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One-on-One Time: Key to Tween Talks

by Michele | April 7th, 2016 | Communication, Tweens

tween talkDo you remember the awkwardness of being a tween? You didn’t feel like a kid anymore, but you also weren’t a teenager. You were stuck in the in-between of adolescence. One day you wanted to play with your childhood toys, and the next you were enviously studying teen-directed magazines. The one thing I know I craved, although I may not have voiced it, was time just with my mom.

As a parent, you know the value of time spent with just one child, if you have two or more. Even though family time is a great thing, there also is value in time with just one parent and one child. During the tween years, your child needs this even more. It may not seem to be true, but with a little effort this will be a valuable experience for both of you.

One-on-one time doesn’t have to be a big event. It can be as simple as spending 10 minutes in your son’s bedroom before he goes to bed at night. Knock before entering, and then have a seat on his bed. Ask about his day, his friends. Whatever seems to gain his interest is good. These talks don’t have to be serious or focused on major issues; they just need to be an opening to private conversation. Make it a regular event, so your tween knows there will be many opportunities to talk.

For a change of pace, you also can plan an outing. Ask your tween to join you for a practical event (grocery shopping) or something special (a local hike). Make this a time for just the two of you, assuring other children they will get time also. Again, these outings don’t have to have a topic of discussion aligned with them but should be used as a time to focus on just that child.

You may notice that your tween can be hesitant for these individual plans. They may fear missing out on something with friends. If you find a way to make outings fun, that will help. Although your outing may be grocery shopping, there’s no reason you can’t stop for an ice cream cone on the way. Once your tween realizes that these will be fun events, as opposed to chore-like events, he will be more excited for his turn.

As a tween they’re on the cusp of semi-independence. If your tween knows that she can reach out to you and share thoughts, dreams, and more, you’re bound to have better communication through the tween and teen years. Don’t let her moodiness or claims of independence push you away. Although she won’t say it, she needs you there to listen and parent.

Find some time for just you and your tween, even if it’s 10 minutes on the ride home from picking up pizza to focus on just him. He’ll appreciate it more than you would know.

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