How to Bond with Tweens Who Think You're Uncool

Image Gallery: Parenting They probably don't think you're uncool all the time -- just when their friends are watching. See more pictures of parenting.

If you're scratching your head wondering how you became a social pariah in your tween's life when it seems like just yesterday you were the center of his world, don't feel too badly. It's healthy for tweens to develop their personality muscles by exercising their independence, making new friends and finding new interests. The whole process can sting a bit, it's true. You can console yourself with the fact that it's all a part of growing up.

If you're now considered the most uncool person on the planet by your tween, this, too, will pass. His devotion to that pacifier, ratty blanket or stuffed bear became a footnote (hopefully) in his childhood development and this will, too. In the meantime, there are some ways you can keep the avenues of communication open and bond creatively with the sometimes prickly but always interesting person who is your tween.

On the next page, we'll take a look at a few common sense and even some sneaky and ingenious ways you can build a bridge back into your tween's social, creative and cultural life.