MarieH
My 11 year old daughter became vegetarian 1 year ago  with my full support. She has learned about food, cooking and a healthy vegetarian diet. Since lockdown she has become obsessed with anything related to people eating meat. She doesn't understand the concept of a balanced view. She basically hates anyone who eats meat and is arguing with anyone and everyone. She has spent more time online and I, like many parents I am sure, feel a bit guilty about that! We are having daily screaming rows amd she refuses to have a conversation about anyone else's point of view. I love her passion but I don't know how to deal with the anger and hatred towards everyone! I honestly can't believe I am writing this. I was proud of her choice, its not my choice. I dont want to control her. It has become so extreme, it is affecting us as a family so much. Her twin sister is devastated. She just seems to hate us all right now and I can't even talk to her.  She won't listen to anything. The pre-teen years are challenging and I want to come through this!! I thought we were doing pretty well up to now?? Any thoughts appreciated. It isn't that I want her to agree with me, she is clearly trying to follow her own path.  I feel that I want to support her and help her deal with the strength of her feelings? 
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Ari_Ravenclaw
What you need to do is have a talk with your daughter, both of you calm. If either of you escalate, have a room where you can quickly calm down and return. Tell her about what she's done to the family and also about how hurtful her views are. Restrict her screen time or what websites she uses. If there's any media out there that you can use to demonstrate the idea of agreeing to disagree, show it to her. Tell her that she's using her passion the wrong way and is making a positive thing into a hateful one. Remind her that she once ate meat regularly and also that meat helps the economy, the same economy that produces her vegetarian products. If she refuses to calm down then you and your family neeed to shun the extremism to show her it's not okay.
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MarieH
Thank you, that is do helpful. Somereally key points there for me to try!
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snoopy71
Isn't in amazing that eleven years is now the new sixteen!  Children, especially girls, mature so quick that it can be frightening. Your daughter has not enough years behind her to accept a balanced view yet, so it might be a case just to weather the storm for now. Easier said than done I appreciate but you really have no choice.  She may be a young lady in her appearance and stance but deep down she is still a child with little power to see her views as nothing but set in stone. Sadly, she will have to learn the value of compromise otherwise her whole life will be one big argument. The only thing you can hope for is boredom on her part as she begins to understand that life is not always black and white. Perhaps teach her values that meat eating is historical and necessary and certainly we live in a country where everything is humane and painless. I remember once talking to a farmer about his pig litter and how they ran around like puppies enjoying their very existence. His view was that if they were not part of the food chain, what would they be?  And he loved every one of them, treating them like gold until it became time to say goodbye.  Yes, compassion exists in the farming field. Your daughter needs some alternatives to latch onto rather than just feel 'it's all so wrong'.  
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familylives
Hi, I understand that this is a difficult situation. You're quite right that this is a challenging age, your daughter is beginning puberty, she's discovering her own thoughts and views, she's discovering who she is outside of you and your family. When people first form their own views, everything is black and white and they tend to feel attacked if someone questions their stance. This may simply be a phase that's exacerbated because of the quarantine. Maybe give her other things to focus on and avoid the subject for a while, since she seems unwilling to budge at the moment. You may find it helpful to read our articles on child behaviour. If you feel you need further support please e-mail us at askus@familylives.org.uk or contact us through our live chat service which is open, Monday to Friday between 1.30pm and 5.30pm or call our freephone helpline on 0808 800 2222.
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