Attached Kids

Supporting Children's Mental Health and Emotional Development

Tips for Tweens

Written by: Bear, age 10

What would be the first image that comes to mind when I say “Tween”? Most people would think of a person that is past being a kid, but isn’t quite ready to be a teen. Many of you probably don’t remember it well, but this is one of the most emotional parts of life for some children.  To help the people who need it, I am going to write a couple of tips to help you support your child.

TIP #1 : Asking. When your child seems to be upset, ask them if everything is okay. This shows them that you are open and they can tell you about their problems. Just know that your child may not want to tell you what they are experiencing. It could be because the situation may be too embarrassing or they may just think that they aren’t quite ready to share. If this is the case, just give them their time and do not continuously ask your child about it.

TIP #2: Friendships. Your child will probably develop many of his/her friendships through school, extracurriculars, etc. One of the important things to know is that friendships do change and they may not be friends with someone they knew in Grade one. Try to help your child if maybe they are having problems with friends. These problems may include feeling ignored, wanted/left out for a certain reason, or something else. To help them, listen to their problem (without interrupting), then give them solutions to the problem.  I would suggest not saying “when you get to high school you will have other new friends” because it means they will have to wait a long time to do fun things with friends.

TIP #3: Discipline. When your child does something wrong try to regulate the amount of guilt you put on them.  For example: if your child has a meltdown, instead of saying “you just sat there for 20 minutes wasting your time!” try to figure out what caused it and help your child overcome the situation by saying “I understand you are upset, let’s….”  

I have a system called Strikes.  The way it works is that if your child does something moderately wrong, they get 1 strike.  If they get to 3 strikes, they lose a privilege such as technology, going out with friends, or something that they like (make sure not to take away something really important such as a toy they need to help them sleep).   But, if your child does something very wrong such as getting physical, you can take something away immediately.

Remember, your child will not always be the same day after day.  One day they will be happy and sunshine and the next it will be the complete opposite.  Don’t expect them to want to talk, take your tips, or like your discipline. Just know that your child loves you on the inside but may not show it everyday.

Until next time…

Bear

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

“Bear” is a ten-year old girl who has a younger sister and step-brother.  She aspires to be a music teacher. She wants to share her experiences and tips to help parents see from the child’s point of view.

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