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Parenting: Raising Tweens and Teens

Posted on Sep 5, 2008 in Blog, Families, Family, Motherhood, Parenting, Teen Boys, Teen Girls, Teens, Tweens, Working Moms

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Ways to Avoid the Pitfalls of Parenting Tweens

Parents usually get a different sense of drama, mystery, horror, comedy and self­help

while raising a tween or teen. Roller coaster emotions and bizarre behavior leaves many

at their wits end. Yet, the high, low and extreme emotions that 10-­14 year old children

express are completely normal! From self­image to social status, it’s a critical period of

massive change. It’s a time of major transformations for parent too; however, there are

things that you can do to avoid pitfalls and ensure that everyone survives it!

Each child has traits, preferences and interests that are unique to him. During this phase

of their development, tweens are full of curiosity about themselves, their peers and their

role in society. A considerable amount of their time is spent socializing using fashion,

social media and music to articulate who they are. Because they don’t know any better,

they unfairly compare themselves to other children that they are around. They also have

major attitudes that change just like the weather! All of these characteristics are indicative

of a child who is entering into a new phase of growing up.

Dealing with a tween who thinks he knows everything at 10­12 can really test your

patience! In fact, some parents find it challenging not to use their pre­tween parenting

style when dealing with their developing child. When children are younger, they need

more instructions because they haven’t developed the necessary skills to judge and make

decisions independently. However, as they grow up and gain more independence

research shows that their development is enhanced by guidance, support and a positive

relationship with their parents. The following are a few ways to avoid some of the pitfalls

of parenting tweens:

Focus on a healthy relationship

When it comes to tweens and teens, parenting from a perspective of power can have the

complete opposite effect of the desired outcome. They oftentimes revolt and become

defiant instead. However, cultivating a healthy relationship with your tween or teen can

help the two of you get through this turbulent phase. The basis of all healthy relationships

is love, respect, mutual concern, warmth, laughter and trust. When children have those

fundamentals in relationships at home, it positively affects the way they feel about

themselves, their interactions with peers, and, people abroad.

Don’t take mood swings personally

Even the most patient parents are tried when their tween slams a door, rolls his eyes or

becomes snappy. However, it’s important to understand that mood swings are largely due

to the enormous amount of hormonal changes that your tween is experiencing. Boys and

girls experience invisible and visible physical changes that make them feel less secure,

question their identity, and search for understanding about how to deal with the

transformation. Monitor the changes in your tween’s emotions, academic performance,

interactions with others as well as diet and sleeping patterns. If you notice behavior in

excess of basic brooding, consult with a licensed psychologist or other mental health

professional.

Set dates for family fun

Tweens and teens need to have fun with their parents even when they act like they don’t.

They actually like spending time with you, but, you have to be intentional about it. Set

dates for doing fun things together. It doesn’t have to be a major outing. It can be as

simple as baking cookies, decorating or organizing a room, watching a movie together, a

DIY project, attend a college athletic game together…the ideas are endless! The most

important thing here is the special time that you spend together. It conveys support, love,

and that you have a meaningful connection with your tween.

Nurture your tween’s quest for his identity

The remarkable behavioral changes that tweens experience include: mood swings; a

quest to discover self and individuality; greater inclination to succumb to social forces like

peer pressure; and, less interest in spending time with parents. However, as your tween

moves towards more independence, he still needs your guidance and support. Encourage

activities that help him use his natural abilities, express special gifts and show his

uniqueness. For example, if he’s good at playing a particular sport, encourage his

participation in school and/or extracurricular activities that will help him cultivate his skills.

About Author:

Trevicia Williams, Ph.D. is a leading expert on helping people “get there,” achieving

balance and success at home and work. She is a life coach, author, speaker and

media contributor passionate about keeping people savvy about healthy relationships and

human behavior in an ever changing world. Learn more at http://www.treviciawilliams.com

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The Hyperactive Family

Posted on Sep 4, 2008 in Blog, Families, Family, Fatherhood, Healthy Eating, Motherhood, Nutrition, Parenting

Meals for busy families

Ways to Carve Out More Time for Family Activities

Every family with k-12 and college children are gearing up for back-to-school! While doing so, you may ponder: Is it possible for you to get ready for yet another hyperactive year again? Prepare lunchboxes the night before, go from taking kids to school to network and business gatherings, put on make-up during traffic stops, assist with after school work, dash to music lesson pickups – just to return home, eat dinner and send everybody off to bed, and afterward wake up to hyperactive weekend of baseball practice, football games, and celebrations to attend?

Take a deep breath, and, exhale! Have a discussion with your children about changing the number of activities they would like to participate in. Multiple activities are not only costly, but, they greatly reduce the amount of time both parents and children have for other important activities. Many parents are insisting upon putting the attention on more family time. Here are a few ways to change the course of activities:
Family Fun Night

This is another variety on the Sunday early lunch subject. Friday night, proclaiming the end of the work-week, is one of the best times to concentrate on crew. While others sit tight in line for tables at stuffed eateries, get a takeout pizza and make a beeline for the farm. Let children alternate every week setting the motivation: Video? Restraining infrastructure? Scrounger chase for spare change? Whatever…it’s a period to recollect that our house is not simply our mansion. In the 21st century, home and family is our stronghold, our best assurance from the attack of the day in and day out world.

Restrict Activities for Children

Simply say no to overscheduling. Limit your children to one afterschool activity. Period. This may be harder for a few folks than children to consider. You need Johnny to proceed with piano; he truly needs to make the hockey group. How to pick?

Consider it along these lines: Teaching children to settle on decisions is a vital an aspect of your responsibilities as a guardian. Every one of these exercises construct aptitudes, giving kids a feeling of what they can do, yet time went through with family gives them a feeling of who they are. Have a go at utilizing this methodology: “You need to surrender something (piano or hockey) to get something (genuine feelings of serenity or time to relax).”

Create Boundaries for Yourself

As a guardian, you too have your breaking points. Fundamentally, you make them level out amid the week. Period. Mother has a book club or a yoga class. Father’s playing squash. Basically, you can’t “be there” for children when you’re not around. The customs that construct closeness – sleep time stories, nestles before the flame or a most loved TV show – can’t happen when Mom and Dad utilize the front entryway like a rotating entryway.

P.S. Mother & Dad: This doesn’t block a “night out on the town” for you folks! Keep nurturing your relationship by planning a relaxing night for two from time to time.

Eliminate TV

Or if nothing else dissect it. Eliminate the TV amid suppers. The outcome, as anyone might expect, is better casual conversation and a less bazaar like air at supper. Taking a seat to watch a specific show or feature can be an awesome route for families to unwind together, yet having the tube on out of sight just includes another level of clamor and anxiety. Additionally, consider this: No TV for spans of time during the week, i.e. 5:00 pm-bedtime on nights before school. More opportunities for homework, perusing, talking, playing.

Insist on Family Dinners

Decide upon a consistent mealtime so that all family members can eat together. It might mean changing schedules to make it work; however, it can be done.

 

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