Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tween Years: Not so bad afterall

As any parent can attest to, parenting is full of advice you never actually ask for. When you have your first child and they enter toddlerhood people endlessly warn you about the terrible two’s. You hear horror stories from friends, family, articles, and specialists about explosive tantrums and huge blowouts. As with most stories that get repeatedly built up time and time again, your actual experience is usually quite different. While there are problems, it never seems to be as bad as it was built up to be. Likewise, people are constantly talking about how difficult raising a tween is.

Just one search around the web for information on parenting tweens will uncover horrific anecdotes about hormonal preteens, shouting matches, and constant attitude. While you are certainly going to encounter plenty of events like these as a parent, these horror stories only obscure the great aspects of the tween years. There is more to tweens than just hormones and mood swings. It is during these crazy years that some of the best times in your parenting life occur.

Rather than focus on the negatives of raising a budding teenager, cherish these three aspects of your tween while you can.

1. They Are More Independent: Once our kids have left the child stage and entered the tween stage they begin to take on (and in many cases fight for) more independence. While in some instances this can cause tension for parents and their children, we should learn to utilize this independence in a way that benefits both ourselves and out tweens. Cherish that you no longer have to do everything for your child. You no longer have to wash their hair, tie their shoes, or pour their milk. As the parent of a tween, try to celebrate every new task that your child takes on. Let them take on some daily chores and do things for themselves. In many cases, your kids will be fighting for independence and responsibility so strongly, that having them prepare their own lunch in the morning or do the dishes at night can feel like a privilege for them. I know this sounds farfetched, but rather than fighting with your preteen about more independence why not celebrate it? Have your child take on more complex tasks at home. They will appreciate the trust you have in them and feel a sense of accomplishment when they complete the tasks.

2. They are Interesting: It is at this age that our kids begin to develop individual interests and hobbies. While it can be endearing to have your little one emulate all of your actions and interests, as many youngsters do with their parents, tweens begin to create their own individual personalities. Whether their interests are basketball or video games, music or horses, you can begin to see your child’s personality come out. This gives parents the opportunity to pursue a hobby with their child. Take an interest in what they are interested and inspired by. Use this as a way to grow with your tween and learn more about them. Watching your tween’s interests grow and evolve is one of the most exciting and fascinating aspects of parenting at this age.

3. They Get The Jokes: One thing that may cause many parents and teachers a bit of a headache are tweens’ newfound sense of irony and sarcasm. However, this more mature form of humor doesn’t have to be a bad thing by any means. Tweens are some of the most hilarious and creative comedians around. Use this age to laugh along with your tween. Play with words and puns, sarcasm and wit. Jokes that at one point might have gone completely over your child’s head are now funny and enjoyable for all parties involved. This is a great age to introduce your children to more mature movies and books. Find novels, books, movies, television shows that display a higher level of comedy and enjoy them with your kids.

Author Bio:
This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at online school about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5@