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Summer of Success!

by Lori Sciame | July 9th, 2013 | Social, Tweens
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beach familyBeing a tween can be awkward to say the least. Adults expect tweens to act more grown up, but tweens are not yet old enough to fend for themselves. As a result, it can be a struggle for many tweens to become confident with what their role in the family should be. No longer the cute baby, but not yet the responsible teen, they are just that . . . in between. A parent should recognize this struggle within his or her child, and offer ways to assist a tween with gaining more confidence. Read on to learn more about helping a tween become more confident in him or herself this summer.

Specific Skill Building

Learning new skills helps to build confidence. A tween who is never allowed to learn simple tasks, such as helping to paint a room or preparing part (or all) of a meal, will be robbed of opportunities for personal growth. Summer is the perfect time for assisting a tween with mastering new skills. It doesn’t matter what these skills are, it just matters that a parent teaches the child how to do something new. For instance, if a family enjoys boating, what task can a tween safely tackle? Or if a parent participates in archery, does the child want to learn how to shoot as well? The key is to let a child feel capable of tackling the unknown, to be able to fail, and then eventually succeed.

Social Etiquette

Tweens also need to begin honing their etiquette skills to gain confidence. To be successful in social settings, one must understand the many unspoken rules. Do they understand it is frowned upon to brush one’s hair at the table? Do they know when it is appropriate to jump into a conversation? Parents underestimate the importance of learning the “social graces.” Times have changed. Many rules have gone out the window, but many still remain. A great way to begin a etiquette lesson is to go to dinner at an upscale restaurant if you can afford it. Begin with easy things, like placing the napkin in the lap and using the outside utensils first. Make this learning session fun, and you’ll be surprised how much a tween will respond.

Feed a Passion

Another way to build confidence in a tween is to feed his or her passion. If she loves to wrestle, find a wrestling club that she can participate in, or if he likes to dance, do the same. If a parent takes his or her child’s passions seriously, without judging them, a stronger, more confident child will be the result. And since tweens change their minds so often, a parent may be going to hockey games one week and to Japanese tea ceremonies the next. Doesn’t that sound interesting?

Final Thoughts

Helping a tween to gain confidence is a job that a parent should not ignore. If a tween is not allowed to build his skill set, if she never learns etiquette, and if neither are supported in their passions, one unhappy child will be the result.

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