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Thoughts about teens, tweens, parenting and this adventure of living on Earth in the 21st century.

Annie Fox, M.Ed., is an internationally respected parenting expert, award-winning author, and a trusted online adviser for tweens and teens.

“I can’t help it if I’ve got an attitude!”

February 18, 2012

What attitude?!

For those who’ve ever been told you’ve got a problem with your attitude, read this email I got today. It might help you.

BROKEN HEARTED GIRL: Hey Terra, my bf used to constantly warn me that if I didn’t change my attitude he would break up with me. Being the type of person I am, I just disregarded it and thought that he would always be there for me. Well, obviously I was wrong because he just broke up with me! He says he still wants us to be close friends, but I don’t think I can take that because I still want to be with him. And what if he gets another girlfriend?! I’m going to be overly depressed like I am right now. So what do I do??

TERRA (aka Annie): Hi Broken Hearted Girl. What do you think he meant when he talked about your “attitude”?

BROKEN HEARTED GIRL: I really dont know. But everyone says that you can tell when I’m on my period because I am literally a “bitch” to everyone. And that’s mostly when he would tell me about my “attitude.” I guess I’m very mean and nagging at times, I dont know..

TERRA: If you really ‘don’t know’ then try looking more closely, because it’s important for you to understand what you’re doing that’s pushing people away. How else will you be able to stop doing it??

Try this: Picture the last time you were a “bitch” to everyone. Play it back in your head as if you were watching a movie. What do you see yourself doing? How are you treating people? How would you feel if someone treated you that way? How much would you want to hang out with them? Probably not a whole lot.

I understand all about hormones and PMS, but you can not let your period be an easy excuse for being rude and disrespectful. And unless you figure out some ways to chill and tone down the bitchiness, you will be driving good loving people away from you. I’m sure that’s not what you want. So… take a good close look at this behavior and get more in control of it.

BROKEN HEARTED GIRL (an hour later): Thanks a lot for the advice. You’ve been a big help.

TERRA: You’re very welcome, BHG. I know, you’ve already got everything you need to be the kind of person you want to be. Go for it!

Filed under: Teens — Tags: , , , — Annie @ 6:36 pm


  1. I find this VERY disturbing and not at all informative. I cannot tell you how messed up my life became once hormones hit. I went from being a sweet, kind, quiet, A gade student to a depressed, confused, wayward teen. And it didnt stop once I reached my 20’s.
    Every month I would become highly irritable, have severe mood swings, nag and eventually push away the people that were closest to me because I was plagued by thoughts that they were out to hurt me.
    I was suicidal more than once. I have the scars as a reminder.
    It wasnt until my late 20’s that I was diagnosed with pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). A very real and debilitating disorder.
    You can’t talk your hormones into quietening themselves down any more than a diabetic could control their blood sugar levels by thinking happy thoughts.
    What’s important is to understand the role that hormones play, and to let the people around you know that it’s not them you’re angry/upset with, and always prepare them for monthly cyclone of hormones. The first thing to do to determine if it is indeed PMS or PMDD is to start tracking your cycles and any mood changes. A good free site to use is ‘my monthly cycles’. Often it’s not a hormonal imbalance, but the brain not being able to cope with shifting hormones.
    It is not PMS or PMDD unless the mood swings appear PRIOR to menstruation; any time after ovulation.For those of us with PMDD it can be two weeks of mental and physical torture. Then you spend the next week trying to ‘fix’ whatever you did in those two weeks, and you’re left with one ‘good week out of each month.
    Blaming hormones is not an excuse. Understanding them can literally save lives.

    Comment by michelle smith — May 1, 2012 @ 2:43 pm

  2. Hi Michelle. Thank you very much for posting your comment. You’ve helped to educate me and I sincerely appreciate it! My post was not meant as a substitute for seeking medical help for the kind of debilitating disorder you describe. My intent was simply to point out to the teen who wrote, that when she blames hormones for her rude behavior, she is robbing herself of an opportunity to look deeper. Whether a resolution of the problem lies in medical treatment, relaxation techniques, or stress management skills (or a combination of these and other options) the goal is to create more emotional stability which will lead to healthier self-esteem and healthier relationships.
    Thanks again for the added information.
    I wish you well.

    In friendship,

    Comment by Annie — May 1, 2012 @ 3:02 pm

  3. It is not easy to take responsibility for our life. The benefit of doing so is awesome.

    Comment by mjhighroad — May 20, 2012 @ 5:41 pm

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