Tween Beast Revealed
Whine, whine, whine—like fingernails down a chalk board to a mom! Just realize, ladies, once you get that one figured out, there’s more fun on the mothering horizon.
When my children were young I remember being told, “Just wait until they get older, then you’ll get a whole new set of problems.” At the time I thought, Piece of cake, they will at least be able to follow instructions without whining.
Enter the tween years—new chalkboard, longer fingernails … accompanied by attitude!
Yes, the whine, whine, whine was gone (as we did manage to tackle that monster). However, it was replaced with a really ugly beast—whatever, whatever, whatever! I had on my hands the dreaded tween with an attitude!
At one point I thought I would lose it if I heard that word come out of her mouth one more time. I recognized, however, that just as whining is brought about by frustration, the “whatever attitude” probably is as well.
After a good conversation with my daughter I realized that her attitude toward me was brought about by frustrations from school as well as her need to break away from my constant tutelage on how she should spend her time throughout the day. That’s a real nice way of saying that I was being a major nag, constantly telling her what to do. Yeah, go figure?
To combat her issues at school we did some sharing and I reminded her that I was always available to talk and that I understood, that I was once a girl her age in a school full of challenges. To alleviate the nagging problem we worked together to come up with a daily to do list that we placed on her door as a reminder. To tackle the attitude beast we placed a Scripture on her door that we both challenged each other to memorize.
We used those pieces of paper to ease the frustration we were both experiencing. I’m sure you can relate to the to do list. However, the new piece of advice I would like to offer is in the Scripture verse we did both manage to memorize and would recite when the dreaded “whatever attitude” threatened to pop up.
Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
What used to be a tense moment became a knowing grin and God’s Word spoken out loud, usually in unison!
As usual, God used my child to draw me to His Word and closer to Him and His truth. To this day, if either one of us gets an attitude with the other, we smile and recite the truth of the “whatever” that God expects each of us to think about.
No wonder being a mom is hard. He’s using my whining, whatever-laden children to perfect whiny and whatever-plagued me!