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12 Things You Must Know When Parenting A Pre-teen

12 Things You Must Know When Parenting A Pre-teen

This is that phase in your child’s life where she progresses on from childhood into adulthood. This period of transition does not come without it’s own challenges or pitfalls as your child will be dealing with lots of pressure from different angles of society as well his own body changes. Now, your preteen is making new discoveries about herself and the people who make up her world. Here’s how you can help your preteen navigate through these murky waters.

Be An Involved Parent: Be involved in your preteen’s evolving life as she comes across different changes. As much as you can, keep up with her daily activities while allowing her explore her new level of independence. Try to be present at every function that’s important to her, like school concerts, sports and other events. And, when you can’t for some reason, ask how it went. Spend time with your preteen on a daily basis. Bedtimes, drive to school, meal times and one-on-one dates are good opportunities to catch up on what’s going on in your child’s life.

Right Balance: While allowing your preteen enough room to discovering herself, constantly monitor her choices, who she’s with, what she does and what she says. Set limits and boundaries without making her feel controlled. The feeling of being too controlled often gives birth to rebellion.

Peer Pressure: Some of the things you tell her now will be subject to verification by her friends. You’ll hear her say stuffs like “Sarah’s mum allows her to polish her nails, why can’t I polish mine?” Calmly, remind your preteen of your values, telling her that, “we don’t do things just because others are doing them”. Also reassure her that the time will certainly come when the decision to polish her nails will be entirely hers to make.

Reaffirm Your Authority: This is an era where your preteen begins to have realistic views of her world. She no longer sees you, her parents as perfect beings and can identify some of your mistakes. Therefore, boundaries will be pushed, and your rules will be questioned. Make your authority clear by reminding your child of who’s in charge. Reinforce consequences for every rule that she breaks. However, recognize that some limits becomes negotiable as she gets older.

Be A Positive Role model: There’s a huge likeliness that your child will emulate your character, attitudes and ideals. This requires you as parents, on a daily basis to be the type of people that you want your child to become. Therefore, watch what you say and what you do as these will impact in the choices that your preteen makes.

Communication Is Key: So, keep that line open. Usually, preteens prefer to confide more in their friends than their parents. Their friends’ opinions somewhat begins to matter to them at this point. Be the kind of parent your preteen can confide in, one that she can talk to about anything. Listen attentively without judging, but be honest. If your child doesn’t trust you enough to confide in you, chances are she’ll get the wrong answers from wrong sources. In addition, encourage her to keep a journal where she can write her thoughts.

Remember that preteens are very emotional, so avoid shouting matches. Keep fights and arguments between you and your preteen under control by being calm, patient and persistent.

See Also

Get Informed: If this is your first preteen, it would be wise for you to equip yourself with adequate information. Read relevant materials and talk to other parents of preteens.

Understand Your Child: You probably have memories of your preteen years, but recognize that times have changed and that your own preteen years may be quite different from your child’s. Therefore, to understand your preteen better, get to know and sometimes ‘hangout’ with your preteen and her friends. Channel her energy into something productive such as painting, sports, or learning how to play a musical instrument.

Reassure Your Preteen Of Your Love: Though your preteen tends to push your buttons more often than ever, always reassure her of your love. Express your love by showing her affection; hug, encourage, praise and say, “I love you.” Preteens need plenty of love and positive remarks from their parents to make them feel secure as well as to boost their self esteem. Be careful not to use negative words that will break their already fragile confidence.

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