A got a note from old classmate a few weeks back and she’s having a little trouble with some preteen defiance. She is looking for advice from our veterans with older kids. Here is what she wrote me:
“He’s 11, in BETA Club, good athlete, attractive, healthy, has a nice roof over his head, always something cooked for dinner. My oldest so is as easy a kid to raise as any child ever has been. This one is going to get the last word in even when he knows it’ll result in restriction. He smarts off under his breath and he believes I favor the older one. The older one is just easier….. I don’t need to correct his behavior as frequently. My little one thinks its personal.”
I wrote back that I didn’t have too many answers on this because my oldest is the same age as her youngest but I would throw it out to you guys for advice. How do you handle preteen (teen) defiance? Is it different when they become teens than when they are younger or just over different things — like driving or going out? Do you need to nip in the bud at this point or it will get worse? How much of pass do you give for raging hormones? (There are definitely days when I know my daughter has some hormones on the rise.)
I think a harder question is how do you reassure the younger one that you love him just as much but he needs more correcting? That is almost as hard to take as I love the older one more. What do you tell him on that matter?
Be nice. She is looking for genuine advice, not snarky comments.