Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Post About My Tween Daughter. And Deja Vu.

Since my oldest child is twelve, and a girl, she is going through a literal "trial by fire," it seems. And what's scary, is I remember having these exact issues when *I* was in elementary school. And junior high.

So, here's the advice I give my daughter. She usually doesn't listen the first time, but after she gets burned, she DEFINITELY listens. (Because you know tweens, they don't like being told what to do most of the time! They need PROOF.)

1) Girls are MEAN. Especially at this age. You know the movie MEAN GIRLS? A little over-the-top, yes, but essentially, they nailed it. Even the nice ones can suffer from Jekyll/Hyde-ette Syndrome. Especially when popularity is at stake. So, when one of them acts crazy, remember it's HER, and not YOU. This is very important.

2) Two's company, Three's a crowd. This mixture never, and I repeat, NEVER works with girls. I don't know how many times I have told this to Thing One. She's had two friends over, and SOMEONE always ends up getting alienated. She goes over to someone's house where it's three girls, and someone is always left out. There's a reason why the phrase "Third Wheel" was invented. A third wheel never works. The two wheels get along just fine without it, thank you very much. I have yet to see a "three girl" situation end well. Case closed.

3) If your friend decides she hates you for some reason, don't worry, tomorrow will be the opposite. Aw, I remember this one vividly. I had a "friend" (I believe the term today would be "frenemy") named Heather in grade school. She was a piece of work. One day, she was nice to me and we were the BEST of friends, the next day she had half the girls hating me along with her for some egregious offense I'd committed, and the NEXT day, we loved each other again, and were BFFs--and the NEXT day I was the one who had half the girls hating her because she was a moody butthead. This is normal behavior, unfortunately. Kind of like the weather in Texas. If you don't like it, don't worry, wait five minutes and it will change. ;-)

4) Some girls will never change. As in they will change ALL the time. Thing One has experienced this firsthand. There is a girl, who, for the life of me I don't know why, has decided Thing One is her perpetual "Frenemy." She has honed right in on her. She texts her all the time, and sometimes she's super nice, and other times, she's super mean. We've had sleepovers end in tears. We've had sleepovers where they pledge their friendship over and over and act like sisters. We've had fights. We've had love-ins. I have constant whiplash from the neverending moodiness on this one girl's part, and I have repeatedly told my daughter that this girl is volatile and selfish and she will never change. And the other girls just "put up" with her because they fear her wrath. Thing One agrees with me, when they're on the outs. She disagrees with me when they've made up, too, and tells me this girl has changed. Oh, no. She hasn't. Some girls never do.

I say, once a Witch, always a Witch. All of you have met girls like this. They're not even that popular, but all the girls just kowtow to them and appease them because if they don't, this girl will make their lives miserable. What's that saying? "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer?" Yes, it seems girls learn this rule at a very early age, these days.

The last piece of advice I'd give (and probably the most important):

5) No Boy is Worth Fighting Over. ahem. Especially in SIXTH grade. Maybe later, but all Sixth grade boys are dorks. End of story.

Now, if only she'd listen to my advice. I've realized the things daughters hate most, is when their mothers tell them "I used to be your age once. I know what you're going through." Girls, as much as you hate to hear this, it is TRUE. We have "walked in your shoes." We have been accepted and rejected and put up with craziness, just like you. So, please, unstop your ears and listen to our advice. We love you and only want what's best for you. We want you to be strong, and happy, and crazy Jekyll/Hydette-free.

I don't think boys have this problem. They aren't emotional wrecks, in general, like girls. (I don't mean to be so hard on my own sex, but it's true.) Boys keep things superficial. Boys play sports together. They play video games together, not MIND games. Boys are pretty evenly tempered, for the most part.


I am SO in for a very long ride...I just hope at the end there aren't any casualties.

I know, you're probably thinking: Frustrated, much?


Chris said...

I enjoyed your insight sis!! Boys are definately different in a way, if there's a problem usually it's solved by duking it out...and when you see three or more boys hanging out, it's usually because an order of dominance/alpha(ness) has been established, therefore everyone is fine with playing their part.

Lowa said...

Very good advice! I hope your daughter listens to at least some of it. They have written books on this topic. Lots of books. IN fact, there may even be some out there that can help her??

Lara said...


I just think it's interesting how these things come full circle--how what we went through as kids OUR kids go through--to a degree. The technology may be different, but socially, we all went through the same experiences. It's a cycle that repeats itself over and over and over.

I bet YOU had a "Heather" in your life when you were younger!

Michelle said...

Amen, sister. And then we grow up and realize what "true" friendship is (even if it IS a long-distance friednship) and know that all that stuff in grade school was just silly.

And can I say I am SO GLAD I have a boy. LOL

B. K. Birch said...

Middle School is a cesspool period and if a girl is not grounded with a positive home life during these years, they may never overcome it.

High school is so much better. There's a group for everyone and no one really gives a crap about what you're wearing or who you're dating. Then you just have to worry about pregnancy and STDs. ;)

My girls went through a K-8 school with uniforms,so there was no "skank training" for them. I thank God everyday for that school.

Good luck!

Aimee said...

Well said.

I just tell my girls to ignore everybody and do their own thing.