Tweens are a mass of contradictions. Even as their bodies are maturing in preparation to create other human beings, they can have temper tantrums worthy of a two year old, sleep with stuffed animals, and need mom to remind them to wash their ears when they take a bath. It’s a hard age to comprehend, but it is also a wonderful one.
Here are 10 tips for understanding your tween:
- All or nothing logic. Tweens see the world in black and white and have difficulty discerning shades of gray. Accordingly, they consider people nice or mean, situations fair or nnot, and can easily categorize almost everything else in the world under the headings of “good” or “bad.”
- They don’t always like to talk. Tweens may express themselves more readily via actions instead of words.
- Peer pressure is real. Help your tween by reminding them that when their peers mature, they will be more tolerant of differences, but don’t dismiss her efforts to fit in.
- Tween boys are rowdy and aggressive. It is normal. You need to provide them with physical activities that can serve as an outlet for their energy.
- Don’t obey the “keep out” sign on their door. The sign is just a way for them to try and establish boundaries between them and the outside world. They still need your love and guidance.
- Rules and discipline. Make sure you are fair and consistent with your rules and discipline. Allowing them to break the rules will send them a message that rules are meant to be broken.
- Spend time together. To remain close with your tween you must spend time together. Go grocery shopping together, ask them to help you with dinner, or just hang out and watch a movie together.
- Give help when they aren’t doing well in school. Don’t assume your child is a slow learner. They may be having problems with teachers or classmates, or they might simply be uninterested, but they need your help resolving these issues.
- If they don’t clean their room, they may not know how. It may be that they don’t know where to start or how to go about it.To help, break down the process into small steps and check their progress along the way.
- Avoid unhealthy eating habits. The best guide to how much your tween needs to eat is their appetite. But boredom, anxiety, stress, and depression can also trigger or suppress it. Teach them the differences and how to avoid unhealthy eating.
For further help and advice on understanding your tween, seek professional help! Call today to set up an appointment with a Mental Health Counselor and learn how to communicate, discipline, and interact with your tween! (813)244-1251