Tweenagers are those who have entered the confusing years between being a kid and becoming a teen. I remember doing all the fun “kid” things I was used to when I was this age but yet, becoming very aware of more mature teen issues. It can be very confusing and very scary.
Parents have the responsibility to guide their tween through these years into a successful teen era.
But how does that look?
1. Continue to love your tween unconditionally. That means even when she comes downstairs wearing an outrageous outfit or as he is testing you to see how much power he really has.
As they make mistakes when trying to “fit in”, don’t laugh but gently re-direct with lots of unconditional, non-judging love. Sometimes, I think parents forget what they were like at this age. Think back to the struggles you went through. That helps.
2. Re-enforce their good character while dealing with poor choices that might be surfacing. They are still not too old to give up on and need your direction.
3. Make available to your son, character-building situations such as projects that he can be totally in charge. Make sure to give a of direction upfront so you don’t set him up for failure. The project has to be age appropriate and possible for him to finish by himself.
Projects can be something similar to detailing the family vehicle or cleaning the shed and re-organizing it sewing new pillows for the house, etc. Work alongside of your tween but let him direct. Find what his “bent (interest and skill) is and assign (or let him pick a project) that goes along with that.
4. Continue doing things as a family. If your family has not been actively recreating together, this would be a great time to begin. The goal should be to build a family unity.
5. Don’t forget to stay on top of who your tween’s friends are. Give direction at this point. Open YOUR home to her friends. Your home can be an example of a home honoring Christ.
6. This is not a time when your tween chooses whether they go to church with the family. Continue spiritual instruction and prayer in your home. If you haven’t done so, begin now. Read the Bible and pray as a family.
The tween years can be very scary for kids, but also for parents. Lots of prayer and remembering who this child is… YOUR’S … the one you love with all your heart can go a long way. Have fun, enjoy your child, and remember to laugh together.