This blog is all over the place, I go from when Emily was a new born to something that happened yesterday…
Being all over the place reminds me of the ups and down of being a girl…
Which brings me to today’s post!!!
How to deal with a 11 year old girl who, mentally, was still a toddler…?
Now, if you don’t want to hear about a teenager’s mood swing… please stop reading now!
I am serious!!!
Before being a mom, I was a girl…. I remember being 12, I remember my body changing and the inexplicable ups & downs that came along…
I remember not understanding:
1. why I was suddenly upset
2. why I was suddenly sad
3. why I suddenly wanted to hurt someone…. anyone
4. why life was so wonderful
5. why life was so horrible
And that was only the first 10 minutes of what we now call “a moment”
I remember my moments!!!
As Emily was getting older and her body was changing, I was counting the days when her cycle would kick in and by consequences…. THE MOOD SWINGS!!!
How do you explain all of this to a teenager who is mentally a toddler???
I have no idea what the “specialists” would have said. Like everything else, I went with my gut feeling.
I showed her that the monthly cycle is a normal thing, it happens to mommy too! YAY!!! 😦
I don’t have mood swings anymore, those stopped when I was 16 and just acquired the ultimate knowledges of everything 🙂
I think it was attached to my driver’s license, I could drive and I no longer had mood swing… 🙂
Maybe my husband would disagree but I think I am wonderfully easy going all month long… 🙂 LOL!!!
Ok, enough about me!
So, the deal with Emily’s mood swings and other changes, I bought books…
Some from doctors and some from American Girl dolls…. I have to say, it doesn’t matter which book I picked-up to read with or to her but for weeks that was the best way to get her to sleep…
“Mom, not now, I am tired, I am going to bed”
Not really, I kept reading out loud… I figured she could hear me. Turned out she was kind of listening because nothing scared her.
That was a big win!
The ups and downs were something else entirely!
She didn’t see them coming, she was all over the map and was completely overwhelmed! Daddy had no idea how his sweet little girl became this crazy teenager…
That’s when I started calling them “moments”
When Emily’s moods were all over the place, I would ask her to sit down with me and ask her what was going on?
Me: “What is going on? How are you feeling?”
Emily: “I am mad” (or any other out of wack feeling of the moment)
Me: “Why are you mad?”
Emily: “I don’t know”
Once we determined that there was no reason for the feeling I would tell her that she was having a moment.
A moment when her body was reacting but she had no idea why.
We would sit facing each other, hold hands and breath slowly… I would breath with her, slowly in and slowly out…
We would breath like that for as long as it would take for her to eventually look at me and say she was ok.
Sometimes, she was better, sometimes she just wanted me to leave her alone so she would act as if she was ok. She thought she was manipulating me while I believe I was the smarter one! In order for me to leave her alone, she had to keep acting as if she was better otherwise we would sit down again…. Tricky!
The longer she would act as if everything was fine, slowly the problematic feeling would go away! Win-Win!!!
We did this for days, weeks, months…. maybe years! I don’t know anymore…
All I know is that we no longer need to do it!
Emily is 15… she still has the occasional mood swings but I believe I gave her a tool to calm herself down and control the outburst. When I see something coming I just have to say: “Emily, are you having a moment?” Just by asking her, she takes a step back, think about it and act accordingly.
I don’t have a degree in how to deal with mood swings… I just grew up with a mom who would never screamed at us, I grew up with a patient mom, a gentle mom and I always wanted to be this type of mom who would be there for her kids. Who would take time to sit down and really talk to her kids…
I LOVE MY MOM!!! She is amazing and a great inspiration for me as a mom!
On multiple occasions over the years, I had no idea what I was doing… To be honest, I still don’t know what I am doing…. most of the time.
Therapy is scarce where we were and where we are… most times, we are just tackling the next challenge because we have to… we’ve decided to face this life and not let it happen to us. We are part of this!!!
I go with my gut feeling and talk to her the way I would like to be talked to!
So far it’s working…. most of the time anyway!
How would you teach a teenager’s feeling to a toddler?
Ice cream and brownies – That’s good too right??? For mood swings of course!