Encouragement - Middle School Moods

Issues specific to teaching 6th to 8th graders, including the transition to Saxon math, Apologia science, Progeny Press guides, and grammar lessons
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TriciaMR
Posts: 1000
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Encouragement - Middle School Moods

Unread post by TriciaMR » Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:14 am

Moody Middle Schoolers [three of them!]
terick89 wrote:I just want to know....who took my sweet, fun, easy-going little ones and replaced them with these moody middle schoolers?? :~ Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my kids, but my goodness - not so sure these are the same ones I gave birth to over 12 1/2 years ago. And trust me, I really DO know how I'm SUPPOSED to react to them, but I sure fail on a daily basis and lose my patience.

I know of some good books for parents and how to best raise teens, but what do you all recommend? Any parenting books about teens that have been more than helpful to you all? I really want to enjoy these teen years...I DON'T want to alienate them or be resentful. How's it going for others of pre-teen and teens? Help me embrace the hormone race! :-)

Teri
DD - 12
DS - 12
DS - 12
CtG 2010-11
RtR 2011-12
Teri,
Right there with you (oldest will turn 12 in a few weeks).

I don't have any specific books. A friend of mine said, "They need more sleep than they think they do." She ended up taking away his alarm clock because he would get up way early to work on school so he would be finished by the time all his friends got home from school. My dd was staying up until 10, and getting up around 7, but we've pushed that back to 9, but we really have had to be very firm about it. She wants to stay up and spend time with her daddy. However, I've noticed some improvement since doing this.

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
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2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
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Julie in MN
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Re: Moody Middle Schoolers

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:18 am

I went through Preparing For Adolescence with my son, and I think it gave us some good things to talk about without getting personal about it. It's by Dobson of Focus on the Family, and he has experience as a school counselor. We used the audiotapes, which was nice since it clearly wasn't *mom* speaking.

I read a ton of books when raising my dd, but still didn't do so well, so I'll let others share successes with girls :~
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

cbollin

Re: Moody Middle Schoolers

Unread post by cbollin » Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:46 am

I have a book to suggest. It might shock a few people when they see the title. So let me explain....

None of us wants to raise a resentful teen.
None of us wants to be the one who says "oh joy joy... I did a bunch of the wrong things and now am raising a prodigal. isn't that precious?"
Some of us might be saying "I was a prodigal at that age."

what if there were a book out there that was written for "after that fact" but if you read it now, it might help you prevent it or have easier ways to relax during these tough years?

there might be such a thing on the market now. maybe.
Carol Barnier, the famous one of Sizzle Bop, has just released a book titled "Engaging Today's Prodigal. Clear Thinking, New Approaches and Reasons for Hope" (it's from Moody Publishers, which I found to be a little ironic given the title of this thread with a different meaning on that word).

I'm only half way through Carol's book. Bought it at convention on Thursday night... (not a freebie, this isn't a paid review or anything.... I did tell her I'd get back to her.... )

Although it is written for parents dealing with older teens and young adults who have turned from their faith, I'm finding a lot of good stuff in here even though I'm not in that situation. Carol was a pastor's kid turned atheist, turned back to Jesus. She's well known as the author of "If I'm diapering the watemelon, where is the baby?" and "Getting your Children of the fridge and onto reading."
and of course "the ditty book" and cd that crashed her website when it went on sale... but.. yeah...
those of us in the special needs homeschool community know Carol.

this is yet another side of Carol that needs to be known.

chapters like "loving them when they are the most unlovable"....
or chapter 12 is really nice...Do Sit Down and Listen. if nothing else... that short little chapter on how to keep it LITE (it's an acronym) has a wealth of good stuff. (and that's where I left off last night to sleep)

anyway..... for some reason I thought I'd toss that title out there. It may not seem like it's relevant to the original post and maybe it isn't.... but reading her chapters made me think, even if they aren't at prodigal status yet, this book is just all about keeping relationships. maybe in the last half of the book, I might not like it....

maybe later tonight or tomorrow, I can share some of my stories with those years from 12-16 with my oldest. I know this much.... sleep, nutrition, and new ways to laugh helped me and helped her. yes.. these are tough years. I still have evidence of my oldest getting mad at the saxon 87 book. LOL

but honestly...... my oldest is only 16. I know nothing! my next gal is 13 and just a different personality....

do they sleep a lot or what? it's like they are toddlers again.

instead of reading tons of books at this stage, I ask real life friends who have children all older than mine... what do you wish you knew? It's a lot easier when you know the people in real life. sometimes all I really need - is their shoulders to lean and cry...

one thing: so far, 16 is nicer than 12 or 13. and 15 and 14.. yeah... 16 is getting nicer. mileage will vary.

-crystal

mandolin
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:53 pm

Re: Moody Middle Schoolers

Unread post by mandolin » Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:58 am

Ive had 3 boys in this stage and it isn't easy!!! They are very different, but it does get better. I found that my oldest boys are starting to level out and it is just a different relationship now.(15 and 17 years old) One of independence, kind of like when they went through the toddler stage to get to the elementary stage where we enjoyed them so much. I am enjoying my teenagers once I adjusted to the new relationship.
My 3 boy is right in the middle and already was an emotional guy due to the death of his father when he was 3. He has been an interesting one! I mention to the other older boys frequently ( whispered) PUBERTY. lol They laugh and I remind them that they were that way once too. :-)

I know that Diana Waring has a book "Reaping the Harvest" that keeps your vision clear and Paul Tripp " Age of Opportunity" in dealing with Teens, what this change is all about.
widow, remarried now 5 years to wonderful hubby
Loving MFW!
ECC with DSons 11 and 13, MFW 1st with DS, 8
homeschooling for 13 years

proud2bmykswife
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Re: Moody Middle Schoolers

Unread post by proud2bmykswife » Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:23 am

I haven't posted here, but thought I'd share my thoughts here. Crystal, that book sounds wonderful and I'm going to look for it. Our children are 25 and 24 next month, 22, 19, 15, 12, 9, 7, 5, and 3. The oldest three have been prodigals (the 22 yr old still is in some areas). Not in the way of leaving their faith, but just general rebellion, wanted to be on their own before they could support themselves, didn't like rules, etc. Some of it I'm sure dh and I contributed to and some other adults contributed to (instead of supporting our authority, they sympathized with our kids, etc). But I have learned some things along the way.

Rules, schedules, and guidelines are still important, but just as important is listening to them. Really pay attention to their viewpoint. Sometimes it's as simple as they are upset about something someone said or did and it sent them into a tizzy. Like a pp said, it's like transitioning from the toddler to elementary years all over again. They're wanting more independance, but they don't always know how to say that. They don't always know how to express their feelings and sometimes aren't even sure what they're feeling. We need to help them figure all that out. Honor and respect are so important and not just the child to the parent. We need to show honor and respect to them also. That was something that was not modeled for either my dh or me, so it has taken time to figure this out. I read somewhere (maybe the Learning Parent - Boyers' blog) about treating our children with the respect and consideration we would another adult. Not treating them as an adult, but with the respect and consideration we would give them. Would we treat a close friend this way, would we say this to our friend, would we use this tone of voice with our friend? And we fail so many times; it seems we are daily reminding each other of this in our interactions with our children.

Laurie
proud2bmykswife on other boards
Laurie, married to my hero 27yrs
dd 26 getting married in June, 23, 20; ds 25 in India
dd 16, 13 AHL
dd 10, 8 ECC, 6 1st, 4 1/2 K

mandolin
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:53 pm

Re: Moody Middle Schoolers

Unread post by mandolin » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:00 am

Excellent replies guys - honor and respect are so important, especially right now. I didn't grow up with that in my household with my mother and I continually showing disrespect to one another. My husband was the same with his father. We are learning and changing the tide with our kids. They love to be with me, which has gotten us through a lot of hard times. They also trust me, and can share the hard feelings with me. We had a blended family due to my first husband's death which even brought more into the mix of emotions, but through the Lord, we are growing and seeing good fruit on its way. But honor and respect, so important!!!!! :)
widow, remarried now 5 years to wonderful hubby
Loving MFW!
ECC with DSons 11 and 13, MFW 1st with DS, 8
homeschooling for 13 years

terick89
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:09 pm

Re: Moody Middle Schoolers

Unread post by terick89 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:45 pm

Thank you ladies! You are so helpful and encouraging! I'm very familiar with some of the mentioned books, especially Dobson and Tripp. My husband is going to go through the Preparing for Adolescence one with our boys and I'll go over it with my daughter (although, we've already had a lot of talks due to her entering "womanhood"). Sometimes it just helps to vent a little, ask questions, get opinions or ideas from others, and lean on some shoulders as Crystal said. My mom and I had a great relationship (still do and am so thankful), but she didn't have 3 at the same time experiencing hormonal changes at the same time! God has a sense of humor for sure!

Thanks again for this message board and all you faithful ladies!

Teri
Teri
DD, 13
DS, 13
DS, 13
CtG 2010-11, RtR 2011-12, Exp. to 1850 2012-13

deltagal
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:13 pm

Re: Moody Middle Schoolers

Unread post by deltagal » Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:27 pm

This was such a great thread! I enjoyed reading it and I concur with everyone. I've got one beyond the moodies, one in the midst of it and 3 more still having fun being children.

I've read a ton of books. I thought Age of Opportunity was great, mainly because it encourages you to hang in there with them and understand that even though they maybe porcupines, they still need you.
With Joy!
Florence
http://awhynotblog.blogspot.com/

dd 7: MFW 1st grade
ds 10, 13, 15: ECC - maps, missionaries, and reading on Wednesdays
dd 2: ?

dhudson
Posts: 320
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 5:46 pm

Re: Moody Middle Schoolers

Unread post by dhudson » Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:46 pm

Just a thought....

I know my ds is growing so much that I notice him getting moody when he is hungry or tired. I usually have him get a high protein snack, take a jog to clear his head or if it's desperate take a nap. Then after his attitude changes, we talk about how to avoid it in the first place.
God Bless,
Dawn
http://www.shiningexamples.blogspot.com
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
happy user of MFW since 2002

cbollin

Re: Moody Middle Schoolers

Unread post by cbollin » Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:47 am

deltagal wrote: Prep. for Adolescence I read several times, but it was a book that made me feel if I didn't follow their recipe then my children's shortcomings were ultimately my fault.
There are two difference books with same or very close title.... are you talking about the Dobson or that other author's book? Julie was talking Dobson. hearing "their recipe"... makes me think it's not Dobson book? so... since there are several books with similar title, I thought I'd just ask if it's the same author or different.


and a nice resource out there (well, in my opinion)
http://www.biblicalparenting.org/pr-teens.asp

also with my oldest daughter, her body was having some underlying medical issues that really made the challenges not go away with just a hug and a snack. We consulted with medical pro's that we value their opinion and got some supplements for her overall nutrition and nervous system and some well.... I'm not going to say what we do, because that's her medical stuff. and she's female, y'all figure it out. ;)

so...
*pray for discernment of the need. Sometimes we parents make it more of an issue than it really is or treat the wrong thing
* don't over look physical needs. nutrition. health reasons do happen
* sometimes you need to just listen to them. and learn what we use to call "active listening" techniques back in the late 80' and early 90's. One of my friends tells me he often listens to his daughter talk out all of the dumb reasons she wants to do something..... He just listens and asks the good questions. He's available.
*and try as hard as possible to not take it so personally when they are in a bad mood and their bodies are fighting themselves inside. I know some Christians enjoy telling other parents "I'm a stronger and superior parent to you"... ignore those jerks.

-crystal

deltagal
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:13 pm

Re: Moody Middle Schoolers

Unread post by deltagal » Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:22 pm

Good catch Crystal. I'm speaking of the Ezzo's book which name has changed or varied several time, at one time it was called Preparation for Adolescence. The Dobson book I liked!

I know when our oldest went through this "valley." It was difficult for all of us. He went from being a real family leader and delight to being a real drain on all of us emotionally, energy-wise, etc. Our son had no interest or desire in spending time with any of us. I think that was my problem with Ezzo book, what I was hearing it say was if your child is having problems then you are the problem and you need to try harder. It is a book that really places a heavy load on the dad. Needless, to say this "period" of life for us was a real eye-opener. We began to realize that there's a lot more to raising children then just being a "great" or "conscientious" parent. I'll also add that this realization was a good lesson. As the scriptures say, "For everything there is a time and a season...."

Thanks again, Crystal for catching that I was speaking of a different book.

cbollin wrote:and a nice resource out there (well, in my opinion)
http://www.biblicalparenting.org/pr-teens.asp
I love the website and I think their advice is solid and timely.
With Joy!
Florence
http://awhynotblog.blogspot.com/

dd 7: MFW 1st grade
ds 10, 13, 15: ECC - maps, missionaries, and reading on Wednesdays
dd 2: ?

cbollin

Re: Moody Middle Schoolers

Unread post by cbollin » Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:03 pm

Florence,
(((Hugs)))) I like Carol's book in that she doesn't guilt trip. She warns about those kinds of things with the guilt trip.
but her book is on amazon, and CBD.. and and....
(her site for this specifically is still under development) the blog is fantastic!
************

but.. again to clarify on my part..... there's rebels, there's doubters, there's dissenters.
and then there's just normal hormonal angst and normal stages of "figuring out life". I just have this feeling someone is reading who needs both sides :)

all of us as parents need good places to know that it drives us batty, drives us to tears... etc..... sometimes it's just a phase to "just get them through it" as I've heard dobson say on the radio... and doesn't mean they are doomed!

It just means we go back to a hugging stage and crying and loving on them even when they are in the most unlovable moments..

I know one little piece of the puzzle with our oldest (I mentioned some nutrition and medical aspects), but we had to help her laugh at lots of things again. She's not a rebel kid or anything like that.. .Her body was wacko... she was like that stage of a butterfly where they are struggling to open the chrysalis and it isn't pretty.... and it's hard on mommy and daddy to watch...

-crystal

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