10 Things Your Tween Girl will Say and What They Really Mean


Just yesterday I was listening to my oldest daughter tell me she loves me, calling me mommy and telling anyone who would listen that mommy is her best friend. Swoon. Today, she’s 19 days from turning 7. Just yesterday, we marveled over the tiny toes, sweet nose and darling kisses our second daughter lavished us with as she happily cuddled with us on any given occasion. Today she’s four and glares at us when we try to kiss her. She’s not cuddly. Our 3 and 5 pound newborn twins suddenly turned into 15-month-old walking, talking little geniuses overnight (but they’re still cuddly and sweet so we haven’t broken them yet). Seven; our daughter is turning seven, and she’s quickly approaching her tween years. She’s got a diary, and friends, and she wants to give my cell phone number to her friends at school so they can all call each other.

She has this little language of her own that she uses and we aren’t entirely sure what she means. She’s still sweet, but there are moments – glimpses, if you will – into the future for us when she opens her mouth in a moment of anger. She’s only three years away from being a tween. And I am terrified. I don’t know how to handle a tween girl. I might be turning 32 shortly, but I remember those years. I remember no matter what my mom did, I hated her for it. She could be nice, and I felt suspicious. She could discipline me for poor behavior and I hated her. She could want to spend time with me and I wished she would just go away. She would be busy when I wanted to spend time with her (read: When I wanted her to take me somewhere cooler than home) and I’d hate her. I remember her crying sometimes when she thought I wasn’t listening, telling my dad she didn’t know how to handle my newfound emotions and attitude and I remember thinking, what a loser. God, please don’t let my daughter feel that way about me. I know she will, though, and it kills me every single day she becomes a little more independent.

But you know what? I’m not the only one that’s going to go through this. I’m not the only one that’ll be bombarded with questions about cell phones and privacy and all the things that tween girls want. I’m not the only one that will listen to hurtful things come out of my daughter’s mouth. I’m not; we will all go through this. And the best I can do is try and remember that what my daughter says is not necessarily what she means. Her words will be a cover for how she really feels, but isn’t sure how to communicate.

I hate you

Mom, I love you, I do, but you are infuriating and crazy and embarrassing and awful sometimes, and you need to just stop. I mean, seriously, just stop being so insane and try to be normal for a moment.

You are so embarrassing

You’re actually pretty funny, mom, but I’m at a very crucial stage in my life right now and I’d appreciate you taking your standup routine elsewhere for another few years so that I can live embarrassment free. See, I’m supposed to hate you right now, and you’re making it really hard on me.

Get out!

I’m not allowed in your room, so you’re not allowed in mine! Can’t I have any privacy around here? Treat me like an adult, please, and get out of my space. I mean, I totally appreciate you always bothering me and wanting to be near me and wanting to know what’s going on in my life, but GEEZ. You are seriously making me crazy with all the in my business stuff. I’ll appreciate this in a few years, but right now I’m moody and need some privacy.

You are not wearing that!

You’re old and it’s not okay for you to dress like me! She’s right. You can’t dress like her. But you can still dress stylishly and elegantly without looking like your tween daughter  – please, listen to this one.

You never do anything right!

I’m moody and looking for something to complain about, and you’re an easy target mom; sorry. But I promise I’ll stop saying things like this when you start telling me I can do it myself if I’m so unhappy with the way you do things. Seriously; I’ll be done.

Why can’t you be more like so-and-so’s mom? She’s cool!

Thank you for being a good mom and protecting me by providing me with rules, not letting me do whatever I want to do and actually caring about my safety and how I grow up. I might be mad at you right now for not letting me go to a party or out with older boys or whatever, but when I’m safe and sound and still innocent and not put in an uncomfortable or dangerous situation, I’ll be so grateful to you.

You are so mean!

I don’t understand exactly why you have rules right now, but it won’t be long before I do understand and I’m so grateful to you for always having my back and keeping me safe and protected.

Everyone else is doing it!

I’m left out and I’m afraid my friends won’t like me anymore if you don’t let me do this, too. Mom, you’re potentially ruining my reputation and my entire social life.

You don’t understand what it’s like to be young!

Things have changed since you were my age! When you were a tween, there  were not cell phones and social media sites and selfie sticks and girls dressed like girls and not like strippers, and you don’t know what it’s like to be 10 and feel like I need to skip meals so I’m thin or wear makeup so I look 20.

Fine, whatever, mom

I see your point, but I absolutely cannot ruin my cool factor by acting like I see your point. I do not want you to know that you are right.

Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images


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