Give Them Some Space
These are the years that your child starts forming what sort of person he'll be when he grows up. It's important to remember that all people are different, so give your kid the opportunity to explore and figure out his passions in life.
This requires giving them a little bit of space. And you not only want to give them space to wear different clothes or try new activities, but you should also give them a little privacy. Your son may suddenly put a "Keep Out" sign on her door. He's just looking for a little space to figure out who he is.
Because so much is changing, your child may feel embarrassed and won't want to talk about what's going on in his life. It's important to stay connected to your child, though, and make sure he feels comfortable opening up to you. Try different ways of communicating with him. You don't always have to have a big conversation. Suggest doing a game or activity your child will like, and by doing that you may have the opportunity to have meaningful conversations.
When you get your child to open up to you, you should also try to respect his privacy. Don't go blabbing his problems to your friends, or even worse, his friends. You've also violated his trust, which will make further communication difficult.
Also, keep in mind that your tween doesn't feel like a baby anymore, and he doesn't want to be treated like one, either. This can be difficult for a parent because your son may suddenly stop showering you with affection like he used to. Don't try to embarrass him by being super-affectionate. Just be there for when he'll need a hug or back rub.
Sure, these years may seem long, especially when you know the teen years are right behind them. However, if you instill good values in your tween during childhood, these values will return in adulthood.
- Hartley-Brewer, Elizabeth. "Tween: Almost Grown Up. May 2010. (May 7, 2010) http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3753978
- Hayes, Eileen. "From Sweetheart to Monster - Understanding your Tween." Feb. 26, 2007. (May 7, 2010) http://www.supernanny.co.uk/Advice/-/Parenting-Skills/-/Discipline-and-Reward/From-sweetheart-to-monster-~-understanding-your-tween.aspx
- Miles, Karen. "Tweens: The New Toddlers." Parenting. (May 7, 2010) http://www.parenting.com/article/Child/Development/Tweens-The-New-Toddlers
- Sonna, Linda. "The Everything Tween Book." Adams Media Corporation. 2003.
- Tilsner, Julie. "Dealing With a Drama Tween." Parenting. (May 7, 2010) http://www.parenting.com/article/Child/Behavior/Dealing-With-a-Drama-Tween