Transitioning from parenting a young child to parenting a tween can have its challenges, but keeping an open mind and learning to be more flexible will bring you and your child more joy. Adapting your parenting to fit the needs of your teenager-to-be requires a change in rules, communication patterns, expectations, collaboration, and ways of connecting with your child. Here are 4 things your tween would like to ask you at this stage.
1 – Listen to me
When I tell you something about myself or about my experiences and concerns, please listen. I need to know that you understand me and accept me for who I am, even if I’m not who you want me to be. I need to know that you believe me when I tell you things. I want you to know that it hurts me when you discount my feelings, when you try to “fix” things for me, or when you try to tell me how I should feel about something. Please listen without trying to change me. Please stop assuming you know everything about me and ask me more about how I experience and see things.
2 – Let me find out who I am
Allow me to try out a new haircut, wear different clothes, change out my room décor, listen to different music, and watch things that interest me. I want to be able to share my interests with you without feeling judged or being criticized. I am trying to figure out who I am and what I’m interested in and I need you to trust me to start making some of those decisions for myself.
3 – Give me more freedom
Help guide me but also allow me to do things on my own and make my own mistakes so I can learn from them. Let me go out with friends and help facilitate that when possible. Let me have a say about things that affect me instead of making all of the decisions for me – believe that my opinions and wishes matter.
4 – Be mindful of my time
Just like everyone else, I need to have time to rest and time to do the things I enjoy. Please don’t overbook my schedule with activities you think I should do, or give me too many tasks that leave me with no time for myself. I also need to spend quality time with you and would love to go out for dinner or ice cream, to watch a movie together, to go for walks with you, or to just sit and talk sometimes.
We hope these tips will help you improve your relationship with your tween and make your parenting journey more enjoyable!
Interested in more support? Check out the rest of our website at http://www.amywinecounseling.com to learn more about the services that we offer and to learn how to schedule an appointment.
Barbara Johns, LPC Associate
I believe that in order to heal, people need to have a safe space where they can explore what is contributing to their problems and how they can use their difficulties as fuel for personal growth in order to turn things around and live life the way they really want to. My goal is to provide you with that safe and supportive environment as well as with new tools and skills that you can take with you on your journey towards healing and growth.