Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Works For Me Wednesday - Backwards Edition!!

Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer, the lovely host of Works For Me Wednesday, had the TERRIFIC idea of throwing a Backwards Day, wherein we bloggers throw out our biggest challenge and allow people to offer their advice on solving them. This could be anything from child discipline to Sharpie marks on the coffee table. I think it's a great idea and I could really use some help with my issue, so I'm hoping each and every one of you will give me your ideas. At this point I'm open to everything. Well, ALMOST everything!

Ok...Here's my dilemma that I have REALLY been struggling with: My 12 year old daughter has become one great, big bundle of irrational, unpredictable emotions. I know that this is normal, that it's all part of growing up, that the hormones are raging. I know that.

But that intellectual knowledge doesn't help when she's crying in the grocery store because she doesn't know which bag of peanuts to buy!

So, I'm looking for ideas that can help in the following ways:
  • Ways to help her learn to control her emotions, regardless of what she is actually feeling
  • Ways that might help that may be nutritional, holistic, or any other way that can counteract the effect of this tsunami of hormones

As I said, I'm willing to consider anything, save selling her to the circus. I will be forever in debt to anyone who can point me in the right direction!

Thank you in advance!!

11 comments:

The Fritz Facts said...

Have you tried a journal she can keep with her? Sometimes getting ideas out that she is feeling helps. You can let her know that she doesn't have to share with you, but you will be willing to help if she wants too. It worked when I was her age, and saved my relationship with my parents.
Good luck!

Chrystal said...

OK...I've gone through it with one and I'm on my way through it again :)

I got this idea from a mother of seven. Every evening go to her room and just sit. Let her talk. Listen. Let her know by your presence that you love her as is. You'll be surprised at how that will diffuse the "blow-ups" b/c she gets a regular time time to "exhale".

Also, I used to send my daughter to her room if she lost controls of her emotions. Not to punish her but to communicate that I would not talk to her if she was erupting and also being disrespectful. I would tell her to come back and talk when she could be more "level".

For emotional outbursts that weren't disrespectful, I would just show small signs of love - touching her back to let her know I was there to support her, hugging her, etc...

Hope that helps!

Kathy in WA said...

One on one time - pick something both you and she enjoy doing and try to find time to get to it. My dd loves to shop. She's always a fun companion on errands.

Talk about ways to deal with emotions and hormones BEFORE an intense situation arises. Give her some verses that deal with God's peace and love and help her practice meditating on them.

Let her cry. Hug her. Love her. Try to remember what it's like to be a teenager. :)

Duckabush Blog

Anonymous said...

I recently ran across an American Girl series book on how to deal with your emotions. It's written right at the 11 yrs to 15 yrs level so it might be something your daughter would appreciate since she may be under the teenage assumption that you know nothing about what she's feeling.

I'm not a mother of teenagers yet, but I have a little girl so I know my day is coming. I did work with junior high girls (they are seriously my favorite age!!) at our church for five years before moving and so maybe there is someone like that at your church - a young, Godly woman who can help point her not just to God, but also back to you, kind of an adopted big sister. I was always talking to these girls about all this emotion stuff, but always talking to them about how important YOU were to them and how much you really did understand. I still have a great relationship with a lot of those girls and their moms!

Amy said...

PLUS from www.mannatech.com has helped me tremendously with my hormonal feelings. My friend uses it with her pre-teen daughter and says there is a huge difference. Since her daughter can't swallow pills she chews the pill up with a Mannabear in her mouth at the same time. I love it and can't imagine being without it.

kathryn eli said...

I thought I would come visit when I saw your summary. I'm only 20, so to offer the perspective of a girl who went through all of that up to 5 years ago, the thing that helped me the most was knowing that my mom loved me. I had two older brothers who would torture me when I started getting emotional which obviously made the problem worse, so stopping any teasing by siblings or anyone will help. Giving me time to cool down & get my emotional act together also worked.

She needs to know that you don't think less of her or look down on her for it. One day my mom & I were talking & looking back on those days of emotional craziness & we couldn't pinpoint when, but eventually I just grew out of it.

Good luck!

Stephanie @ ATime4Everything.com said...

I went through this with my daughter and I have one on the way. I agree that reassurance and letting her know you love her is the best thing to do. I also have found that keeping track of her cycles myslef so I can know when to expect the emotions was helpful, if you are at that stage yet. I have also spoke with my daughter about why this is happening also so she can try to control them herself. I also will pray with my girls about this and have them learn to rely on Christ to help them through it. Hormones are something we all need to deal with, and we will do ourselves well if we can get it under control while we are young so our poor husbands don't have to go through it with us!

I am also sensitive during this time and will be extra careful of my words, and also a little lenient on allowing her to sleep in, nap or even relieve some of her chores for her.

Mom2fur said...

I like Fritz Facts' idea of a journal. I kept one while my son was in the hospital after a car accident about 15 years ago...and it sure helped me release a lot of emotions.
If incidents as strong as the peanut-dilemma are happening too frequently, please take her to the doctor just to have things checked out. It may very well be something in her diet, or the need for extra vitamins. Just a precaution!
Take your daughter out to lunch at a favorite restaurant, and let her rule the conversation. You might be surprised what she tells you when it's just 'us girls.'
And trust me...one day she'll be a wonderful young woman and all this will be in the past. Really, I promise! (I have a 22 year old daughter.)
PS--she has a right to her emotions and feelings, of course. She doesn't have the right to be disrespectful. But you should also make sure there isn't undue pressure on her...whether at home or in school. And help her work on "Tone of Voice." That's what I used to tell my kids: "it isn't what you say, it's the snotty way you say it. Please talk nicely to me!" Sometimes, kids get so emotional they have no idea what they sound like. They don't mean to be mean!
Good luck, and hang in there!

Amy said...

Try B vitamins - a good blend of all of them. They help me with my PMS (or at least they did - I've been pregnant or breastfeeding for eons, and have only had 3 periods since October of 2004! Ha!).

Amy @ http://prettybabies.blogspot.com

Dutchnic said...

As a middle school teacher I would say:
a) give her a journal for herself
b) if she feels you don't listen to her, or: "you just don't understand and you never hear me out!" give her a back-and-forth-journal. Every time she feels you didn't listen to her, she can write it down and hand you the journal. You can read her explanation and either talk to her, or write something back. This can be a nice addition to normal communication.
c) does she do a sport? Try letting her take some aerobics, dance or self defense classes so she learns a physical way of expressing herself.

Shama-Lama Mama said...

You know what would have helped me as a teen? Try this...

During an unemotional time, sit down with her and really explain what she is going through. Explain that its not just part of growing up, but that when people go through growth spurts, small babies, pregnant women, etc, they have these hormone rushes and they make everything seem so much bigger and important than they really are. Tell her that that does NOT mean that her feelings aren't valid... they are just super-heightened.

Puberty hormones are just like pregnancy and infancy, just the one that takes the longest to get through.

Tell her some of your experiences with emotion when you were a teen or when you were pregnant.

It may not stop the episodes from happening but it might help her understand what she is going through. I remember thinking that I was becoming a young adult, and if feeling this emotional was what being an adult was like, I didn't want to grow up. I did not understand that there was another end of the tunnel to come out of.

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