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Showing Encouragement During the Tween Years

by YPI Editors | October 25th, 2016 | Communication, Tweens

parent-hugging-12-year-oldWhen your child is in preschool or elementary school, it can be pretty simple to show encouragement. Maybe you put a drawing from art class on the refrigerator or offer a sticker for learning a new task. However, now that your child is a tween, these behaviors may seem babyish. How can you show your pride for your child? The easiest answer is through communication in three different forms.

Verbal– When your tween-aged daughter brings an A+ science test home, be sure to tell her you are proud of her work. Make it clear that it isn’t just the grade you’re proud of; there’s so much more than that. Praise her for taking the time to study and truly understand the material. Praise her for sharing her schoolwork with you. Let her know that as much as you’re proud of her fabulous results, it’s also the process that matters.

Written– Share your pride via a note. As opposed to the younger years, where you may have placed a note in a lunchbox, place these in a private place. The last thing you want is a classmate finding a note for your son; he may be embarrassed. However, a note left on his pillow or bathroom mirror is a nice surprise. After a long day of school, sports, and homework, it’s nice to find a loving note on your pillow.

Physical– Although your child has matured to a point in which there is less physical contact, it doesn’t mean that it needs to be totally eliminated. So, while your tween daughter may not sit in your lap or want to snuggle in bed for nighttime stories, it doesn’t mean that she wants no human contact. If something exciting happened, give her a hug to express your pride. A literal pat on the back can be powerful. While your tween may not ask to be hugged, she may be missing your physical closeness.

The tween years can be tricky to navigate. Your tween wants your approval and love, although maybe not in public. So even when your tween wants to sit in a whole different section at a school event, it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t want your attention when at home. (Side note: this doesn’t mean that your tween can be rude to you in public.) However, you can give him space when in public but be closer when it’s time for just the two of you.

Find quieter, more private ways to show your love and pride for your tween. She will be sure to appreciate it.

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