Preparing For Your Child’s Tween Years (And Why They’re The Worst!)
For the longest time, people thought that raising a teenager was the worst experience imaginable. As your child gets into the full swing of puberty, they start rebelling and going through all kinds of changes. It’s a very challenging period, but if we roll things back a few years, you find an arguably harder period as a parent.
That’s right, we’re talking about the tween years. When your child is between 9 and 13, they’re a tween. It’s a very challenging period because this is just before your child is about to hit puberty. As such, the changes are already starting to take effect, but you also have the problem with tweens wanting to be teens. Most tweens will follow teenage influencers on Instagram or watch YouTubers of a similar age. They see these people doing grown-up stuff and acting way older than they are, encouraging them to do so. As a parent, it can be incredibly hard watching your child try to grow up too quickly. So, what can you do to prepare for this moment?
Kids are going to go through what some may call an aggressive identity crisis during their tweens. They try on many different personalities and may go through lots of phases. As a parent, you should be supportive of anything your child chooses to do regarding their personality. This is just them trying to find themselves – give them the space to do that and don’t try to force them to do certain things. For instance, don’t try to encourage your son to play football if they clearly don’t want to, and don’t force your daughter to wear typically girly clothes. Be supportive of their choices and let them discover who they are.
Encourage good hobbies
The tween years will be when your child starts to venture out with their friends a lot. Or, they’re constantly looking to go out, walk around town, go to the mall, and stay out later and later. It’s okay to let your kids go out with friends, but you should also try to encourage other hobbies.
For instance, try to encourage your child to read. You can find emergent reader libraries filled with books directed at tweens and kids of this age. It gives your child something to do so they don’t get bored or feel like they need to go out all the time. Think of other hobbies that keep them out of trouble too. This is also a good way to find other tweens with the same hobbies, so they meet people they can relate to, rather than trying to find ways to fit in with friends from school.
Set ground rules
Overly strict parents are never good, but you still need to have some ground rules. Don’t give your kids free reign when they’re tweens as they’ll take advantage of this when they’re teenagers. Give them curfews for when they have to be back home, don’t let them go out every single evening after school with their friends – and make sure they start learning valuable lessons. For instance, if they want money to go to the cinema or spend at the mall, they have to work for it. Reward them for doing chores around the house and start encouraging the idea of working for something. As they become teenagers, they’ll soon jump at the chance to find a job and earn money.
There’s no doubt the tween years are pretty rough as a parent, but you can get through them. It’s all about understanding what your child is going through during this period and how you can find the perfect blend between allowing them the freedom to flourish without being too hands-off.