why are 13 year olds so moody?

Heather - posted on 10/12/2009 ( 67 moms have responded )

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I have a 13 year old son and i don't know how to deal with his moodiness. I welcome any advice.

so confused

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Dawn - posted on 02/06/2011

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He is just being a teenager. The best way to deal with it is to simply ignore the mood and treat him as though he is being fine. Half the time the mood is just attention seeking or is as a result of feeling hard done by in some way. Either way it should not be pandered to and the only way to stop it escalating is to simply ignore the mood. Dont mention it at all. Just carry on as though he is in a normal mood. I am sure he will say he hates you at some stage, they all do, but I just responded to my daughter - "Well that is a real shame because I love you and I always will no matter what you do or say". I left at that and said no more.
The only piece of advice i was given which stood me in good stead was not to give in to a teenager. If you want them to do something then stick with it and make them do it. It will probably be hard to begin with but it will get easier. The other thing I was told which was also useful was - You cannot be a friend to a teen, they need a parent at this time more than any other. That doesnt mean you cant be friendly though. They need to know you love them and will be there for them whatever more at this time than ever before so dont let him down but dont be a doormat either.
Teen years are absolutely the worst but there is life after the teen years and they are lovely so stick with it. Best of luck..

Emily - posted on 10/12/2009

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I have no advice to offer (sorry) But I wanted to let you know that you are most definitely not alone! My soon to be 13 year old son is so moody and difficult lately. I am just at a loss. I have found it easier some days not to even talk to him because no matter what I say, I am in the wrong. It's just heartbreaking. Hang in there :-)

Harrison - posted on 08/07/2013

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Well let's be honest, I'm a 13 year old boy who feels bad for the moms who have trouble with their young teens. First off, we think we know everyhing because we feel like we are old enough to make our own descIsions. Next, we are sometimes mean, moody, or disrespectfull because we have seen others before us be the same way. As for grades, just try to motivate your kids. EX: if you finish with an a in math, I'll get you that new game you want. (you can find cheap video games on eBay/craigslIst). Also, being close friends with many girls in my grade, one problem they have is constant ridicule from other girls about looks, popularity, grades etc. That leads to a decrease in self confidence, stress, and you guessed it worse grades. With boys, if you have a hard time controlling us, try being our friend rather than a dicttator.
Hope this helps,
Harrison L. (the 13 year old boy from atlanta)

Catharine - posted on 12/03/2012

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I have a difficult time with controlling my reaction to my son -- he raises his voice, then I raise my voice. I know if I keep my volume down, then he settles back down. I am getting a little better at walking away after I've answered a question/request in a way that displeases him -- only "a little". I can't get him to get ready on time or do his chores. I told him this morning that when he choses not to cooperate, then an activity will go away for that week -- we'll see if that works.

SO frustrating!

LH - posted on 02/05/2013

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Hi Heather,

You are totally not alone, I'm not sure where they get it from but I'm so perplexed. My son was my baby, now it seems like I'm the enemy. I did put him in mixed martial arts which seems to help a bit, sports and activity's seem to work.....somewhat !

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Aldnjdnehwu - posted on 05/10/2014

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You know I'm 13yr old. It's normal to be stressed and depressed everything changes in life now. I can't get over my emotions but it's ok cause you know my mood changes every 5 minutes so it's normal you just should get over it. Try to be friend with your son not a dictator. But actually my life is perfect.

Laura - posted on 05/07/2014

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When my son (nearly 13) is being moody/angry or not doing as he is tokd I take away his xbox which seems to make him worse then I feel guilty, shoyld I be taking away somethin of his thats going to make his mood even worse or do I persist so he knows I mean it.....feel very deflated watching my lovely boy change so much, he has become very selfish and wont talk to me anymore :(

Melanie - posted on 09/20/2013

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maria... Hi I'm glad I'm not alone my 13 year old boy did the same thing with homework he would do it and not turn it in also he acts all spacy and dumb founded like u adk hom a simple.? And he's like huh Wat but always has his phone and is one of 24/7 that's all he does also at this age he's gained quite a bit of weight and know he's self conscious of that but I did it abd ny husband at that age i think about if kids do then they lose as the go into high school.. But one thing is for sure Jr. High is not fun with a Adlocent boy.. I think girls are muck easier at that age.. Does anyone else have this problem with their boy as acting all spacy please let me know.. And before u all say it I'm almost 100% positive he's not on drugs...

Doris - posted on 04/14/2013

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know what ur going through son nearly 13 and he is starting his moods i try to give him time to cool down then let him bring conversation to me sometimes works.... sometimes not..I use this with my 14 and 15 yr old girls to.

Pat - posted on 04/14/2013

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Reading these post have helped so much. Now I don't think he is losing his mind or I mine. maybe if I just listen and not let him hit my buttons we can make it

Elaine - posted on 03/22/2013

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I am a great grandmother who is raising my 13-year-old grandson. More and more grandparents are raising their grandchildren today. My 13-year-old has become very difficult to raise. He says no to everything. His grades have nosedived this year (7th grade), and that is making me crazy. He used to be an A-B student. We also raised his sister, who is now 26 and wonderful. My hormones are downsizing while his are raging. This makes for a lot of arguing. These comments have helped me to remember that his hormones are causing a lot of the current problems. Thanks. I need to hear that!

Rachel - posted on 01/18/2013

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your son is just going threw with those teenage things he might be upset about liking a girl who already has a boyfriend or else someone keeps on picking on him trust me im 13 and i feel the same way because i know what he is going trew pardon my misspelling

Breanna - posted on 01/03/2013

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their hormones are rising and my daughter doesnt have her period and she is now 13

Macia - posted on 12/31/2012

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Hi, I feel the same way. My son was at a small private school and now is at a public middle school. He is now very self conscious and has anxiety about going to school. He never wants to go and makes up a million reasons why he cant go. He feels like everyone is starring at him. The kids are very preoccupied about being "cool" and "popular" He is also very forgetful and loses everything. I make sure that he does his homework and he wont hand it in. That to me is insane! He used to be so confident and sure of himself and now he is acting like a wimp. I didn't know that boys went through this. I thought it was only girls.

Catharine - posted on 12/07/2012

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Thanks Rene. It does make me feel a little better knowing we're not the only ones going through this. It's amazing how therapeutic writing is -- I actually felt better after I finished my post. I, too realized that dealing with hormones is part of a woman's life -- that gave me such a peace about this. I've made a conscience effort to control my volume when my son raises his voice to me -- it's worked so far. I think he sees it, too. I'll continue to read this blog and post our progress. I'm thankful for this outlet/resource.

Rene - posted on 12/03/2012

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Shame man, its a difficult time for the. They have NEVER had to deal with hormones so how can we expect them to understand and know how to handle themselves.

We as mothers should understand hormones, we dont even know how to handle it.

So I think you are doing a good job, there is not quick fix for raijing hormones. just be there for him. And show unconditional love with set boudaries.

You are a super mom.

Donna - posted on 11/15/2012

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My boy us thirteen too and seems to cry all the time, is this normal? I can't say anything without him jumping down my throat. I know it's hormones but why the crying?

Carrie - posted on 09/07/2012

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Just to update, my son was recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I think this was a large part in why he acting the way he was. He is not as moody ( I think all teenaged boys are a little bit anyways ), and I am proud of the way he has stood up and is dealing really well with his disease. Now I have a 12 year old daughter to deal with, Lord help me! Lol

[deleted account]

They all go through this, some worse than others. My oldest, now 20 went through such mind altering moodiness that I swear I wanted to just jump off a bridge because I'd get so butt hurt! It took her another 3 years in which i felt i just lost 10 years from my life. I guess it was because that was my first time. The second also went through this at age 14 but he was so much better to deal with. I still cried myself to sleep on some days but he matured rather quickly and figured things out on his own. Now, he is such a refreshing, respectful, and smart young man. He also became more affectionate with me again at age 17. So with these two older kids as my experiences, I am now better able to understand my 12 year who is just getting his growth spurts and mood swings. I know now that he's gonna distance himself from me, and do all these hormonal attitudes (he already started) with me and his father. I am not taking it personally anymore. I still have a consistent set of ground rules in the house when it comes to respect, chores and school. If he raises his voice I will just point it out to him that mine is much lower and he should also do the same. Just hang on there, like how I would have to do. I don't know how long this would take but I know one day when his hormones stabilizes and those pimples stop popping out at the worse times,I will again get to enjoy him. Prayers helps a lot!

Shabnam - posted on 09/06/2012

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this circle is very helpful 2 me.ireally thanks 2 all those moms whose posts help me 2 handle thes problem.

Shabnam - posted on 09/06/2012

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ihve facing such a problem too. ithink that it is the demand of this age so donot be worry.

LARRY - posted on 07/29/2012

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BOYS AT THIRTEEN DON'T EVEN UNDERSTAND WHY THEY ARE THE WAY THEY ARE: THERE JUST TRYING TO FIGURE EVERYTHING OUT WITH THEMSELVES THEIR BODIES AND WHY THEY THINK THE WAY THEY DO. MOST BOYS AT THIS AGE ARE AFRAID INSIDE AND DON'T SHOW IT..MOST BOYS OR YOUNG MEN THIS AGE DON'T RELIZE THAT THERE BEING SELFISH,HURTFUL,DISRESPECTFUL,SARCASTIC,KEEP IN MIND THESE ARENT EXCUSES JUST EXPLANATIONS. THEY HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO IN THE GET A CLUE DEPARTMENT..GUYS DONT LIKE TO BE TALKED TO WITH DIRECT EYE CONTACT AT THIS AGE THERE BRAINS ARE WIRED DIFFERENTLY THEN OURS. SO IF YOU WANT TO TRY TO HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH THEM AT THIS AGE. DO IT WHILE YOUR DRIVING DONT ASK HOW THEY FEEL THERE NOT FEELY TEENS. ASK DIRECT QUESTIONS WITH A DIRECT ASNSWER YOULL GET THEY DONT LIKE TO GO ON EMOTIONS LIKE WE ARE WIRED TO DO.!!! JUST CHECK ON THEM AND THIS TO SHALL PASS..

Luanne - posted on 11/03/2011

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I hear that they are all this way. It is a very difficult time. G
ood luck.....I am in your shoes as well.

Carrie - posted on 11/03/2011

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I too have a 13 year old boy who seemed to have changed overnight. He is very articulate and intelligent and seems to have a rebuttal for everything I say and do. He seems very angry at me and recently hurt my feelings to point of crying myself to sleep. It is nice to know I am not alone and all of the posts here has helped me realize that all I can do is give him space, love him unconditionally, and hope he turns around. Thank you all :)

Heather - posted on 10/29/2011

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I have a 13 year old daughter who is extremely moody so i understand completely, its mostly hormones but alot of it is just the age, my daughter turned 13 and it was like a switch turned on and she changed over night, it will get better, my son was the same way but he mellowed out when he got close to 14. Keep this in mind, this too shall pass, but i have told her that i will not tolerate disrespect and i have had to take stuff away from her, the cell phone, worked for awhile. hope this was helpful, i know that the support from other moms of teens is a big help.

Blossom - posted on 02/10/2011

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my 13 year old daughter is the same way. i think its just the age. at times i would rather lock her in closet then deal with her but i dont i listen when she wants to talk. Leaver her alone when she wants nothing to do with me at the time.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/10/2011

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Ok, answer...and it's not going to make sense...

It's because they are 13. Their bodies are changing rapidly (think back to when we were the same age...the only difference is our parents didn't have a problem with letting us know that our behaviour was not acceptable).

My oldest son can drop into a mood at the drop of a hat. Look at him cross-eyed, and he's in a blue funk. We talked about it, and his dad and I explained that we understand being in a pissy or poor mood, but that we don't want to share. He self isolates when he's in those moods so that he doesn't disrespect the rest of us.

Talking to him in that manner really helped, where trying to "get through" to him in a mood was a complete disaster.

Just remember, hormones run rampant for the next few years, and it's confusing for everyone...best of luck

Patricia - posted on 02/10/2011

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Because their bodies are going thru many many changes. I would highly suggest that you pick up some pamphlets from the Health Dept on "Body Changes" and sit down with your child and just touch base with him/her on the several changes they can expect and how it affects us.
You may be surprised at how fun that can actually be!!!
Best wishes to you!!!

[deleted account]

I have a 13 year old daughter that will bite your head off if you look at her wrong so I'm in the same boat.

Lisa - posted on 02/07/2011

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Hmmm, just stand back and wait until he shows signs of wanting a conversation. Idk, I think my 15 yr old "Gemini" daughter is worse. She is driving me CRAZY! Good luck & may the force be with you :)

Jane - posted on 02/07/2011

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I find keeping positive and happy myself is the only way to go. I try to remind my daughter all the time how she looks with this moody attitude. On the times she is happy I complement it. Smiley faces go a long way. Try these bag charms at www.myseemees.com....my daughter has one on her bag. Not really a perfect solution but puts a little smile into her life. Unfortunately this is the teenager way for some - it will pass. I don't remember being like that myself but I do remember my sister being like that. Now she is one of the happiest people I know!!

Elizabeth - posted on 01/08/2011

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i think truly its the age of you do not understand me attuide i have both a 13 yr old girl and 13 yr old boy and they are both moody and they feel we do not understand their world.i leave it up to them to come talk to me.i feel they need their space but still feel they need to understand i love them and we help them through anything and trust me they will come to u.be open not judgementel.so they feel you are trust worthey.

Debbie - posted on 01/04/2011

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I don't know.... I am in tears right now because my son gets sooo angry with me..... He doesn't lay a hand on me but he yells at me and then 10 minutes later he is telling me how much he l\oves me and hugs me..... There has been no violence in his life what so ever so is this a hormonal issue??? I am waiting to hear back from his doctors office but if anyone has any info I would so appreciate it... Thank you!

Lorie - posted on 10/18/2009

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The best advice I can give is go to the library and get a book on how to deal with a teenager. I just read a book called "Help I have a teenager" It was wonderful! It helped me to understand my 13 year-old son better. I know that this is the age when things are happening inside of their bodies. And sometimes they don't even understand it. But being patient with him is about all you can do. I tell my son that I understand that he is very hormonal but that doesn't give him the right to take his rage out on me. He then says he is sorry and sometimes things just fly out of his mouth. I think having a very open realtionship with your child and trying to understand him is the best way to go.

Gail - posted on 10/18/2009

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A child of this age is moody due to trying to understand the changes happening to there bodies, their moods change due to their hormones being all over the place, it just like woman who go through menapause we get moody for the same thing.

I found some days can be better than others so my advice is to enjoy it now as they sometimes get worse as they get older, i have a 17yr old who is regularly moody and my 14yr old has just got a little worse.

Good Luck with your son.

Diana - posted on 10/17/2009

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I dont have any advice, but I'm in your shoes, only with a 13 year old girl, the sulking, always bored always the crankiness and moodiness, I've chalked it up to the onset of horemones etc. but I'd love for it to end any day now..................I'm learning a whole new set of patience

[deleted account]

I have two boys, 23 and 18. When my oldest went through this phase we developed a code word to help both of us.... "purple days". I sat down with him when he was in the right mood (won't hurt to have something small to give him to help get him in the right mood if they are hard to come by....) I explained that at his age, and for the next many years (prepare yourself mom!) he would have hormone rushes that would make him feel aggravated, overly excited, short tempered, and frustrated over just about anything. I said if he felt that he was experiencing this type of day he was responsible to recognize it and to tell me, and if he did my responses to his 'moods' would consider that he recognized and acknowledged to me he was having a moody day/period. It was agreed that he should try to spend time on individual projects in his room when this happened, and that at school he had to realize he was becoming a man and could not behave like a child due to his mood. We agreed it would be better if he just turned a color (thus 'purple' so he and others could recognize what was going on before he reacted), but no such luck. "Oh, I'm having such a purple day!" can be said anywhere to mom- unlike "I'm having a rush of testosterone today." It helped him deal with it when he knew it was a sign he was growing up, it also gave him a sense of responsibility, and it taught him the value of apologizing he if wasn't cluing in and snapped at his brother or mom, or did some other atypical or inappropriate behavior. For my younger son this was much more difficult as he was not as tuned in - for him I found small rewards given at unexpected times for good behavior worked far better than any time outs or scoldings. Not reacting to outbursts was best - it was also a test for my own maturity to understand my reaction will either intensify or diminish his. Lots of praying helps too :)

Mary - posted on 10/16/2009

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I have a 12 year old son who is moody also. He has been getting ATTITUDES... I know he is having a hard time - he has just started junior high, he fights and argues with his brother who is 14 alot. I know he is just trying to find himself and I try not to let his attitudes bother me by taking it personally. He went through a growth spurt over the summer and grew 4 inches now he is 5'6" tall last year at the end of 5th grade he was only about 5 to 5'1". Puberty is hitting and if you look real hard you can see little dark hairs over his lip, and complains he is getting fat. My 14 year old did the same thing..."I'm fat"...I kept telling him - Son, you are not fat, you still have alot of growing yet and everything will fall into place. Now he is 14 yrs. old 6'1 1/2 ", and weighs 209 pounds. He likes being tall cause no one picks on him, and he could pass for 16 or 17 years old. However, my 14 year old went through the exact same thing. I am finding that whatever stages my oldest had, my youngest has too. He finally came out of that stage...he also went through the "I know everything" and "mom is dumb" stage. It all passes trust me. Now my 14 year old is in the ..."I don't know who mom is unless I need something" stage. But I know this too will pass...LOL!

Judy - posted on 10/16/2009

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13 is a very ackward age. Kids are trying to figure out who they really are (or at least get an idea), plus going through puberty with all those hormones raging. It is a huge transition from being a kid to being a teenager to becoming an adult. They want their peers to like them. They become more conscience of their looks, their clothes, the music they listen to, the books they read, and things like that. They are still growing and at this age they do grow alot physically and mentally in ways they are quit ready to deal with.



Going through this stage is defiantly not for sissies. As someone else has said. Hang on for the ride, it is very bumpy and very unpredicatable. My daughter had to deal with her own issues (and having a bio dad who was not in the picture and wouldn't let her change her last name to the that of the man who has actually help raise her didn't help either) and she was trying to find herself. She had a hard time dealing with her anger. But I can tell you that by age 14 she blossomed. She became more confident in who she was.



My son was very quiet at that age and did more things that got him in trouble. He was grounded more than not, and he too had some anger issues. He also compared his growth or lack of growth to that of his friends. He was extremely moody. And stayed in his room alot. Now that he is 15 (just recently) he seemed to settle down somewhat. Granted teenagers really are not that easy to deal with even at the older ages, (they begin to voice their opinions more whether we like it or not once they get past 14).

Tammy - posted on 10/16/2009

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Honey, I have one word for you - PUBERTY! The hormones are racing overtime. I have a 16yr old son so, I've been there and a 10yr old son so, I'll be there again really soon. Around 6th grade the social situation changes also and that is rough in it's self. I can also remember middle school and hated it! They start going thru awkward body changes around that time. Like my son started putting on weigh and became very self-conscious. Over the summer before his 9th grade yr he shot up passed my husband and myself. Dropped a lot of weight at this time without even trying. He's moods are getting better and I figure about the time he gets thru my other son will be starting to go thru it. LOL Just be there for them and give them space when needed. They don't know why they feel this way either and don't want it any more than we do. It might help to sit down and talk about it. Share some of your experiences or his dad could probably relate more. That's what my hubby did. Good luck!

Ida - posted on 10/16/2009

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My only answer is hormones! Girls and boys alike....it's tough. I have a 13 year old daughter and right now I feel that I cannot do anything to please her. It is a steady diet of yelling, stomping, and door slamming at the house most days. But it will pass and I just try to remember what 13 was like for me!!

Tracy - posted on 10/16/2009

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Honey, thirteen year-olds are moody because they are getting a surge of hormones much the same way a pregnant woman does . Becoming a teen is difficult, new emotions, urges, and the conflicting feelings about wanting to stay a child and growing up.Sit him down and have a frank conversation with him when there is no conflict. Tell him you understand what he's going through, but ask him to try to be more aware of how he reacts to things. In other words, make him more conscience of his actions and help him take better control. If he knows what is causing the problem, and it's not his fault, he may do better.

Luci - posted on 10/16/2009

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I'm so glad to hear that I'm not alone in my boat. My son drives me nuts somedays and I feel like because of his attitude that I am a bad mom. I can't him to go to bed when he needs, he has an attitude anytime I ask him to complete his chores. I've been left feeling like a failure. He is a good kid, I know it could be worse. Thanks for all the advice on here though. I'll keep pluging at it and hope he grows out of it soon.

Lena - posted on 10/15/2009

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My daughter told me that anything I think is a good idea she will choose the opposite. If I tell her I like her hair, she'll change it, if I tell her I like her outfit she'll go change. I have found myself geting really good at ignoring her and waiting for her to come to me. She just turned 13 and i'm getting more and more grey har every day!! Good Luck!

Carmilla - posted on 10/15/2009

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i think its because its the transitional age not a child but definitly not an adult and puberty starts in a little more 2 i no i have a 13 yr old boy god he drives me nuts happy as pie 1 min next angry or sad but i went through this once already and still have 2 more to go lol it gets better

ANA - posted on 10/15/2009

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I have a 13yr old son and I also deal with the famous mood swings on a daily basis. Some days are better than others.Ive learned to choose my battles with him and smile at him even if its thru gritting teeth :)

Rochelle - posted on 10/15/2009

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13 is a hard age for kids. They are no longer "children" but not yet teens either. He will get over it, it's all just growing pains! I

Commilla - posted on 10/15/2009

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Ask him about his day and if he wants to talk let him talk and if he doesn't let it go. But continue to make sure your here if he needs and ear and be open and non judgemental of what he has to say. But don't let go of disipline they need it most of all at this age. It's difficult to deal with them but we have to stand strong and let them know that they can't bully us into not caring. It's our job!

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