Dealing With A Difficult Tween

I’ve been feeling a tad melancholic since the start of school on Monday. On the first day of school, my 11-year old found it extremely hard to wake up for school. And when she woke up after much resistance and kicking, she morphed into a totally different person… like someone has just cast a spell on her.  Errr, it’s still the 7th month in the Chinese calendar  👻🥶

The moment she got up, she was very moody and extremely stroppy. Suddenly, everything that I said to her wasn’t well received by her. Everything I did and said were wrong in her world.  Suddenly she became so volatile and disconnected from me that she’s a totally different person. It’s a shock to me as my previously sweet little baby girl starts tantrumming and hating me!  Hate is such a strong word but this best describes her behavior towards me.

Who is this girl?!

What did I do wrong?!

This went on for two days and today is the third day and she’s still behaving coldly towards me. It could be the lack of sleep that’s affecting her growing body and mind. She’s been waking up at 9 – 10am everyday for the past one week during the school holidays and forcing her to get out of her comfy bed at 5:30 a.m. can be ruffling this angry bird’s feathers. Ideally kids need to get 9 hours of sleep but I’ll be happy if she can chalk up at least 7.5 hours. Sleeping early is another issue that I am currently battling with my Gen Z girls. For those of you with Gen Z tween and teens, you’ll know what I mean.

Another factor is at her age, this girl is seeking to find more independence. She’s a tad more sheltered and controlled than her two sisters when they were her age because of her health issue. Until the repeat MRI is carried out (too long a wait at HKL), we are now waiting to know anxiously what’s going on in her urinary tract that’s causing the issue. Because she feels that her wings are clipped and she can’t fly like her peers who are all like birds who have just learnt to fly, she feels that life is unfair to her and she’s left behind in the baby nest alone.

I’ve read that the more I insist on controlling all her choices, I am inviting rebellion, or worse. If I can find appropriate ways to give her independence, she won’t have to rebel against me to start standing on her own two feet. Of course she’ll make mistakes. That’s how humans learn. And of course she isn’t ready to make all her decisions. I’m still the parent. Deciding how much to weigh in is the hardest part of this parenting dance, especially so when I am dealing with a tween who is facing not only wacky hormones flooding her body but also with an undiagnosed condition that may require another surgery that’s causing the both of us a lot of anxiousness. It’s been a long and frustruating 11 years for the both of us.

Feeling down, I had brunch alone today after dropping Sherilyn in school. Hubs was busy at work.  At the shop,  my eyes were bigger than my tummy ~ I over-ordered and had to doggy-bag some of the food home 😬

Two portions of spinach, 3 types of balls, 1 lobak, 1 stuffed bitter gourd, 1 stuffed brinjal and a bowl of pumpkin barley sago tong sui. This shop uses premium Sanbanto pork in their fish paste. Even their pork balls are from Sanbanto.

It’s an achievement that I could eat so much food for brunch! I was so stuffed to the gills that I felt like my denim skirt was going to burst. I am a pathetically small eater, thus I always find someone to eat with me to share my food.  I had to tapau the stuffed brinjal and lobak home.  I couldn’t finish the pumpkin tong sui.

I love the yong tau fu from Taman Desa Yong Tau Fu & Dessert but the bill can be a tad stressful on your budget if you, like me, get too excited and ambitious and stack the tray mountain high with all the stuffed items, balls, vegetables, etc.  My brunch today was RM18 plus RM1.50 parking ~ budget exceeded for lunch but I felt some of the blues melt away as I tucked into the delish food and yummy tong sui.  Food indeed has some destressing effect!

Exactly my sentiments!! A slow death with doses of cortisol injected into the body everyday 😩

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