5 Things Your Tween Won't Tell You

Your child needs space -- and you need to set limits.

To help your son or daughter become a young adult, you'll need to give him or her plenty of space. That means it's okay for them to spend time alone in their room. Phone calls and emails should stay private, unless there's reason to be concerned.

On the other hand, transitioning from being a kid with established schedules isn't easy. Suddenly, there are so many more choices and expectations. Even though your tween may resist, he really does need you to help him set limits regarding bed times, curfews and computer time. Too much freedom may mean they fall victim to their own immature judgment.

Take bedtime, for example. It's a fact that hormones are wrecking havoc on your tween's internal body clock. While the rest of the household is settling down, your child's circadian rhythms are cranking up again, and he or she really may not feel tired. Your tween may be tempted to watch one video after another until he or she falls asleep at 3 a.m. -- despite a looming 6:30 a.m. wake-up call. Help your tween by setting a cut off time for TV or gaming; Suggest reading, writing in a journal or enjoying a quiet hobby before turning off the lights at a reasonable hour.

Busy social schedules can also pull a tween many directions, and it's up to you to decide how much is enough. Two sleepovers (where very little sleeping is actually done) may be too many in one weekend; subscriptions to two online multi-player games are an invitation to online overload.

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