Parenting and Tweens
Growing up can come sooner to the Tweens — the “no longer kids but not yet teens” of our society. They are the 10-15 year-olds who like to assume a bigger responsibility because they are too excited to be branded as “teens”. They hang out with their older siblings in order to feel accepted and belonged. They spread their social wings as if they are already ripe for hanging out in malls, coffee night-outs or rave parties. It’s fun but unfortunately for them, it’s an awkward stage.
It has always been known, and countless stories prove this, that tweens face a very challenging phase in their adolescent growth. Their travails with their parents and society consist of the usual: peer pressure, curfews, parties, social acceptance and sometimes, rebellion. With these inevitable factors embracing them, what they need most are constant guidance and understanding.
When they don’t dress their age
There’s obviously a problem when your tweens don’t dress their age. Imagine a 10-year old sporting a micro miniskirt and tank top at a children’s party or a 13-year old trying to look mature with pearls on. Remember that popular clothes does not always mean pretty.
Fashion is a favorite outlet of creative expression of people of all ages, including the tweens. Media dictates the trends and trademarks and they are readily made available for everyone in a flick of a wand. When tweens are exposed to an ever-changing fashion industry they can get lost in between. This context may result to disaster and personality confusion. So, be on the know-how when it comes to your tween’s tastes and preferences. Afterward, coach them on fashion – without hurting their feelings- to establish that communication you would need to interact openly with them.
When they don’t speak their age and when they are too ready for dating
Society can be a very complicated concept for the tweens when there’s an absence of parental guidance. Tweens may also not have the intelligence to comprehend the norms and rules of everyday survival. So, once parents see a change in their language, it is effective to immerse yourself in their lives to better understand their emotions and where they are coming from.
Some parents may be shocked to hear their tweens say “Where are we hanging out after class?” or “That guy’s so cute; I’d like for him to ask me on a date”.
Dating, as we all know, is a not-so-well-kept secret and is part of growing up, regardless on how well you raised your children. Professor Jay Saplala, a renowned counseling psychologist and a faculty member of the Department of Psychology at Miriam College, Philippines explains: “Dating provides the context for an adolescent’s mate-sorting and mate-selection process. It lets a tween prepare himself to be more functional in the company of his friends and helps him form his peer group.”
When they rebel
How do you pass on core values to your tweens helpful for their growth without putting pressure on them?
Tweens have the tendency to resist what their parents want for them especially if the person they want to become is the opposite of what is expected of them. Keep in mind that your children should be doing things he likes- not what you want.
Majority of tweens are confused, torn in between choices, in rush for love and excited to grow up too fast. The best way to deal with them is to know them from inside and out and appreciate who they are.
Accept them for who they are
Most parents expect a lot from their tweens and this should not be the case every time. Respect your tween’s own person while motivating him or her to live life to the fullest. As they are given endless opportunities, they discover themselves better. And whether you like or not the person they end up to be, what’s important is that they can turn to you for anything no matter what.