I am more relaxed as a parent with my youngest son as he enters the tween stage and heads to being a teenager. Probably because it’s not new, second time around is easier but no less fearful at times!
It is so easy to dismiss the tween years and get in to an argument with your tween thinking they are more challenging or not behaving as they used to. Again, your tween is becoming more independent and becoming interested in their social life and where their place in the world is – it is extremely important to continue to guide, support and show love as they venture forward.
What may happen
Well, all tweens are different but generally what is happening with our tween is that there are times when our views and guidance are not needed. Again, as a mother it’s hard to accept but your tween will probably start to chat things over with their friends more often and there will be times when they will head to their bedroom and close the door because they need space. Just like I do at times!
What I would say is this, whatever is happening be that answering you back or not listening – it is not personal – in fact it is never personal. These are all signs you have a tween who is growing up to become independent and that is to be welcomed. However, don’t just think ‘oh my parenting is done’ or ‘oh so you don’t need me’ – this is not true, your child needs you in a different way so continue to offer guidance, support, and love – just be prepared for how your tween acts.
Things that might help
As with our teenager, we do things that often improve communication, here are some ways that may help you:
Meal times – spending quality time is very important especially when your tween may want to spend more time in their room. We make sure we have at least one meal a day together – that’s normally dinner. It’s lovely sitting together and all chatting together. Even if your tween is reluctant to join in stick with it.
Quality time – I go for walks with my tween, it’s a great time to chat. There are times the conversation is hard but again stick with it. There are also times though where my tween would talk forever, take this time, and appreciate that your tween is going through a lot.
Bedtime – we have a bed routine still which we established when the boys were little. Your tween will start to need more sleep so you may need to establish a new routine. We continue with the same routine now but the times have changed.
Affection time – continue to show affection to your tween even when there are times they don’t want to. It doesn’t have to be a hug or kiss but saying I love you or I’m proud of you goes a long way. As a parent, I try my best to say this at least once a day. I think it gives kids a sense of being secure and loved.
I hope these tips help you. I’d love to hear your experience of communicating with your tween.
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