sozobe
 
Reply Wed 10 Mar, 2010 07:46 am
They're different.

People who have been there, (especially parents of girls who are or who were recently tweens but I guess people who were tween girls themselves too), any advice for me? No crises, exactly, I'm just more at sea than usual.

Thanks.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 17 • Views: 16,272 • Replies: 127

 
JPB
 
  5  
Reply Wed 10 Mar, 2010 08:03 am
@sozobe,
I think the thing I remember most is how I all of a sudden became an embarrassment. I remember doing the same things re my mom. I'd walk half a block ahead or behind her if we were downtown, not want to be seen being out with my mother -- that kind of thing.

I recall one day that K and I were at the mall. We walked into a store and she saw some of her classmates there together as a group. She was mortified that she'd been caught out shopping with her mother.

That was part of the dilemma here on how much freedom one gives a tween in comparison to other parents/kids. I was pretty conservative - not dropping her off at the mall to hang out until she was 12, which was ancient compared to many of her friends.

It's an age when they start judging each other and feeling judged. Here it's designer labels and credit cards (who has them and who doesn't), there it could very well be something else. The cattiness starts increasing and friend triangles become a real problem.

Life revolved much more around friends rather than family. This continued until the mid-teen years to the point that there were times when I felt that the only purpose I served was a as gas pedal and a wallet. They'd much rather talk to their friends about their problems than their parents - something that was new for us.

We remained close though and we tried to bring humor into the situation by explaining that my job was to go out of my way to make sure she was mortified by something I did at least once each day.

Late tweens start to practice the sneer, but that doesn't get perfected until 13-14. I swear I can pick a 14 year old girl out of a group of kids just by the look on her face.
CalamityJane
 
  3  
Reply Wed 10 Mar, 2010 10:05 am
Your last sentence is so so true, JPB (everything else too).

Mine is 14 right now, and just yesterday we had this "look" while she needed
to get new passport pictures. There is no smile on the pictures, just a stare
and the more I talked the more she went into a frown *sigh* For the next 5 years her passport picture will reflect this look of stubborn defiance.

When they're younger they believe everything you say, now they question
everything you say!

On the other hand, you can feel the awkwardness they experience - not wanting their bodies to change, being very infantile one day and playing grown-up the next. It's not an easy time and peers do become so much more important.

How old is sozlet now?


sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Mar, 2010 10:11 am
@JPB,
JPB wrote:

Late tweens start to practice the sneer, but that doesn't get perfected until 13-14. I swear I can pick a 14 year old girl out of a group of kids just by the look on her face.


Ha!!

That's all very useful, thanks!

Sozlet's a weird mixture of mature and immature, I guess. You're describing several of her friends very well, but she's not quite like that, and that's actually part of my dilemma. She's getting teased WAY more than she ever has but it's for things that I actually approve of (like hanging out with male friends, not being label-crazy [she was recently told that she's not a "real" girl unless she has at least one outfit from Justice], doing well at school [one friend who is smart has started purposely doing worse at school because she was getting flack from airhead friends, barf], etc.)

So she's getting social pressure to be different and she's resisting it, and that seems to be going well overall (she had a rough patch with her best friend but they're doing much better now and are together standing tough against some of this pressure), but it's really hard to know what to advise when she talks about how irritating some of these girls are being. And it does bother her -- she stays tough/ shrugs it off at school and then it all comes out at home. She's always been such a happy-go-lucky type, it's just tough to see her stressed out.

I guess just keep listening.

Do you have a link to one of those developmental stages thingies? I'd like to see what they have to say about 9-10. They seem to often be reassuring.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Mar, 2010 10:13 am
@CalamityJane,
Hi CJ, you're definitely one of the people I hoped to see here.

Sozlet is 9 now. I dunno if it's properly "tween" or not, but seems to be a whole new set of issues that came up just this year.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Mar, 2010 10:15 am
@CalamityJane,
CalamityJane wrote:
Mine is 14 right now, and just yesterday we had this "look" while she needed to get new passport pictures. There is no smile on the pictures, just a stare and the more I talked the more she went into a frown *sigh* For the next 5 years her passport picture will reflect this look of stubborn defiance.


that would work perfectly in canada, we're now told not to smile for passport pictures, and in ontario for our driver's licence
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Mar, 2010 10:26 am
@sozobe,
Can you be a bit more specific, sozobe? You can PM me too if you'd prefer
that.

----

sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Mar, 2010 10:27 am
@CalamityJane,
Sure... specific how though?
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Mar, 2010 10:28 am
@djjd62,
Really djj? I am heartbroken over it. I kept her old passports (kids have to renew every 5 years) and in both of them, she smiled so sweetly and the pictures are so nice, now it's like a mugshot (gawd forbid).
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Mar, 2010 10:29 am
@sozobe,
What are the issues sozlet is battling right now, soz?
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Mar, 2010 10:33 am
@CalamityJane,
Well, I think I said? She's getting flack for doing well at school (I've quizzed her about whether she's braggy, which would be annoying, she said no), she's getting teased for hanging out with male friends, etc.

In addition to that, there is a fair amount of generalized meanness -- a certain group of girls like to shoot her dirty looks and then if she calls them on it, they say "what are you talking about, we weren't DOING anything," and then renew the dirty-looking. That sort of thing.

edit: more details here:

http://able2know.org/topic/17621-59#post-3918217

The update is that sozlet stoped putting up with Esse's crap and just walked away when that sort of thing happened, which left Esse and Kay, then Esse turned her barbs on Kay, which Kay didn't like and so now Kay and sozlet both walk off, together, when Esse starts pulling something. Esse then goes and hangs out with O and Em, who are the dirty-lookers. N, the third in the O-Em group, likes sozlet and is nice to her.

Esse is not always horrible, she still has moments of being a good friend.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Mar, 2010 10:36 am
@sozobe,
The nail that sticks up highest gets hammered first....

Sounds like she's paying the price of being popular and smart.

Quote:
Iago:
O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  2  
Reply Wed 10 Mar, 2010 10:39 am
@sozobe,
maybe this will work

There's a link at the top for a Word version.

Yeah, it's a big adjustment period for both of you. She's starting to get grief from some of the more socially mature kids and she doesn't want to be part of that crowd, but she doesn't want to be their target either.

It's an age when the social circles are being defined by those who appoint themselves queens and select their royal court.

M had a very close friend in third grade who suddenly dropped her cold. We were friends with the parents and we were all left scratching our heads. It was a year or so later that I got a call from the mother telling me that her daughter had finally told her what had happened (and she wasn't very pleased with her daughter). The inner-circle queen had invited the friend into her circle but only if she dumped M. It was pretty hard on M at the time (the dumping time and the finding out why), but she moved on to other friends.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Mar, 2010 10:48 am
@JPB,
Thank you!

And that's interesting about the dropping... very much of a piece with what I'm seeing. I think part of what may be happening is that the social-queen thing is being established -- who, exactly, are the social queens? I think that sozlet's original group had kind of drifted into that to some extent even though two members were oblivious -- sozlet and Kay. (They're three pretty, athletic, and smart girls.) The third, Esse, wasn't oblivious but I don't think she was consciously angling for anything.

Meanwhile, O is a social queen all the way. I think Em is a bit of a follower there but I do think that the obvious social queenery is Em, O, and Esse.

Esse was welcomed into their group but something happened. From something I saw, I think Esse may have been actually bored by them once she was accepted. At any rate there was some whiplash -- she was being mean to both sozlet and Kay, and close to O and Em, and then suddenly she was being super-nice (finally!) to sozlet and Kay and ignoring O and Em. That was a Monday, I said "enjoy it while it lasts" to sozlet, and by Friday Esse was being snippy again.

Hmmm. Thanks, that's an interesting insight.

edit: Could also be that Esse was asked to do just that -- drop sozlet and/ or Kay -- and she refused.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  2  
Reply Wed 10 Mar, 2010 10:48 am
@sozobe,
Oh I am sorry, I did not see your post in between to JPB where you explained
what is troubling sozlet.

Jane has been a tomboy from day one and she also has had (and still has)
boy friends. She's had an altercation with some girls just a few weeks back
and all of them were sent to the principal. There is a fair amount of jealousy
among girls that age and older. They notice that the pretty girls (which sozlet is) get more attention, including boy friendships, and the only way they know
how to act out is to tease and exclude these girls.

Jane was very popular in 4th grade and in mid year a new girl came to the
class who rather quickly became very popular too. The entire class was divided into two sides all of a sudden and the bickering and fighting became a huge problem as it spilled over into the classroom. We (parents, teacher) had to sit down with both girls and come up with solutions so both girls can
be popular on equal terms and share the popularity. They each got
assignments to write down daily (diary) what bothered them about the other resp. what they liked and every day after school they exchanged the diary
and read what the other had to say. It was a simple solution, but it worked
and in the end, Jane and the other girl became good friends.
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Mar, 2010 10:48 am
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:

The update is that sozlet stoped putting up with Esse's crap and just walked away when that sort of thing happened, which left Esse and Kay, then Esse turned her barbs on Kay, which Kay didn't like and so now Kay and sozlet both walk off, together, when Esse starts pulling something. Esse then goes and hangs out with O and Em, who are the dirty-lookers. N, the third in the O-Em group, likes sozlet and is nice to her.

Esse is not always horrible, she still has moments of being a good friend.


Yep, triangles. Esse wants to be the leader (queen) of the group and she isn't very nice to her subjects so they rebel. She then tries to ingratiate herself into another triangle, wedging her way in to take N's place.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Mar, 2010 10:55 am
@CalamityJane,
Oh my goodness! I'm glad Jane has been able to keep her male friends though even though there's social pressure against it (which surprised me, that's definitely new this year).

The diary thing... wow! I know this is all pretty small-scale thus far. Really only happens at lunch and recess and behind the teacher's back (dirty looks et al), nothing too overt (yet). Really glad that Jane and the other girl became good friends, nicely handled by the grownups.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Mar, 2010 10:57 am
@JPB,
It doesn't seem to be Esse ingratiating herself into the O-Em group, more that they're recruiting her. She seems to have mixed feelings. (I think in part because O is the queen there and she'd be a subject, not the queen herself.)

(This discussion is definitely turning up some useful perspective already, thanks!!)
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  2  
Reply Wed 10 Mar, 2010 11:13 am
CalamityJane wrote:
They each got assignments to write down daily (diary) what bothered them about the other resp. what they liked and every day after school they exchanged the diary and read what the other had to say. It was a simple solution, but it worked and in the end, Jane and the other girl became good friends.


Nice!

During the time when we were all scratching our heads over M being dumped the mother asked me if M ever came home in tears because she didn't have the proper shirt to wear the next day. Um... no, thank goodness. It seems that the girls of the crowd were assigned particular labels to wear the next day and hysterics would follow if the proper clothing wasn't in the closet. They HAD to go shopping that night and get the right shirt or she would be dumped from the group.

No, thank you!
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Mar, 2010 11:20 am
@JPB,
Holy crapola.
 

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