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Too Many Hormones!
I really do live in hormone central. I have a 13-year-old daughter and an almost 11-year-old daughter who is physically maturing far too fast. There is so much estrogen around here it's crazy, especially when you add me to the mix.

What it results in, though, is that both girls take offense far too easily. As sisters, they've always taken offense at each other to a certain extent. You know the routine--Katie's being mean to me! She's looking at me funny! She said something mean to me! etc. etc.

But what's happening now is that they're taking offense at the smallest little things. And then they get miserable, and Katie tears up, and Rebecca sneers and tears up, too. And I'm stuck in the middle.

We homeschool, so I really can't have them distracted by bugging each other. And I don't want to spend my whole day with two kids who are teary. It's not exactly fun.

So the other day I tried to have them talk it out. I thought this wouldn't end until they each got their feelings out, and until they each understood where they were wrong. Because part of the problem, naturally, is that I don't understand how hurt they are. So my aim is to help them see how they are hurt out of proportion. If they can understand, I figure, they can get over it.

I tried that on Tuesday and wasn't getting very far. My husband happened to be home, so I went upstairs to get him, thinking if he imparted his wisdom on the girls, they would see the error of their ways.

Instead of coming down and explaining the issues at hand, though, he came down and just ordered one girl to apologize. And that was it. And he was very firm about it. Now I was offended, too! I didn't want them to paper over it; I wanted them to solve it.

So I went back upstairs to have it out with him this time. His response? They don't pull this kind of stunt when they're with him. My problem is I let them have their feelings. He doesn't, and they get along fine. End of story.

And it's true. When they're with him, they don't pick at each other and get all teary. But my girls say that the reason they do it with me is that it all builds up. But he says I just need to be firmer.

I can actually see both sides of the story. But to me this is a heart issue, and needs to be addressed. I know it's hormonal, and I know that it's silly to expect them to be rational, but I think taking offense is a bad thing, and needs to be nipped in the bud.

It's not like Keith and I are actually fighting about this. I don't want to give that impression. I'm just really unsure how to handle this. Maybe he's right, and in a few years they'll be over this hormone madness and then we can have rational discussions with them. But until then, we need to show them who is boss.

But I'm not like that. So I'm confuzzled. What do the rest of you think? Should you just forbid kids from acting all hormonal?

And now something else occurs to me--if kids really are this irrational and crazy, why does the school system treat them like they're old enough to have sex?

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At 10:05 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

I wouldn't fret too much. I have five sons and a single daughter (aged 18 through 3). Being an only-child myself, their bickering is very disconcerting. I spent my whole life wishing and praying for a brother or sister. Now my own children have my dream life, and all they do is taunt and aggrivate one another for what I perceive to be entertainment value. I know at the heart of the matter, they love each other. I homeschool as well, and believe close quarters merely magnifies any injustice, real or perceived. I don't think I would necessarily equate the raw emotions or overly hurt feeling to gender, because I can surely attest to the propensity of a young man to totally lose his composure at the drop of a hat because someone has picked something up with an angry attitude or looked at him "mean".


At 10:25 AM , Blogger Tracey said…

I teach 5th grade and I do teach "sex ed"....and for some of these kids...I am their only source of information...One girl this year asked me, "What's the difference between a 'condo' and a 'condom.' I don't want them getting NO information from their parents or the WRONG information from their peers who know as little as they I am glad we have this program....I'm glad you and some other parents do take responsibility for teaching them...but for the kids who's parents don't want to be the parents, I'm their only sourse of ACCURATE information.


At 10:52 AM , Blogger Fuschia said…

We have been very upfront with our girls regarding hormones. If I see attitdues or behaviors that are clearly hormonal in nature, I'll remind them to "get on top of their emotions". We began teaching them how to control their emotions before they really had hormonal issues. Now that the oldest ones are in the thick of it (15 & 13), I can say to them, "You are acting hormonal. Take authority over that. You don't have to be ruled BY your emotions, you rule THEM!"
Now the 10 year old is beggining to show signs of irrationality...UUUGH!
I think that having them be aware of what is really going on is so important in helping them cope with how they feel.

I'm not going to touch the Sex Ed. issue with a ten foot pole!!!


At 1:48 PM , Anonymous Elaine said…

AGH! I am so mad at you - now I have to come out of my insulated self-denial that our almost-10-year-old is not super-sensitive because of hormones!

"NOW MY AFTERNOON IS RUINED!!!" because her 5 YO sister said ONE WORD!!!

Dear Jesus, help us!!


At 4:22 PM , Blogger Cassie said…

i taught 9th graders for 11 years before quitting last spring to stay home with my baby. you can imagine all the drama that i saw in that time - from boys and girls. i think your husband actually has a great approach - maybe i wouldn't say it quite the way he does, but i like the idea. does it matter how great the hurt is if one kid says or does something to another kid. is the issue that the second kid took it too personally or is the issue that the first kid inflicted hurt? i can blow things out of proportion but i certainly never want to be the girl that hurts somebody else.
another thing i learned from teaching is that if you let drama have a place, then it will always be there and will just get worse. so it sounds like your hubby is really good at not letting drama reign.

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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