10 Ways You Might Be Embarrassing Your Tween

Simply Exist

Try as you might to mind your parenting Ps and Qs, you're going to embarrass your tween. He or she is coping with an untidy trio: hormones, peers and brain development. All of which are normal -- if inconvenient -- occurrences at this stage of life.

Your tween is hard-wired to believe he or she is at the center of the universe, and everything you do reflects (poorly) on his or her status. We know it's tempting to get mad, demand respect or, as we unfortunately discovered, instantaneously revert back to an 11-year-old version of yourself. But none of these approaches are effective. Instead, conjure up a healthy dose of empathy, try to relate to your tween and tap into your sense of humor.

After all, your tween is launching on the biggest voyage of all, one that navigates the stormy waters of teenage-dom and results in an identity that is clearly his or her own. Your tween may reject you along the way (over and over again), but in the end, being a nearly constant source of embarrassment is worth all the trouble. You've raised a child who can think for him- or herself, and wasn't that the whole point?

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  • Harpaz, Beth. "Mere Existence of Parents Enough to Embarrass Teens." Post-Trib.com. Dec. 28, 2010. (Jan. 2, 2011)http://www.post-trib.com/lifestyles/2976384,pt_20_Mere-existence-parents-enough-.article
  • Kastner, Laura. "Tackling Tween and Teen Rudeness." Aug. 29, 2010. (Jan. 2, 2011) ParentMap.com.http://www.parentmap.com/ages-11-14/ages-stages/ages-11-14/tackling-tween-and-teen-rudeness
  • Rodgers, Linda. "How to Talk to Your Tween." (Dec. 31, 2010) Parenting.com.http://www.parenting.com/article/Child/Behavior/How-to-Talk-to-Your-Tween
  • Schutte, Shana. "Is My Teen Just Angry or is She an Angry Teen?" (Dec. 31, 2010) FocusOnTheFamily.com.http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/effective_biblical_discipline/when_children_become_angry/is_my_teen_just_angry_or_an_angry_teen.aspx
  • Schutte, Shana. "Managing Tween Anger." (Dec. 31, 2010) FocusOnTheFamily.com.http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/effective_biblical_discipline/when_children_become_angry/managing_tween_anger.aspx
  • Simpson, Aislinn. "Embarrassed Teenagers 'Use Different Part of Brain.'" Sept. 29, 2008. (Jan. 2, 2011) The Telegraph.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/3100616/Embarrassed-teenagers-use-different-part-of-brain.html
  • Stern, Joanne. "Modeling Affection Promotes Resilient Children." Nov. 1, 2010. (Dec. 31, 2010) ParentingPink.com.http://parentingpink.com/2010/11/modeling-affection-kids/
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