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From Tween to Teen – Ensuring a Smooth Transition

by Gary Hays | September 24th, 2015 | Social, Tweens

tween boys friends (400x400)Where does the time go? It seems as though only yesterday you were swapping clean diapers for dirty ones and your little bambino was on hands and knees crawling about on the floor. With more and more birthday candles being blown out every year, the teen years are just around the corner so what better time to prepare your child for the often trying times they are about to step into, than now, that often awkward period right before they get there?

Socialization with both girls and boys their same age is crucial for developing skills at properly intermingling in a respectable manner, especially since just yesterday the opposite sex had cooties. It’s important to find programs which will encourage co-ed activities in a productive manner, such as church youth groups, library reading clubs, the 4-H club, the YMCA, Boy’s and Girl’s Clubs of America and other highly respected and organized groups. Check with your local community to find what programs they are offering. You may be surprised, most cities sponsor some very worthwhile activities.

Many times your child’s school will host certain events, such as school dances, which your kiddo may not inform you of because they are reluctant to attend. Have the school provide you with a list of the year’s upcoming activities, these type things are planned way in advance, usually at the start of the school year. In the case of a dance, your child may feel awkward or unsure of themselves. As a wise parent who is aware of the upcoming event in advance, talk with them about it in an encouraging way. Perhaps take them shopping for a new cool outfit or set of clothes to give their self-esteem a boost. Offer to give them and one or two of their friends a ride. There is greater safety in numbers. Either way, getting them involved now will ensure a smoother transition later.

The most important thing is to be ever-present, and ever-aware, without smothering. You are also coming upon the years, or may already be there, where you may not be as cool as you once were, at least in their eyes, or at least when in public. Especially when under the auspices of their friends. Do not be overly concerned, you’ll be cool again in time. Starting in their tweens and progressing into their teens, their quest for more independence becomes apparent, as it should. Hakuna Matata. By letting go little by little at this age, of course, being ever observant, you are helping to better prepare them for what is awaiting them right around the corner of life.

We cannot stop time and none of us knows where it goes, but by understanding the stages of our children’s lives, from tween to teen being one of those, we can better prepare them for the next stage, all the way into adulthood. By the way, that’s when you’ll be cool again, so hang tight.

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