Parenting a tween almost teen is hard.
It occured to me this summer that I have four years left to impart a whole lot of knowledge before he leaves us and goes to college. So I find myself trying to teach him basic necessities like cleaning, cooking, and organization. And I also find myself trying to make a lesson out of every situation.
Basically I’m lecturing him. About actions and consequences, about peer pressure, about underage drinking and drug use. About GIRLS.
But I know my child and my lectures are going in one ear and out the other, because in my eagerness to help him I’m overburdening him with so much information that he cannot possibly retain it.
That’s why I’m so happy that I have been able to partner with Responsibility.org during this crucial period in my parenting journey.
Responsibility.org has been the a great resource for me to help me have these conversations more productively and it’s a great place to find perfect resource to find information and tips on avoiding alcohol consumption in minors.
I love the summits we have throughout the year, and this last one really gave me a few tips I want to share. Because if you are parenting a tween like me, you need all the help you can get.
3 Tips to Get Through To Your Tween
1.Don’t make everything a lecture with a lesson.
Didn’t I just talk about this?
Teens wish that parents wouldn’t make every conversation a lesson according to Dr. Eva Beaulieu. So as a parent RESIST! LOL. Be sure to have normal everyday conversations with your tween or teen! Let them express themselves without judgement. Remember that life is stressful for kids this age and sometimes they need a break.
2. Consider How You Respond
Remember: how we respond when our kids say something shocking or something that we don’t like, influences how willing they are to come to us with a problem or concern in the future.
A few more things:
- Listen to their viewpoint even if you don’t agree.
- Try to keep a neutral expression
- Pause before you respond in anger.
Try to see the conflict through your child’s eyes when your kids say something shocking or something you don’t like, even if you don’t agree.
Our kids , just like most adults, want to feel comfortable and not judged ( even if you are in fact JUDGING THEM FOR THEIR BAD DECISIONS).
Let them express themselves and ask open ended questions during these conversations instead of questions that offer a yes/no answer. You will learn more information this way.
3. Focus on the Win/Win
Focus on the win-win scenario. Everyone: both the tween/teen and the parent, want to feel like they are walking away from a conversation with a win.
So instead of strictly thinking about who won, or about control, consider a fair exchange a win for everyone. We as parents are trained to control our children, but as they get older, we have to start letting go.
We won’t always agree with their decisions or what they say, but we have to let them express themselves because we want them to rememebr that we are their safe place. That we are their ultimate advocate.
Remember this and try to go into difficult conversations with this mindset so that everyone wins.
I hope this helps you navigate the world of tween/teen parenting like it is helping me. Questions?
This year, I have had the pleasure of being a Responsibility.org ambassador. I was compensated to write this post, but all opinions of course, are my own.