Parenting Tween Resource
Tweens defined by age are 9 to 12 years, 3 years in total, but livings with one can make each day seem like an eternity.
Why do “I” have to do that?
Why can’t I, my friend’s get to do it?
If you don’t let me go my life will be ruined…
Are these some of the things you are hearing from your child who has reached his/her tween years. Are you asking yourself who is this child and where did they come from? These are the most confusing years of child development. It is when your child is discovering they are an individual self, separate from you. They are beginning their journey of self-discovery. They are faced with the challenge of self-differentiation in a dependent relationship. This situation leads them to become challenging and obstinate in their reactions and behavior. When this happens take a deep breathe, think of something funny, and remember these two things:
#1 Don’t take things personally
Understand that their loud, negative comments and bad judgment has nothing to do with you. This is their stage of self-discovery. They have reached the place of peer pressure, competition, and comparison. Reality as they knew it is crumbling down around them. They have to change to fit into so many different situations they become confused and irritable. Learning how to feel comfortable in your own skin is a terrible place to be. They haven’t realized they can be different people in different situations and still be the same person. Their psyche and emotions are going haywire trying to figure it out. That is why they sometime act like your cute, little child, the one who listens and wants to be with you and then all of a sudden they act like an alien monster, not listening, pushing the limit, saying things you never even heard of, or never thought you would hear from them.
Their discovery journey dictates that they test limits and relationships. Who does he/she have to listen to get what they want or need, who does he/she want to listen to fit in or feel excepted, and who better they listen to for the sake of survival. Do you see where you fit in? They need you to survive, other than that you are the alien. Your parenting job is to maintain their security and safety. You need to set and stick to clear limits and expectations.
#2 Set and enforce clear limits.
Having parental judgment is so important when you are setting limits for a tween. Know who their friends are, what they listen to, what they like and don’t like. Don’t make this a parent/child challenge. Don’t express your findings and differences as ammunition in a conflict. Be respectful and silently aware of who they are becoming. Let them speak their mind, listen and respond without emotion, remember what they are saying has nothing to do with you. Be confident that during the previous years you have filled them with knowledge of how to make safe decisions. Respond to them with positive feedback for the good choices they make, and encourage them to continue making more of the same. But in the end when a challenge arises, say as little as possible and follow these simple guidelines.
Parenting Tween Resource Response
First, but not the most important, remember that you are the boss in the situation and you have the last word in the decision.
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