A little encouragement for you if you're raising tweens especially in Sacramento. Are you baffled by your tween sometimes? One day she's your little angel, just the way you remember her. Craving your wisdom and cuddles. The next, she's a slightly rude emotional alien and it feels like you've never met her before. Sometimes it feels like you're walking on landmines trying not to set her off.
Most likely, it's all normal. Tweens are made to be a bit difficult. Their brains are rapidly developing. Hormones are flooding their systems. The quest for independence starts to bloom (and at the same time it's hard to let go of childhood). Social circles are becoming more important than life itself. These factors and other makes this a confusing time for caregivers and tweens.
These years can also be magical. The world is their oyster, afterall. There are stages your tween has to go through to shed childhood, try on many identities and transition to adulthood. A beautiful metaphor I often use in my Sacramento child therapy practice that I've stolen from Lisa Damour, from her book Untangled (highly recommend) is that you the parent are like the wall surrounding a swimming pool. Your tween is the swimmer. The water is the rest of the world. Your swimmer has to experiment and test out the world as an adult. This often means pushing you away (or kicking off of you to jet off into the water). At the same time your swimmer needs a safe place to land, rest and recuperate. Luckily, you're strong and you can handle it. Hang in there!
If you could use a "lifeguard" in Sacramento I'm running two art therapy groups in June. Sign up today and together we'll create a stronger swimmer. The struggle is real. Keep ya head up.