The tween years can be very tricky for both parents and children, fraught with confusion and emotion. It may seem like your child has transformed from a cute toddler to a lanky preadolescent overnight, and the changes aren’t just physical. It may seem like they have a totally new personality to boot. Don’t get overwhelmed. Here are a few tips on how to navigate these challenging years:
Celebrate Important Milestones
The tween years can be some of the most anxious in your child’s life. Suddenly they find themselves in that awkward stage where they’re not a small child anymore, but not quite yet a teenager. Celebrating their achievements and important milestones can help boost your child’s confidence and make them feel more self assured. Throw them a middle school graduation party, and be sure to capture the memories by renting a photo booth from The Photo Factory.
The Photo Factory’s booths come with many different backgrounds and props, so you can choose those that match the theme of your party. Your child and their friends will have endless fun posing for the camera, as they offer unlimited sessions, as well as boomerang and GIFs. After the party, your guests can take their photos home as souvenirs, or easily share them on social media. A photo booth rental is definitely a great way to provide entertainment and to document an important moment in your child’s life.
Allow Them Their Independence
Once they reach the tween years, children start to become more independent, and no longer rely on their parents for everything. Instead, they start to turn to their friends more as they learn how to develop strong social ties and relationships. Independence can often feel like rejection for parents, especially when your child no longer asks for your help or advice.
Don’t take this newfound independence personally, and realize that your child actually needs you more than ever now. You just need to be patient, give them some space, and allow them to come to you at their own time.
Be a Good Listener
Children start to withdraw and keep secrets from their parents if they feel that their parents are too judgmental, critical or dismissive. When your tween talks to you about their friends or interests, try not to offer your opinion too quickly.
Don’t criticize or express your distaste for the things they find interesting and enjoyable. Instead, open your mind and just be genuinely interested in what they want to share with you. This will keep communication healthy between you and your tween.
Don’t Shy Away From Difficult Topics
The tween and teen years can be a very confusing time for young people. They may have a lot of questions about themselves and the world around them. Some of these may be difficult or sensitive to tackle. Don’t shy away from them; it’s important to let your children feel safe talking to you.
Don’t be ashamed to admit it when you don’t know the answers, either. Children appreciate honesty, and you can simply tell them, “That’s a good question. I don’t know the answer yet, but we can look for information together.”
Don’t Stop Showing Them Affection
Right around the time your child becomes a tween, they may start to express embarrassment or annoyance when you show them affection in front of their friends and peers. Don’t take it personally or feel rejected. It’s just part of their natural desire to appear more grown up and independent. In private though, your child still very much needs your support and affection. They’ll probably be more open to quick hugs and kisses if you’re discreet, or may even continue to initiate themselves away from their friends. Don’t stop showing your kid how much you love them; it will give them the security they need as they navigate the tricky tween years.