As children step into their tween years (age 10-12) they are dwindling between childhood and adolescence. Their behaviors shift and so should the managing strategies. The strategies that worked in childhood surely do not work in these years. Parents need to adopt some new methods.
As children grow their peers and their appearance becomes more important to them. They start questioning authority and their quest for independence begins. This is the time when the children are going through a lot of physiological and psychological changes. Adopting the right strategies helps the parents to maintain close connections with their children while addressing their behavior problems and effectively maintaining discipline.
Typical Tween Behavior
Some common behaviors that you would observe in the tweens are:
- Fluctuating self-esteem.
- Increased awareness of how others perceive them.
- They become aware of their developing body.
- Prefer to spend time with friends over family.
- Awareness of their academic and co-curricular abilities.
- Replaced baby talk with backtalk.
- Pint-sized temper tantrums and sulking over seemingly small issues.
- Questioning and challenging authority.
- Being argumentative and seeking loopholes in parents’ rules.
- Misbehaving to fit in with a group of friends.
- Using foul language to behave and look like adults.
- Thinking they know everything better than their parents.
- Thinking they can do everything on their own.
A Few Effective Methods To Regulate Their Behavior
- Engage them in Problem Solving
Do not outrightly give them a solution to any problems they are going through. Ask for their opinion, and involve them in coming up with a solution. Does not mean that you do as they want but, in a way make them agree on doing what is right for them. These days when everything is online parents have to restrict the leisure screen time of their children. Make them see the problem and come to a mutually controlled screen time that is acceptable to both. In this way, parents do not have to keep a watch on their children. Rather, children will be motivated to restrict themselves to the agreed timeline. Also, help them participate in various outdoor activities that are beneficial for their holistic development.
- Let them learn from their mistakes
Do not try and protect your children from all hardships at all times. Let them make a few, not too grave mistakes and learn from them. Do not keep reminding them to pack their school bags and carry their musical instruments, or their sporting gear daily. Allow them to make the mistake one day and bear the consequences of losing out on that class in the school. The child will then always remember to pack their bags properly from the next day.
- Provide Pre-Teaching
Children at this age want to start becoming independent. Talk and drill them with all the possible situations you would want them to be safe in. Like a regular disaster management drill practice, rehearse with them common situations which you think will be dangerous for them and how to overcome them. Do not protect them by keeping them away from these situations rather, prepare them to face them and overpower them.
A Word From H2FCare
Do not keep following the reward and take away privilege behaviors you had been giving them when they were small. These are now somewhat mature children you are dealing with. Try and deal with them as adults by discussing the events and their consequences. Make them aware of different situations that they would be facing at all stages starting from school life. Share with them your experiences and tell them what mistakes you made when you were of their age. Tell them how you would handle the same situation differently today and why.