Playing Legos or Barbies on the floor with little children is a common way to connect with them. The regular ritual included a game of chase or a peaceful cuddle.
Now that your child is a tween, finding methods to connect with him or her appears to be more difficult (and sometimes even embarrassing!).
You’re caught off guard when you hear, “I don’t need you to walk me to the bus stop today, mum.”
On the one hand, you’re glad he’s becoming older and more self-sufficient. You, on the other hand, aren’t quite ready to let him go just yet. How can you maintain a solid connection when he appears to be drifting away?
Rest confident that your child still requires – and desires – your presence in their lives. However, this may need a shift in how you connect.
Don’t be alarmed.
How you manage regular, mundane encounters with your child might be the ideal opportunity to forge a deep bond that will endure far into adolescence and beyond.
Daily Moments You Can Use To Connect With Your Tween
When They Make A Mistake
You may continue to sympathize that mistakes are a part of learning and developing, just as you did when your child was a baby and said, “Oops! The milk spilled, let’s grab a towel.”
Focus on your children’s strengths and areas where he or she put in a lot of work and it paid well. Discuss what they learned from their blunder and how they may utilize this knowledge to make a better decision next time.
If a mistake is becoming a habit, talk to them about what they need to do to achieve their objectives, and whether or not they want/need your support!
Although you could believe that early morning cuddles and nighttime tuck-ins are a thing of the past, many children still value these moments with their parents (even if they would never admit this to their friends).
Make an effort to connect with your child before they go to school; a hug, a cuddle, breakfast together, or a message in their lunchbox may all help.
Reading aloud to tweens is still beneficial, as is giving them time to speak about their day before they go to bed.
When They’re Having A Hard Time
The days of naps and sippy cups are long gone. Your children are now coping with friend turmoil, peer pressure, difficult school assignments, and increased responsibilities. Because your child is likely new to making decisions, it’s vital to take things slowly and help them develop critical thinking skills. Rather of offering a solution, assist them in weighing the advantages and disadvantages. Allow them to collaborate on solutions and experiment with alternative approaches (even if it means they might fail).
When You Set Limits
Limits don’t have to be a lecture about “my way or the highway.” Participating in a debate during a family meeting is a fantastic approach to connect with your preteen who thinks in black and white. “A sleepover isn’t going to work for our family this week,” you may say. “Let’s look at the calendar and pick a day that would.” If you say no, the conversation may go something like this: “In our family, we don’t buy video games with that rating,” but “I’d love to learn more about the other games you’re really enjoying right now.”
When They Battle A Bad Mood
Your reaction, regardless of the cause of the bad mood, can strengthen or weaken the connection. Look for methods to connect rather than making snarky remarks and imitating the eye-rolling.
Giving your “prickly” child a hug, offering to play a game with them, and sitting quietly without attempting to solve the problem or forcing them to talk about it are all examples of this. Your reassuring presence is sometimes all they require at the time.
When You Enter A Messy Room
To your children, keeping your mouth shut says a lot. Of course, you want your children to learn to clean up after themselves and contribute to the family, but scolding them every time you walk into their room isn’t going to help. Instead, talk about cleaning the room at a later time.
Overcome the laundry heaps and make eye contact with your child as a person. Demonstrate that you care about them more than you care about cleanliness.
Don’t be alarmed if you notice your child pushing away. Take a deep breath in and out.
Then, throughout your day, search for opportunities to engage with your kid via natural interactions. Maintain a straightforward approach.
“That sounds great, honey. But before you go for the bus, let’s give each other a huge embrace goodbye!” Ordinary connections can lead to powerful bonds.
Difficulties Of Tween Life
The bonds we form with our children are one of the most rewarding aspects of parenting. The shared memories, the overpowering affection, and the mutual understanding.
However, when it comes to keeping in touch with your preteen children, these things might feel insufficient. Hormones are kicking in, self-identities are forming, and emotions might be a little out of hand. We want to be close to them, but it’s difficult to do so when we feel pushed away.
If we’re being honest, we should be able to connect to what they’re going through at least a bit. I recall experiencing a dramatic shift in how I identified myself when I was 10 years old. I was fresh to my school and had been placed in a class with only one other student.
I was anxious to fit in and be liked, so I tried all I could to become the person I imagined they wanted me to be. This included a significant separation from my family and the creation of a unique identity for myself, or so I thought at the time.
I don’t believe that all tweens feel the need to split quite that much, but no matter how close the connection has been up to this point, there is an unavoidable gap that attempts to express itself.
Things can’t stay the same for your preteen daughter because of the physical, psychological, social, and emotional changes she’s going through.