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  1. Yep! I miss three, too. It starts at 8-9-10 – those preteen/tween/middle school fun years. I got a teaching degree and did my student teaching in middle school. That was the end for me. Teaching is hard enough (cudos to all teachers of any age students), but middle school? What was I thinking. I’ve never forgotten it, and now as we face this fun season with our own, it’s coming back to me. My supervising teacher was a saint and said this was the transition for the kids to become real human beings in high school. Anyway, I miss three, too. We are preparing and equipping ourselves as best we can. I’d like to make a recommendation to all tween/preteen/middle school parents out there, if I may. We’ve been reading a great new book that we are really excited about, so I just have to share. It’s called “MiddleSchool: The Inside Story- What Kids Tell Us, But Don’t Tell You,” by Cynthia Tobias and Sue Acuna. It has interviews and feedback from middle schoolers, parents and teachers (and a little humor) to help us deal with tackling social media, technology, Internet, gaming, faith, purity, puberty, communication, independence, discipline and accountability, and deepening and strengthening positive, loving relationship. It’s so rich in valuable help as we face these transitional years with our kids. I think
    everyone with a middle schooler or who will have a middle schooler will benefit
    from it. I highly recommend it!

  2. I’ve heard that pre teens that are bad like teenagers become pretty cool teenagers, they just mature and go through the “phases” earlier! 🙂

  3. I’m probably old school….
    As a single mother of 5 – that type of talk was not tolerated. I went back to the basics of “When you ____ I feel _____” and would repeat that each and every time. I would state to each of them I am their mom and not their Verbal Punching Bag; NOR are they mine. The old “can’t say anything nice…….” I just don’t think any of you need to stand and listen to that stuff — what does it teach by allowing it to go on? Not respect; not care and concern; not love and family….. Speaking in a quiet voice (not yelling in response) perhaps even whispering, almost forces the other person to quiet down to hear what was said. I just didn’t expect this type of behavior — and did not accept it. Our communication increased as we practiced with a Salt Shaker. Sitting at the dining room table – with a salt shaker in the middle. Mom is the “moderator” (as she is the one with the most “experience with keeping a level head”. There is a timekeeper – usually 2 minutes tops (almost everything that a person wants to say is said in the first 30 seconds) Whoever asks for the salt shaker FIRST can place it in front of them – the person that has the salt shaker sitting in front of them can speak – RESPECTFULLY – yelling, or getting really angry results in having to put the salt shaker back in the middle of the table (MODERATOR HELPING! …..and may even be asked to take a 3 minute time out). When the salt shaker goes back in the middle — everyone MUST WAIT 5 SECONDS before reaching for it, to be the next one to speak. When the time-keeper wants to speak – they choose someone else to be timekeeper at that point). It wasn’t easy at the beginning – but it did work because we worked at it… We had these family meetings 2 times a week or whenever someone asked for it.

  4. I’m so glad to know I’m not alone! I now dread the teen years with more fear because of how nine is going. The constant backtalk, eyerolling, sarcasm, disrespect, and assumption that everyone in the world is against him is so tiring!

  5. Hollie have hope!
    I was always the mother that worried “what are my kids going to be like as teenagers?”, I had no idea the power of the all-mighty-TWEEN until my kids were hit by them HARD…. Like a near fatal dose of TWEENESS. Those last few years of elementary were some trying years! There were days when I would break down to my girlfriend and say “if this is just pre-teeny- tweeny problems, there is no way I am going to make it through those teen years”. I WAS SO WRONG!!!
    Who would have thought I would enjoy these teen year as much as I do. Around the age of thirteen it’s almost as if a switch was flipped that made them realize I was not only on their team but their biggest cheerleader/fan. They seemed to have more of an attitude that was eager to work with me rather than against me. No more toddler-like fits when they couldn’t figure something out or for being told “no” by me.
    My teens (15 and 17 years old) are two of best friends now. I truly enjoy spending time with them and seeing the people they are becoming…. That is when they have time for me in their busy schedule that includes school time and girlfriend time! New age, new problems. Don’t let those teen years kill you- It gets so much better.
    And I still have one tweenager that will be turning 13 in April- I’m hoping his world flips like a switch any… day…. now.

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