I saw a facebook post the other day where a mom said that their family go-to word during the tween years is “W.T.E.Q” which stands for “Well, that escalated quickly.”

It hit me right in the dead centre of YES. OMG. Yes.

Our middle child is just a few months into age 10 and it’s almost as if sitting through the beginning sex ed talks at school turned on her hormones.

Like, opened the flood gates of emotion, drowning everyone in her path.

We have done this stage before and we managed well. Now granted it took us a little while to catch on to what was happening with our eldest daughter, but eventually we figured it out.  She spent a lot of time in her room crying. Or outside, crying. She was generally hurt or offended by most of the things we said or did (or didn’t say, or didn’t do) and would cry.

There was lots of crying.

But it only lasted for about 6 months and we could see her wrestling with her emotions, trying to get them under control.  She still has her moments at 12.5, but is generally stable.

So, when the little one’s dam burst we were expecting much of the same. Our treatment with the first was lots of love and quality time. Snuggles, and support.

Except this time it is very different.  This time, instead of tears, we get anger.

Pure, red hot, fired up anger. Hatred of all who are in her path. A stream of all the injustices we have thrust upon her. Aggression, and for her little brother, pain. Much pain.

It is like a little spark in her FIRES up, without reason, and flash burns everyone within its radius, and it makes me think of the tear filled days of our first with fondness.

Our daily statement has become “well, that escalated quickly.”

Her brother sits too close to her? “Well, that escalated quickly.”

She can’t find clean socks?  “Well, that escalated quickly.”

Someone used her oxygen……

You get the point. Life these days goes from a peaceful float down the lazy river to a reenactment of the final scene from “A Perfect Storm” where we are all fighting for our lives.

So, for all the parents out there on the cusp of puberty, or those who are in the throes of it… I send you my advice. It is the same thing I tell my husband when he begs me to “fix” his little girl.

It won’t last too long, and eventually your little daughter will gain some control over these feelings.
There is nothing you can do, other than be non combative, and attempt to remove the sharp objects.
Give her space. Or spend more time with her… its hard to know which one she wants this VERY second.
Don’t judge her. She knows not what she does.

We now have 2 “tweens” in our home, and I am excited to be entering peri-menopause myself. You can walk in the house and feel the charge in the air. It is no longer safe for my husband and son… I have a feeling they will soon be moving to live on our sailboat to wait out the storm.

Personally I think that is a good plan.

(This post originally ran on 3 Chickens and a Boat)


A mom who knew there had to be more than an overwhelming suburban life filled with good jobs and soccer practices, Julie swept her family off onto a small island in BC to start over! Craving a life of fulfillment she blogs about facing fears and courageously going after your dreams! She believes that if you do something, you should do it fully: eat butter, sweat hard and laugh till you pee. Julie’s blog is filled with stories of how her family adapts and continues to strive for a fulfilled life… while enjoying a few perks along the way!

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