanently attached to my child's ear. How much is too much?
Balance is the key. Some phone time is important, but you can set a limit.

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