Loving Your Tween. Not for the faint of Heart
Were you a HORRIBLE TWEEN?
Being raised by a single dad had its perks. First I was the youngest of four girls and the baby. My closest sister by age was 5 years older. Plus my dad stood up for me when my sisters would try to correct me. This would automatically put them over the edge. Tween wasn’t even a word back then.
So as you can imagine, I was a tad bit of a brat. I could throw a fit, burst into tears or complain for hours about having to do the simplest of chores. All the while being certain that nobody else had to endure such abuse, I made it my mission to make my poor sisters lives as miserable as possible. Being a tween was something that I can honestly say I had mastered.
Now fast-forward to my days of parenting. Thinking that my kids would never be like me, I was amazed when they did the exact same things. Who’s kids are these, and how did they come to live at my house? After all, I had read the parenting books, watched videos and attended the right classes.
Being a parent of the Junior High ages is not for the faint of heart. Your little darling has just landed in middle school where their friends have more important advice and ideas than you could possibly have. They seem to be void of common sense, fashion sense and you are ready to beat them senseless! But I am here to help. Life can and will get better.
5 Ways to Help with Parenting Your Tween.
1. Take the time to listen. No matter how busy you are, no matter how many times you have heard it, they need you to be there with them in that moment. Not on your phone, watching TV or carrying on four conversations but one on one. Just five minutes of your time will at the end of the day be what they remember.
2. Do not react negatively to their actions. By this I mean stay calm (trust me I know this is hard). Your reactions are what will make or break the situation. By being calm when they do not actually give you the opportunity to slow the problems down. It may take a few times but you will pull this off. Sometimes I would need to say “when we can talk without being disrespectful, I will gladly listen”, or “right now I need to understand what you are thinking and I can not do that when we are ————.”
3. Involve them in what you are doing. This is not always possible but if you are cooking dinner, have them help. Many a time my kids would start telling me about their day, friends or what happened at school without me asking.
4. Keep schooldays routine. They may be in jr. high but they still need to know what the plan is. At our house, you could play and do your chores until supper. Then it was time for homework or piano practice. We always did nightly devotions at 8:30 – 8:45. You then had until 9:30 to take a bath, have a snack or just hang out. Then it was lights out. Oh yes there was the occasional I’m not tired, or why can’t I watch TV. But in the end, they knew what the rules were and what was expected.
There you have it. These five suggestions will not mean anything if you don’t put them in action. In today’s world, you need to be the one to bring consistency and love to your tweens daily life.
If you are looking for great resources to check out familylifetoday.org and focusonthefamily.org. Both have excellent insights and lots of great ideas for today’s families. Be sure to sign up for my emails to keep up to date on parenting ideas.
Please Feel free to comment on my post. Love to hear from you. Until next time…