Parenting a Tween: Tips from a Parent Coach
Parenting a Generation Z or Alpha tween can be difficult. They are no longer children, but they are not yet adults. Caught in a transition stage, they need more guidance from their parents. The best approach is to build a healthy network of mentors and coaches for accountability and sustainability. For some quick tips, here are a few ideas to get you started.
Establish rules and limits: tweens need boundaries to help them understand what is expected of them.
Most tweens are eager to test the waters and figure out what they can get away with. It’s important to set rules and limits for them during this time, so they can understand what is expected of them. Limits help keep tweens safe and teach them how to behave in society. Rules also give tweens a sense of security and stability, knowing that there are boundaries in their life that they cannot cross.
Keep in mind the following to keep your cool and remain confident in your parenting:
Tweens will make a lot of mistakes!
No one is perfect, and that includes tweens. Tweens will make a lot of mistakes as they learn and grow. This is normal, and it is part of the process of becoming an adult. Some mistakes will be big, while others will be small. But all of them are important in helping tweens learn and grow into their own unique individuals.
Encourage independence: tweens want to feel like they are capable of doing things on their own.
According to several studies and recommendations by the Center for Disease Control, children as young as 8 years old want to feel like they are capable of doing things on their own. This desire for independence only grows as they get older. While it is important to help children feel competent and capable, it is also crucial to allow them to experience tasks and challenges independently. This helps them learn problem-solving skills and builds their confidence.
There are many ways to encourage independence in children. One way is to give them opportunities to try new things on their own. This could be something as simple as letting them choose what they want for breakfast or packing their own lunch for school. It could also involve allowing them to take on more challenging tasks, such as making dinner or cleaning their room.
Respect their feelings: tweens are going through a lot of changes and they need to be able to express their feelings without fear of judgment.
Tweens are going through a lot of changes and they need to be able to express themselves in order to navigate through them. It is important to respect their feelings and not brush them off as insignificant. Tweens are trying to figure out who they are and what they believe in and it is important to allow them the space to do that. Parenting a tween can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips from a parent coach to help make parenting easier:
1. Develop a plan with your tween.
Set goals together and make sure both of you are on the same page. This will help avoid any clashes and keep your tween motivated.
2. Be patient and understand that tweens are different than adults.
They may not want to do what you say right away, but they will eventually listen if you’re consistent and show that you care about them.
3. Show that you know about the tween’s interests.
Being engaged can be a great source of connection and inspiration for them.
4. Make sure you have time for yourself as well.
Your tween needs to see you modeling healhty stress management, self-care, and balance in your life too!
Be a role model: tweens look up to their parents and mimic their behavior.
Parents are their children’s first and most important role models. Tweens watch their parents closely, mimic their behavior and learn from them. While it is important for parents to set a good example for their children, it is also important for them to be aware of the influence they have on their tweens and be intentional about the example they are setting.
Parents should aim to be positive role models for their children by being honest, respectful and responsible. They should also strive to maintain healthy relationships with others, stay physically active and eat a balanced diet. By doing so, parents can help equip their tweens with the tools they need to lead happy, healthy lives.
Provide support: tweens need someone to rely on during this time
Some life changes for a tween can be downright intimidating, scary, or embarrassing. Parents who are proactive about communication, dedicated family time, and clear values create an atmosphere for tweens in their most challenging times. Make sure they are surrounded by people who are sensitive to and supportive of their growth stages. Parents who are aware of the tween’s changing needs and tendencies provide support.
Acknowledge that your tween will discover they are “different” in some capacity. Everyone will notice their differences, nuances, quirks, and quibbles at some point.
Providing support means reasonable compromise. The tween years are a stage where parent and child learn negotiation. After all, what parent would want their child to be co-dependent on them for everything? Tweens need to learn how to win opportunities through effective communication. As they search for the right vocabulary to express their requests, parents can prove to be reliable resources by helping with active conversation.
Updated September 9th, 2022