What every parent needs to know about Tweens.

In case you are not familiar with the “tween” term, it means when a kid is between 9 and 12 years old...

In case you are not familiar with the “tween” term, it means when a kid is between 9 and 12 years.
They are old too old to be considered a child but too young to be considered a teenager. It can be a very tricky time for a young person but also for parents too so we have put together some things you need to know before your darling hits this new stage.
  • Their bodies are starting to change, and they may become distant. However they are still our little people inside so by all means give them some privacy but let them know you are there if they need you. Tweens may stop coming to you for cuddles and kisses but still grab them for some, just maybe not in public as that is embarrassing!
  • Their group of friends might change and rather than having lots of mates they may have one or two best pals. It is a time when groups start to form and kids start to stick to certain people similar to how we have friends and acquaintances. Make sure you know your tweens pals and have them over regularly so you can familiarise yourself with your son/ daughters friends, and therefore you will be less likely to worry over the company he/she keeps.
  • Talk about bullying and have your tween well-rehearsed in how to behave nicely towards others. While your tween doesn’t have to be best friends with everyone in his/her class he/she should be polite to classmates, and not get involved in slagging or jeering at the expense of another.
  • Have clear rules and boundaries at home and when your tween is at school or in a pal’s house. Make sure your tween knows to use their manners when in company and to be polite. If your son/daughter doesn’t adhere to these rules there should be some form of consequences- whether it be grounding or missing out on a social event or extra chores.
  • They will become more independent, and you may start to lose the influence you have over them. They will form their own opinions and argue the points, and it may cause ructions at home. Negotiate and debate though (listening to their side) and try to find common ground and hopefully a solution can be found.
  • Spend time together whether they want to or not, as you still need to connect and bond. At this age you may find they will like to be with their friends a lot but simple things like having dinner together can be a help. Find a time during the day were your Tween can talk freely to you without interruptions, as a parent you need to know how they are getting on each day.
  • Don’t be fooled by your Tween, if they have a phone you will need to check it regularly. If they have a laptop then put parental controls in place, and supervise their usage daily. Don’t allow them on social media sites (they are too young) and monitor any group texts he/she is included in, as well as checking photos on his/her phone. Don’t be ignorant as kids are kids after all and will do silly things, no parent is immune to misguided tween behaviour.
  • Soon your tween will become a teenager and that will bring even more challenges, but if you can get it right now (with your tween) it will be easier in the later years.
Keep your eyes and ears open and be there, that is more than any kid can ask for.

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