The Hardest Part about Raising a Tween

With hormones beginning to rage, new challenges arise when it comes to raising your tweens. As a parent, it isn’t easy to deal with this phase, especially when you’re not prepared! Whether your child is talking back, beginning to show erratic behavior, or having a full blown straight out of left field tantrum, you should never underestimate the power hormones have on a child’s physical and mental state. It’s important to get updated on the best way to handle these situations.

The Edge

Yes, we know all about the snarky, mouthy, eye rolling, grouch who can now plop himself in the front passenger seat of the car.  It’s understandable to get worked up when your tween starts complaining and talking back when all you’ve tried to do was help. The hardest part of this whole attitude thing is not fixing it, it’s trying to understand why it’s happening in the first place. You will constantly be questioning yourself as a mother, asking “what did I do wrong? Did I say anything to insult her? Maybe he’s hungry?”

You’ll be constantly debating whether you could have done things a better way, and this can get quite overwhelming. In these situations, make sure that you’re patient and understanding. Be aware that your tween is going through major physical and chemical changes which can drastically affect their behavior towards you. Don’t take it personally!

Pushing Away

As your tween becomes more and more impacted by changes in this phase of their life, they may seek some alone time, and desire isolation. They are dealing with mood swings, competitiveness, physical body changes, sexual identity, sexual attraction…the list goes on. Give them some breathing room, and understand they may sometimes push you away. This is is not to say that you shouldn’t keep up with ritualistic check-ins with your tween. These moments are super important, especially if they are trying to ask for your advice or are concerned about a particular incident.

Social Exposure

Tweens want to feel more grown up at this stage in their life. Seeking this grown up feeling, they may experiment more socially. This can take the form of curiosity about things like sexuality, relationships, friendships, and drinking and drugs. Especially when it comes to their social life, tweens may need your guidance the most, yet ask for it the least. Make sure you have certain rules that can indirectly help them, such as restricting high internet use, reinforcing age-appropriate movies, and so forth.

Also, remember  we did not grow up in the same world they do! Culturally speaking, everything has changed. This is true from from perceptions of beauty to the media’s distorted portrayal of how women ought to be.

Today’s youth takes pride in taking total control of their lives, and look down on overprotective and “strict” parents. This is why it is important to take matters into your own hands, and deal with this in a sensitive yet effective way.

Balance is Key

Instead of completely removing internet from your child’s life, allow a certain amount per day. The same goes for mobile devices, going out with friends, and so forth. All possible options of your tween gaining independence should be done with the intention of harmony .

It can be very frustrating and at times saddening to see our children change. We want to hold on to their childhood innocence a little longer. Yet, a big part of being the best parents we can be is accepting that our tweens are going through these stages. We must be there to support them.

Whether they’re constantly whining about just about everything or talking back to you, take a deep breath and remember that it will all be over in a little bit. Stand your ground when you need to, but be lenient in other ways. It’s all about balance!

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