“She’s 9 Going on 19” | Parenting Tweens

When parents say, “She’s 9 going on 19”, I  say “Wait until she’s 19, then we’ll talk”.

Tween girls vary greatly.  Some are wallowing in childhood while others just can’t wait to grow up.  That can make them easy to lead astray by older kids they’re trying to impress.

No tween girl (9-12 years) should be doing any of the following:

  • Social Media
  • Wearing Makeup
  • Dating

Moms often get caught up in shopping and mani-pedis with their little “girlfriends” rather than taking them to parks, skating rinks, etc.  Young girls need moms, not 35 year old girlfriends.  Of course it’s okay to take a 9 year old girl shopping, get mani-pedis, etc.  But mix that with some good old fashioned kid stuff to keep balance.

If you accelerate her childhood she could miss out on some important childhood milestones which help prepare her for those challenging teen years.

I know it’s tricky.  My daughter and I were both “born old” as my Mom used to say.  Never had tantrums, were always easy to reason with, even as toddlers.  Just had old souls.  Tough not to treat that type of child like a mini adult.

You may think your tween is really mature for her age, but just wait until the teen years hit and you see the difference.

Let your kids be kids for as long as possible.  Don’t rush it as it all goes too quickly anyway.

If you need help finding and balance, check out my coaching. 

Happy Parenting, Lisa.

Parents, What Keeps You Up At Night?

Parenting can be fun, rewarding, beautiful and all those good things.  But it can also be really stressful.




The parents who complain the most about sleepless nights due to worrying are parents of teenagers.  Worries revolve around:

  • sex
  • drugs
  • eating disorders
  • suicide attempts
  • belligerence
  • aggression
  • depression
  • bullying
  • grades
  • etc.

I’ve worked with parents who are up nights worrying their teens are no longer interested in family vacations to parents with teens who have attempted suicide on several occasions.  Some parents are so worried about their teen they’ll sleep outside their room on the floor.  I’ve had several clients who’ve done this so it’s not uncommon.  They all think they’re the only ones going through this, but of course they’re not.

If you’re worried your teens aren’t as connected to their family as they once were, don’t worry, they’ll come back into the family fold once those hormones settle down.  But if you’re worried about the crisis stuff then stop trying to do this on your own.  There is tons of free help out there in the form of school counselors, police, youth groups.  Or you can hire someone like me to guide you through the minefield.  Just make sure they specialize in teens as dealing with a 12 year old is very different from dealing with a 17 year old.

The worst thing you can do is nothing.  

If you’re up all night worrying about your kids, get help.  Reach out to other parents who you know are also struggling, talk to trusted friends and family, or get professional help.  Sometimes just getting your worries out in the open can help.

Call me (604-349-8044, Vancouver, Canada) if you think I can help you.

Lisa Bunnage, Parenting Coach

More teen reading:  


How to Deal with Tantrums, Meltdowns, Flipouts, Freakouts, Scenes, etc.

Some of us are prone to tantrums, others aren’t.  My son had tantrums whereas my daughter never had one.  Tantrums in children can turn into adults with bad tempers.  But if handled correctly, they’ll not only stop having tantrums as children, but they’ll be less likely to have bad tempers as adults.  You’ll have taught them self-control.

“I just don’t understand why parents can’t control their kids.”  … said person with no kids.

I totally understand why parents can’t control their children, they just haven’t learned the skills required.  There’s a huge learning curve to parenting.  Few parents say they’d do it all the same if given a second change.  Lucky for me I’d practiced on tons of other people’s kids before having my own which gave me an edge.  I probably left a trail of destruction behind me but no one ever complained, not to my face anyway :).

So, how do you deal with someone having a tantrum?  It’s the same with toddlers right through to adults for the most part.  You just stay calm and wait for the storm to pass then you can have a calm discussion about what lead them into the tantrum but be careful with your wording.  I told this to a mom and after her husband flipped out over something so she calmly said to him, “Now can we discuss why you went mental?”  We all had a good chuckle over that one as it’s so passive aggressive and not going to get you anywhere, but it feels good to say of course :).

Myth: A tantrum is frustration due to not being able to communicate.

MythBuster: A tantrum is anger at things not going their way. If it was just about not being able to communicate then children who are 3+ wouldn’t have tantrums, they’d be able to verbally express what’s on their mind.

I explain exactly how to handle tantrums in my Tantrum Busting Manual but the most important thing to remember is to stay calm.  The last thing you need to do is to be dragged into the scene.  If your child goes off the emotional cliff and you go with them, who’s at the top to pull you back up?

Lisa Bunnage, Parenting Coach

More on tantrums:



When does Teasing become Too Much?

I feel sort of hypocritical writing this as am such a horrible tease:

  • diving out of closets
  • grabbing ankles from under the bed
  • telling my kids if they didn’t make me laugh I’d adopt them out
  • telling my daughter in front of my son that she was my favourite
  • telling my son in front of my daughter that he was my favourite
  • etc.

Of course it all backfired as they got older and I became the victim of their teasing … I taught them well.

But one thing that was completely off limits was matters of the heart.  I never teased about crushes when they were little as knew how fragile emotions were around same.  I’d cringe when I’d see other parents teasing their kids about crushes and knew that when they were teenagers they’d be telling their parents NOTHING about who they liked, dating, sex, etc.

When my kids told me about a crush I’d relay as similar story about when I was their age.  That made me a safe place to land, a confidant.

So go ahead and dive out of closets and be a goofball parent, but be careful with their little hearts.  They’re so fragile, as are ours.

Related Article:  Is it okay to Tease your Kids?

Lisa Bunnage, Parenting Coach

June’s “4 Week Parenting Program” starts tomorrow (June 5th).  Please sign up tomorrow at the latest to get going on your month of learning how to get and keep control of the family.  Keep it all running smoothly.  


Is it Right that Schools are being Forced to Parent?

If you know me at all, you’ll know how much this drives me nuts!!!  What the heck is wrong with society that schools are being forced to do more and more of the parenting.  Children should be sent to school with manners PERIOD!!!  Yes, a small percentage of children have diagnosed mental conditions making it difficult for them to behave nicely.  But, the majority of children schools are having problems with are just normal kids with parents who don’t discipline effectively.

I think basic parenting courses should be mandatory before kids are even sent to school.  Not only would this save millions of government dollars, but it would also make kids and parents happier and higher functioning.  And who wants kids people don’t like?  Kids who the schools wish would transfer somewhere else?  What an awful feeling that would be.

It’s easy to blame the school for children’s behaviour but why is everyone sidestepping around the parenting issue???  I’ll never understand this.  Yes, some kids are more challenging than others, but I’ve never met a child/teen who couldn’t learn how to respect themselves and others.  Okay, there was one child I wouldn’t work with as knew it would’ve been in vane.  She was 8 when I met her and 10 when she was diagnosed with Schizophrenia and admitted to a psychiatric hospital.  That’s just 1 out of hundreds!

Do you agree or do you think it’s up to the schools to teach children how to be respectful?

Related Article:  “Stop Expecting Schools to Parent”

Don’t forget to sign up to my Newsletter for your Free “3 Step Parenting Plan” which teaches you how to feel in control of parenting.  It’s just up there on the right of this page.   

Lisa Bunnage, Parenting Coach


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