Important Things I’ve Learned From Having a Preteen

I don’t know what I thought life would be like when my daughter reached the preteen phase but I didn’t think it would be as crazy as it has been.  My daughter is now 12 years old and in 8 short months she will be officially a teenager.  I will say this: having a preteen has been such a learning experience.  I’ve learned so many things both good and not so good but I want to share what I’ve learned for any parents that may have children soon going into the preteen phase. 


Most of their music sucks

I feel like my mother when I say this but most of their music absolutely sucks.  I’m not against pop music, rap music or r&b but 90% of the music that’s out today is annoying, pointless, sometimes you can’t even understand the lyrics and it makes me want to hit my head into a wall over and over again.  Don’t even think about trying to play anything you enjoy when you’re in the car, your preteen will immediately dismiss it as “oldies” and demand to play the music on their phone instead.


You’re never going to win an argument

When you argue with a preteen never expect to have the last word, never expect them to listen to a thing you say and expect to flat out lose the argument.  Preteens will argue with you until they’re blue in the face as long as they “prove themselves right” in the end.  I’ve learned just to give in most of the time and avoid arguments because they’re pointless and tiring.


They will be very interested in boys

I never wanted to see the day that my daughter became interested in boys but I knew it would happen eventually.  She’s now 12 years old and very interested in boys.  She’ll constantly say that she doesn’t like any of the boys in her class but when she’s with her friends they’ll giggle and gossip about boys they have a crush on.  I’ll admit, I did this when I was 12 too but it’s just so different when it’s your own daughter.


I’m a horrible person

If I had a quarter for every single time my preteen told me I was a horrible person, I would be a millionaire by now.  Apparently I ruin her “social status” at least once a week by telling her that she can’t go somewhere and apparently I “never” let her go anywhere. (Which is pretty funny since I drive her places with her friends on occasion!)  Your preteen will hate you one minute but they’ll love you the next, they just will never admit that they love and need you in their lives.


“Besties” come and go

The definition of “besties” is very fluid to a preteen.  They’ll be best friends with someone one day and the next day they’ll be enemies (or “frenemies”?) and you bet your ass you’ll hear about it non stop for that one day.

…but the day after that they’re friends again…then the vicious cycle continues for the rest of the school year.  I don’t get it, I don’t remember that happening when I was a preteen but I guess times have changed.


Cell phones are more important

…And when I say “more important” I mean more important.  Their cell phones contain their entire life, their entire social life and (they think) it’s their only link to the outside world.  Preteens could sit in their rooms and look at their screen for hours without getting up.  You’ll end up learning about more social apps than you knew existed from your preteen. (Uh, wtf is “House Party”?)

Just remember, their cell phone is more important than:

  • You
  • Their siblings
  • Their homework
  • School

And if you try to take their phones away from them, prepare for world war 3 to break out in your house.


Their idea of cleaning is shoving things into less obvious places

They won’t care where they shove things.

In the closet or under the bed is my daughter’s places of choice to hide what she’s supposed to be cleaning.  Even though she knows the clothes that she stuffs under there she will still insist that you stole that one shirt that she wants to wear until she finally looks under her bed and finds it.  Remember, you will be blamed for “putting that shirt under my bed” too, don’t try to fight it.  Just accept it, you won’t win!

Preteens won’t care how messy their room is and they’ll love it just the way it is.  They’ll swear up and down that their room is clean no matter how much crap is on their floor.  Regardless, they will still barricade themselves in their room for hours because it’s their quiet place, their sanctuary, the place they go to hide from their parents and siblings.


They don’t care how much something costs

Frequently they will “need” a new pair of trendy sneakers, they will “need” a new phone or “need” something else and they won’t give a shit how much it costs.  They’ll complain and whine about it until they get their way, or until they think that they’re getting their way.  They won’t care how much money you don’t have and they will never spend their money on that trendy thing no matter how much they tell you they will pay you back.  Don’t fall for it, it’s a trap!


Nothing is ever their fault

They’re perfect little angels, whenever something happens it’s always their siblings fault.  They’ll swear up and down that something was broken before they touched it and even if you catch them red handed they’ll still swear that it’s not their fault.  Once again, don’t try to argue, it’s not worth it.  You won’t win!


They’re complete saints when they are over their friend’s houses

You’ll hear the phrase “Your daughter is so well behaved.” frequently when picking your child up from a friends house.  You will most definitely think they’re talking about a different kid because at home your preteen is a complete terror.  However, I just smile and politely thank them.  I let them think that I correctly raised the most well behaved kid in the world.  At least I can pretend to win at parenting!


I’ve asked my mom time and time again if I was like that as a preteen and her answer was “duh”.  I honestly don’t remember that far back but I thought I was much different, I guess not!  I’ve spoken to some mom friends who have preteens and they agree with all of the above so I guess that’s just the typical preteen.

For any parents who have preteens or who will soon have preteens I just have one thing to say to you…GOOD LUCK! 😉

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