6 Things Your Tween Needs from You as School Starts
Tweens lives are wonky as they are no longer children, and years away from adulthood. Their moodiness and unpredictableness confuses them and makes understanding them difficult for us. Despite the messages they give us, they need us.
They need our patience. Because they change their mind six times doesn’t mean their choice is unimportant. Get desirable responses with prompts like these; I need that by 6, ask how much time they need or if they need or can give us more information.
They want us to ask if they need help. Asking for help isn’t always easy for them. Inquiring if we can assist them with a task, homework, or processing a friendship snarl lets them know we are here for them.
They want us to stay calm. Because they have trouble understanding and regulating their emotions, when we talk calmly, it helps them. This results in solving problems without drama, emotions, and tempers.
They want us to help them pick a standard place and time to do homework. This helps them organize their out-of-school time and complete the work. Also, it contributes to habit formation and learning.
They need us to validate them. They want our approval, which is not the same as praise (which isn’t that helpful.) A smile, nod, pat on the back, gratitude, and appreciation assures them of our support and unconditional love.
THIS IS NOT WHAT THEY WANT US TO DO, AND WE NEED TO DO IT! To get enough sleep and be socially present, we need to limit their screen time. Charging phones, iPods, computers, etc., in the kitchen has never gone out of style along with an expected time of arrival. It’s hard for them, and us, to manage time when we’re on devices.
I know we’re on alert for changes to schooling due to COVID’s new threats. Hang in there and remember, our responses set the tone. I hope the interruptions are few and like you, that the pandemic ends soon. Stay safe and healthy!
©JoAnn Schauf, MS, LLC Your Tween & You 2021 All rights reserved