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JHLWTM

Why is my 10 yo so moody?

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Is this a dumb question? This is how I feel:. 😫

For context, DD is 10 (turning 11 soon), DS just turned 9.

DD is definitely different this past year. I was trying to figure out why I am so exhausted, why I don't seem to have any down time. I realized it's because the kids no longer play well together. They used to be BFFs - all manner of creative play, hours of giggling. Now, it seems that DD often doesn't want to be with DS. DS ends up feeling hurt. DD will often say something snarky or passive aggressive (for instance, she'll say something curt and knowingly mystifying in response to DS's simple question, and that drives him crazy.)  DS is an extrovert, so if he doesn't have DD, he seeks out either me or the computer. Where did my sweet, carefree DD go? These days, when there is free time, she's kind of drifting around the house, doing nothing in particular, looking bored or moody. If I suggest x, y, or z, she often rejects my suggestions, yet I sense that she wants something but doesn't know how to verbalize it (or perhaps isn't aware of it herself).

Does this sound like a normal pre-teen dynamic? (I guess I didn't realize DD was actually a preteen. Kind of snuck up on me.)

I think she wants more time with me. I need to figure out how to carve that out. Or perhaps she needs more time with other kids? We have activities with friends out of the house 5 days a week - I really can't imagine adding anything else without destroying myself.

Is this normal? words of wisdom? It has made homeschooling much more difficult, because before, they could play together, but now it feels like they both need me all the time. 

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10 is hard. Hormones are in play even if there are no outward signs of puberty starting. Every mom of a 10 year old girl I know is struggling. I'm right there with you. No advice really....but solidarity!

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Puberty, it’s a transition stage. My boys are a year apart so it feels like two under two again. They want to be independent and they want to be doted on. When I was that age, my dad (introvert and homebody) would look after my brother (introvert) while my mom took me out often for afternoon tea. That gives my mom one on one time to do whatever I wanted (go bakeries, window shopping, bookstore) and also a break from home and work (nurse).

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Same here. Oldest DD just turned 11 a few days ago. 10 was very moody with sudden waterworks, snarky comments and then sweet again a few hours later. It does kind of derail homeschooling, but if she goes to her room alone for awhile she usually comes out fine.

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My 11yo dd has had the same issues. I’ve been giving both (13ds) independent work for now because even though they are doing the same work, one works at a much quicker pace than the other and if one makes a mistake in front of the other, you would think it’s the end of the world. At least this way they can go off to their own space and get stuff done without quite so many meltdowns. 

Dd has been so much more emotional than ds. 

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It's life. My 16yo dd and my 15yo ds were very close friends as little children but they definitely parted ways in their preteen years. They've been coming together recently. Those preteen years are rough. I remember them bickering almost constantly at that stage. They would bicker over the stupiedest stuff and neither of them would even think about doing something for the other just to be kind or to keep peace. It hard as a mother because they're starting to seem like they should be mature but they're just not. They do grow up though. Just hold in there.

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That is a hard age.  

My 11 year old, even a year and a half ago, used to think my eldest, now 14, was totally crazy and awful.  I would tell her it was just puberty and she'd do the same thing soon enough, which she denied.  And then demanded I tell her if she was being that way.

Now of course she is the same, or actually worse.  Dd14, thank goodness, is now past that and treats dd11 from a very superior perspective. 

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4 hours ago, hippiemamato3 said:

10 is hard. Hormones are in play even if there are no outward signs of puberty starting. Every mom of a 10 year old girl I know is struggling. I'm right there with you. No advice really....but solidarity!

10 was hard bc also unexpected (for me it was). I remember someone posting an article about moms of middle schoolers being the unhappiest of the lot. Solidarity indeed!

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6 hours ago, Lori D. said:

SWB's advice for this age is that they usually need one of the following, if not all three: "Shower. Snack. Nap."

Yes, and add in exercise whenever possible! Regular workouts keep my 11 yo "live-with-able".

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OMG. I need a hug. Or maybe I need to dispense hugs to all of you who are going through it or have made it to the other side. 

Shower, snack, nap. I think that's what I need. When did the kids get first dibs on those things?

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9 year old girls are crazy.  It's really that simple.  I've been through it twice, and it really does get better.  She's probably just as baffled as you.

Get her the book, "The Care and Keeping of You", published by American Girl.  It's the best book out there to help girls understand all the changes going on in their body and emotions.  

Involve her in your day-to-day stuff.  If you're visiting a friend, let her join you (if she's hanging around), at least for part of the visit.  She does need more of your attention, but on a more woman-to-woman level, just for a peek into your world.

Make sure there are healthy snacks around, and maybe get her into a new craft, or sport, or artistic/musical endeavor, the idea being to find something she'll continue as she moves into teenage years.

Take walks together, or work side by side in the garden, or find another simple task you can do together that might provide an environment that encourages her to feel safe enough to talk about her feelings.  Then, if she does, be open and frank.  Tell her that it's normal to have sudden, unexplained changes in her mood.  Make sure she knows about her menstrual cycle (my dd started at 9 1/2 yo, even though her sister didn't start until 13yo).  

Then, just breathe and enjoy the ride.  I remember when my older daughter started getting REALLY emotional at age 9, I thought I was in for a looooon ride (Is she going to be like this until she's 16?)  But, her moods evened out in about a year.  There were a few episodes over the next several years, but we rode them more easily, since we knew what they were and what to expect.

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Just wanted to add another reassurance that it is normal. I'm pretty sure that if you look up moody in the dictionary, one of the definitions says something along the lines of "the emotional state of girls ages 9 - 13" lol. Oddly enough just because they seem moody or over dramatic or sullen or just plain mean right now (all those emotional extremes is part of what make middle school so hard for most girls), sometime after 13 they snap out of it and while they are no longer sweet little girls, they aren't as exhausting emotionally anymore like they were in the tween phase. So there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

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