Nerve racking and hard to deal with. When your child becomes a Tween, which is a pre-teen usually between the ages of 11-13, they begin to get lost in the puberty era. This is the hormonal flux that engulfs their very being and every fiber within their existence. These can be especially discouraging and enlightening depending on how the child was raised up to this point.
During this tween and teen period the attitudes will become more frequent, the temper tantrums will return with a vengeance, and the bad elements will become a popular obsession. This aspect is usually only true with children in public schools as they are not as closely watched as those tweens and teens in private academies or those that are home schooled.
So, how can parents survive these years? This article provides tips on effective parenting to take the worry and the guess work out of it.
Effective Parenting: Continuing the Bond
To ensure that you and your child do not grow apart it is important to always remain close. By this, I mean to continue a healthy relationship where bonding is evident in a consistent manner.
Many parents today consider there tweens and teens to be mini-adults. Parents give unlimited space and feel as though it is allowing much needed privacy but in actuality it gives the children a sense of loneliness as if the parents “do not care.” This increases the risk that teens and tweens will look for other relationships to fill this void.
Usually the types of relationships that appeal to teens and tweens who lack parental guidance and control will often find solace in those that are controlling, obsessive, wrought with jealousy but hidden in ‘devotion’. This gives a false sense of security to the children that these ‘relationships’ will never end. The more lonely or abandoned the child feels the more of a need for this type of constant contact with harmful influences will transpire.
Having mother daughter and father son (and vice versa) are wonderful ways to catch up on the weeks events if you are a busy parent. By spending the whole day together and talking you can fill the other parent in at the end of the day so that everyone remains informed. Fathers and sons can go to the race track, golfing, or to another type of event that they have in common. Mothers and daughters can do what my daughter and I do each week- which is get a facial, paint our nails and watch chick flicks while opening up and discussing many topics. The options are endless.
Effective Parenting: Communication and Praise
Communication and praise are often confused for meaning the same thing. This is not the case. Both are needed to effectively and successfully raise a child but in different amounts.
Communication should be a daily thing to exercise. Talking with your tweens and teens about everything is good for their trust in you, the parent, and for the development in future talking and listening skills that they will need to apply to every aspect of their life. Not only will you be an active parent dedicated to understanding your child and all aspects of their life but you will be teaching them not to bottle up emotions, thoughts and feelings- instead they will feel the need to share and clear the air as needed.
Praise can be abused and misused, here’s how. There are some parents that feel they should praise their child for anything and everything, but this is wrong. If you praise them for both good and bad things that they do then they will come to realize that it means nothing at all because they will always receive it. Example: Tommy gets a D on his report. Some parents would automatically begin to praise and do it behind the “you did your best and that’s all that counts” shield. While it is a nice idea to want to sweep a mess under the rug it is not the way to keep a clean house.
Instead, the parents should first discover the true reason why the grade was low. If it is laziness then the problem will only increase and the child will think that it is okay- this will bring problems from work, and many other relationships in the future for this child. If it is a deeper problem it should be addressed and together you can find ways to fix it.
Praise should be given but given carefully. You, as the parent, need to use it as a tool to show loving encouragement to overcome difficult obstacles and the like or it will be taken for granted.
Effective Parenting: Being Consistent
Being consistent is an issue many parents fail to see until it is too late. By too late, I mean when the child is an adult and can not commit to certain things, has severe difficulty raising their own children, or frequently loses jobs. By not understanding consistency and the need for this principal they can not successfully and effectively apply it to their own lives.
Rules are a prime example. If teens and tweens are allowed to break the rules (minor and major rules are the same in text) because you force no consistent discipline then they can not follow a pattern or a routine in daily life once they reach adulthood. They are more likely to be rebellious and will tend to lean toward dismissing real, worthwhile relationships down the road.
It is imperative to enforce a stable environment and when rules are broken then discipline must be enforced. This will also help deter criminal behavior in the child’s adult life as the fear of being punished will linger and they will tend to think about getting caught.
Effective Parenting: Establishing a Firm set of Rules
This is one of the most important elements of effective parenting for all kids but really pays off in tweens and teens if executed properly.
By setting rules and enforcing disciplinary actions when they are broken throughout a child’s life can help make everyone’s life easier when the child becomes a teen. Each time they feel as though they want to break curfew or sneak out they will automatically understand the consequences for their actions. This tends to make tweens and teens, who were brought up in this type of stable environment, less severe offenses and stay away from the more dangerous actions for fear of getting in trouble.
Effective Parenting: In Closing
These are only a handful of key issues that are so important for effective parenting. Every family is different and the traditions vary from home to home and family to family… but these things should be present in every home and every family for the child’s sake. Being a good parent means to raise a kind hearted, loving, caring, person that doesn’t break the law, doesn’t put themselves and their desires above others and that can contribute things that are good and decent to society. Only then are we successful.