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By Rebecca Teti

Tuesday: Open Forum

(Join each day’s Coffee Talk discussion: Mon: Parenting; Tues: Open Forum; Wed: NFP; Thu: Marriage; Fri: Education; Sat/Sun: Changing Roles)

This is the Open Forum Coffee Talk. That means ... anything goes. Ask a question, make a suggestion, share a story, offer some advice -- the floor is yours!

Rebecca Teti


  • I am so sad right now. My 12 1/2 year old has been so surly and nasty to me lately. I finally called her out on it and she has told me she does not like /love me. I embarrass her she says. She was not well liked at school. Kids made fun of her and I think this has made her hard and mean. She says it's my fault. The kids said she was gonna be just like me. They don't like me apparently because whenever I would do the lunchtime watch I would make them obey the rules. I pulled back this year and did lunchtime only a handful of times. She also resents my not allowing her to watch what other kids were watching or letting her wear what other girls were allowed to wear. She doesn't cry - she bottles it up inside but boy if looks could kill. I am thinking of therapy but what do I do in the meantime? She acts as if everything is fine. So she's nice enough but with some ugly remarks now and then disguised as "humor." My stomach is in such knots and my head is splitting. Any particular saints for troubled preteens?

    Posted on Jun 18th, 2013 at 8:21 AM by Anon today

  • Anon, I am so sorry. I do think therapy is a good idea. I am not sure of any saints, being a fairly recent convert myself. I do remember feeling that way toward my parents at that age- especially my Dad. I venture to say that it is fairly normal. I believe pre-teens and teens are egocentric and that peer relationships are far more important than parent-child relationships. I don't have any tweens myself, so I cannot give any advice- but you and your child are in my prayers.

    Posted on Jun 18th, 2013 at 8:56 AM by HP

  • Strange question here: I love using crockpots and my 2nd ceramic insert just cracked. It was totally cooled before I started washing it. I don't know if it cracked while cooking or while cleaning. I love my crockpot with all kinds of settings so I last time I bought a new insert. I think this time I might just go buy the cheapest one I can fine. Any thoughts?

    Posted on Jun 18th, 2013 at 8:57 AM by RealMom4Life

  • Anon, I agree that it can be pretty common for preteens to act out - though at the same time it's not acceptable. I wouldn't take it personally - sounds like you didn't do anything wrong - but many many kids don't want to stand out and it sounds like your rules are making her stand out (don't change your rules - you are right!). How is her relationship with her dad? When any of our kids start acting out towards me my dh nips it hard with a good talking to and a , "that woman is my wife and I will NOT allow you to treat her that way" comment. Not saying that's your fix - but it might help. Prayers.

    Posted on Jun 18th, 2013 at 9:00 AM by RealMom4Life

  • My 2nd child is 9 months old and I am still awaiting the return of my cycle- which returned at 10 months with my daughter. We do not practice NFP- but I am familiar with fertility signs. For curiosities sake- do other women feel absolutely confused at this time? I am using pregnancy tests or ovulation strips frequently because I feel so in the dark about what is going on with my body! It seems silly. I do not want to either prevent or attempt to conceive at this point- I am open to life- but I hate feeling so in the dark about what is going on with my body! Do other women do these things? Do you over-analyze any sort of crampy sensation? It does not help that I am an insomniac and tend to think that my progesterone may be the culprit.

    Posted on Jun 18th, 2013 at 9:02 AM by Mom of Baby

  • Anon today, I will pray for you & your daughter during this difficult time. Ask the intercession of St. Nicholas (patron of children), St. Sebastian (intercessor for unruly children), St. Aloysius Gonzaga, St. Maria Goretti, St. Dominic Savio (all 3 patrons of Catholic youth/teens), & Bl. Pier Giorgio Frasatti & Bl. Chiara Luce Bodano (contemporary blesseds for youth). Don't forget the intercession of your daughter's guardian angel. A priest friend of ours recommended to us a fantastic book that offers real insight into the many issues children deal with today in regards to emotional maturity. The book is "Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers" by Gordon Neufeld, PhD.

    Posted on Jun 18th, 2013 at 9:06 AM by Patricia

  • Anon today, sorry for the tough times! I agree that therapy can often be helpful, but it's hard to tell from your brief description whether this is normal teen grouchiness or more than that (i.e. you don't want to give "I hate you!" more power than it should have - it's hurtful, but you can't let her turn that into the trump weapon.) I know I said a lot of awful things at that age and some resulted in needed therapy for our family and some was hormone-related (but I didn't find that out until adulthood when I learned NFP - but I'm sure going to make sure we check that option out when my daughter gets older!) Also, are there things you could do do help her feel like she fits in more? Not compromising on important principles, but find money in the budget for cute, appropriately fashionable clothes, or activities she could get involved in to have a group of her own to be "in" with, or, I don't know, getting contacts or hair highlights or something? It's a good (but hard!) skill to learn, knowing where it's a good and fun - and even needed - thing to fit in with your peer group and where you just have to learn to stand on your own.

    Posted on Jun 18th, 2013 at 9:25 AM by Anna

  • Thanks - I can try to get a new insert online again. I agree, things don't last like they used to. But, this is the 2nd one I have broken in 4 months and I am just wondering if I am doing wrong.

    Posted on Jun 18th, 2013 at 10:41 AM by RealMom4Life

  • Anon Today -- I'm so sorry to hear about the situation with your daughter, and will say a prayer for you today. See if you can get a copy of THE PATIENCE OF A SAINT by Charlene Giannetti. I read it years ago and wrote a review of it for Bookideas.com. I think you might find a saint in there who can help you. Good luck and peace to you.

    Posted on Jun 18th, 2013 at 12:09 PM by Anne in NC

  • RealMom4Life, since you say you bought the insert for an older crockpot model, could it be that the inserts are not compatible with the heating element of your older crockpot? I'm not an expert, but it seems odd to have that happen twice in 4 months. I have had mine for 6 years with no problems. Maybe you need to start over with a complete set, or find an insert designed for your crockpot. Sorry, hope this helps.

    Posted on Jun 18th, 2013 at 8:26 PM by Danielle M.

  • I am interested in having an ongoing discussion with my kids about male/female relationships/sex etc. I have heard about a series of books that helps parents have age appropriate discussions along the way - starting young and moving up. Does anyone know what the series is called?

    Posted on Jun 18th, 2013 at 9:20 PM by JM

  • Thanks so much everyone for your input. I can't believe I didn't consider hormones. I guess because I did not act like this toward my mother and my eldest (albeit a boy) didn't give me grief, I didn't consider this. She's just so stone faced and cold about it. I'm trying to act "as if" in the hopes that she "comes around." After her bomb, she acted as if nothing happened and all was well. So yeah, maybe hormones and preteen drama. Thanks Anne and Patricia for the book suggestions. Guess what I have on order already? It's going to be a long summer and an even longer next 10 years! Thanks everyone for your prayers. They are sorely needed. She is going away this weekend with her dad fishing. He takes each of them fishing for one on one time with him every summer. He says he'll have a chat with her then, RealMom, good idea, thanks. Funny how none of the nonsense ever occurs to you in the delivery room when you're holding that sweet little bundle, huh? God just sucks you into the love. Thanks again everyone. Your support means the world to me.

    Posted on Jun 19th, 2013 at 9:43 AM by Anon today

  • JM -- we like the God's Design for Sex series by Brenna and Stan Jones, although we do not follow their age recommendations. My older daughter is 13 and I think we will finally read book 3 this summer (recommended for ages 8-11). The series is Christian, not specifically Catholic, but solid.

    Posted on Jun 19th, 2013 at 12:39 PM by Anne in NC

  • Momofbaby, yes!!! I'm am right with you. Daughter number four is 9 mo. tomorrow, and I have the exact same thoughts. I've even considered weaning so something regular can occur. (with one ever two years, we think a break would be nice for a bit). Will keep you in my prayers and hang in there!

    Posted on Jun 19th, 2013 at 3:47 PM by Momof4baby

  • Danielle M. regarding the crockpot - thanks for the suggestion. Yes, the 2nd one said it was made for it but it was definitely not as heavy as the first one. I've just emailed the manufacturer and unless they have a suggestion I am going to start over with a new set.

    Posted on Jun 19th, 2013 at 11:46 PM by RealMom4Life

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