Teasing, Taunting and Texting - Middle School Teens and Tweens

Teasing, taunting and texting! That pretty much describes young teens and tweens. Middle school and Junior High are tough years for most adolescents. Their peers are worse than vultures on the playground. Parents don't understand and teachers have no mercy.

It's a tough life to be 12, 13 or 14. Just ask them.

Characteristics of the early teenage years

Middle school and junior high students are growing more rapidly than they have at any time since infancy. They vary in size tremendously, a fact which directly relates to their feelings about themselves. It should also be noted that this period is a time of great hormonal surges, resulting in unexpected outbursts of giggles, tears or pimples depending on the circumstances.

Self-criticism and uncertainty are reflected in their talk about themselves and others. Anger is common and may grow out of feelings of inadequacy, fatigue, rejection and uncertainty. He may come home after scoring three goals and being the hero of the hour to face the chore chart and the kitchen floor and react with anger, tears and slamming of doors.

Tears of anger, fear or happiness

At this age, adolescents have a tendency to take internal conflicts and externalize them into conflicts between themselves and their parents. We need to teach our children and ourselves to acknowledge feelings and recognize them. It is okay to feel angry about having to scrub the floor, but the commitment to the family must be kept anyway.

If parents become permissive under pressure, it is like issuing a teenager a license to misbehave. When we waiver in our commitment to family rules, it takes away respect from both the parent and the child. Allowing a child to avoid responsibilities encourages them to continue this unacceptable behavior. Further, allowing them to "win" can actually reduce a young person's self-esteem, because it implies that whenever enough of a fuss is made, they can get out of their share of the work.

Be firm and kind with family rules

Teens may feel good temporarily if they are allowed to get away with whatever they choose, but they usually don't feel good about it for very long. If they sense their parents don't respect them, they will find it hard to respect themselves. Thus, permissiveness breeds disrespect and discouragement and invites rebellion and chaos into family life.

Teasing, Taunting and Texting

By giving our teens and tweens some space to grow into the kind of person they are destined to be, it will make for more harmony in the home and on the school ground.  Just pick your battles.