3 Things Your Tween Wishes You Didn’t Do

3 Things Your Tween Wishes You Didn’t Do

by | Mar 21, 2024 | Parenting Adolescents, Trending, Tween Times


I have full faith in you and your parenting, yet I want to share what some tweens I met with wished were different. 


1) Taking their phone away every time they mess up

They feel it’s your go-to punishment no matter what they’ve failed to do or done. Many mistakes have nothing to do with their devices, such as forgetting to feed the dog, leaving the hair straightener on, or sassing you. Not having their phone separates them from their social groups, which is vital to them. It makes more sense for a consequence to fit an infraction and be a learning experience rather than be punitive. We want tweens to learn responsibility because they want to rather than because they fear losing their phone.

Better consequences:

Not feeding the dog: have them set a calendar notification.

Leaving an appliance turned on: get in the habit of unplugging them.

When they sass you: give then a second chance or a re-do to respond to you using kinder, nicer words in a respectful tone. 


2) Failing to recognize the good things they do.

As parents, we’re in coaching and training mode all the time. Tweens feel that parents often comment on things they need to improve, fail to do, and correct every little thing. But they wanted to be noticed when they get it right. With awareness, it’s easy to mindfully shift your focus on their strengths and positive choices and then acknowledge them.

Examples you identify with:

They look nice (Your sense of style shows in how you put that outfit together.) 

Pack their backpack each night before they go to bed (You’re organized and make your morning easy), 

Show kindness to a sibling (You were thoughtful playing SORRY with your brother). 

Did their chores without being nudged (You showed initiative by knocking out your Saturday chores.)

These are not words of praise; they are comments on their strengths. They hear they are organized, thoughtful, take initiative, etc., and learn more about themselves. They feel seen and know you pay attention to the good choices they make.


3) Lecturing without listening

Tweens feel their parents fire off solutions and start lecturing when they get wind of a problem. Too often, tweens don’t even get to tell the whole story. Their frustration mounts because they are not heard or understood. It feels like their parents undermine their ability to sort out their own problems.

How to listen and empower them:

Give your tween your attention and listen to understand as they tell the entire story.

Don’t interrupt, correct them, or give suggestions.

Let your first response be empathetic. Click here for empathetic responses.

Ask them how they want to approach the problem.

Ask them if they want your help.

I know you and your tween will welcome the shifts you make!


I believe in you,



I’m excited to tell you my book, Loving the Alien: How to Parent Your Tween, is coming out on March 26th! Learn more here.


©2024 JoAnn Schauf, MS, LLC Your Tween & You | All rights reserved.