Building relationships with Tweens
I may be far off from the Tween phase, but it honestly terrifies me a bit. My mom had some big issues during my own tween phase so I don't really have any example to go on for my own daughter when she reaches that age. I thought this article was really great, but since I don't have a kid that age I was hoping some of you moms with big kids could tell me what you think.
If you don't have time to read the whole thing, here's a quick summary of the article. Tweens are any child between 8-13 years old. At this age there are a lot of things going on with them so they pose unique parenting challenges. The other says that if you don't focus on building a strong relationship at this time you could face serious challenges when they become teenagers. The five things the author suggests focusing on to build that relationship are:
• Face-to-Face Communication: Put away the technology and talk with your tween as often as possible. Make sure to listen as much - if not more - then you talk.
• Faith/Spiritual Beliefs: Don't let your tween's other activites push out their faith. The strong support there will follow them into adulthood. If you're not religious I suppose this could be any positive group your kid can be a part of as they gain more independence.
• Understand Things will go Wrong: Life happens and when things go wrong don't panic or fight. Step back and asses the bigger picture. Tweens don't have the same experience to know how to make the right choices. Set a good example of how to deal with those consequences and learn from their mistakes.
• The Golden Rule: Treat them how you'd want to be treated. This can be hard because our own Tween phase was so long ago, but try to put yourselves in their shoes.
So mom's of big kids, what do you think? Did they cover it all? Would you add to this list based on what you learned from your kids?