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Communicating With Your Tween

by Gary Hays | October 22nd, 2015 | Communication, Tweens

tween boy thinking (400x400)The tween years are awkward for kids. They are slowly surrendering their beloved childhood, yet sometimes are reluctant and apprehensive about crossing that full-fledged teenager line. Generally, this apprehension to forge forward can be contributed to a fear of the unknown, so the transition is many times a gradual one. A one day at a time scenario. So as parents, what are we to do to ensure this transition phase runs smoothly without too many glitches? While at all costs avoiding being a hover parent, which is never recommended unless you thrive on rebellion, at least let your child know you understand, and for heaven’s sake, keep an open line of communication at all times.

During this flowering stage, children may not be receptive to always being told what to do. As difficult as it may be for you as a concerned parent, they have to fall down once in a while. In other words, as long as they are not detrimental nor harmful, let them make some mistakes. Just be there if they need a hand getting back up. After all, you probably made your fair share of boo-boo’s during this time frame and you turned out okay, and just as you learned, so will they.

Most children will be receptive to your sitting them down to explain you fully understand what they are going through. At this point, it is important for them to know that you will, in an unobtrusive way, always be available to them should they seek your wisdom and advice. At the same time, make certain they are aware that any rules you have set in place, such as a curfew, are fully understood, not subject to negotiations.

Now and then approaching them with a simple “not prying, just seeing if everything is going okay,” is fully advisable. They may or may not jump into a conversation with both feet, but you have reiterated, in a non-threatening way, your around-the-clock availability. Even if they give you nothing more than a half-hearted “yeah”, they will remember you asked. Once again: Keep the lines of communication open.

As a parent, it’s understood, we are just as nervous as they are about their growing up. We want nothing but the very best and we want them to avoid the same pitfalls we encountered. We want to pave the way for them, but by attempting to do so, we are denying them the learning process which is so detrimental to proper development. Don’t hover, just let them know you are there, and be well- prepared to give your guidance as needed.

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