Five Crucial Parenting Tips For The Right Upbringing Of Preteens
The preteen years see your offspring transitioning from a child towards the teen phase, but not quite there yet. Preteens experience physical and emotional changes like teens do, thus making the transition challenging for preteens and parents alike.
With ample love and guidance, parents can aid their preteens in navigating these complicated years and teach them the life skills for coping with the teenage years and beyond.
Here are some tips for handling the preteen years:
1. Stay Connected
A family dinner every night or as often as possible will ensure kids do better at school, are less likely to get into drugs or alcohol, or experience depression and anxiety.
The fifteen minutes before bedtime is the best time to connect with your preteen, with the car ride coming a close second.
2. Understand Your Preteen’s Need For Independence
When preteens move to emphasise their independence, parents may try to reinforce their authority. Breathing down your child’s neck won’t do any good. Approach the situation with empathy when they cross the set limits, like not bringing the phone to the dinner table, completing homework before chatting, etc. It will yield far better results.
3. Re-Think How you Will Discipline the Preteen
When the preteen years come around, don’t play power games. The do-as-you-are-told approach will not work. Any punishments will have only short-term results and make liars out of them.
There is no winning the ensuing power struggle. Instead, use love to encourage your preteen. Having a good bond with them will make it easier to get them to follow the rules.
4. Hormonal Changes Are Not To Be Underestimated
The preteen may display erratic mood swings, rebellious behaviour, etc. Essentially the preteen’s brain is being re-wired due to hormonal and physical changes. Preteens may even throw tantrums without realising why.
They don’t understand what’s happening any more than you do. Give them room to calm down and explain the issues they are facing. Give credence to their perspective and listen to what they have to say.
5. Remember – Do Not Take Their Behaviour Personally
If your preteens speak harsh words, do not overreact. Sure, your feelings would be hurt. The best thing to do in this situation would be to avoid any confrontation. However, stand your ground and state that you expect civility at all times.
Make sure you extend respect, and you will be treated with respect as well.
6. Help Your Preteen Learn Good Self-Management
Let your preteen know the benefits of good health. Share with them how getting sufficient sleep, a healthy diet low in processed foods, regular exercise, and having self-control when using electronic devices will help them in the long run. Encourage your preteen to get the requisite 60 minutes of exercise daily as recommended for 6-17 year-olds by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
7. Preteen Years Are A Good Time To Teach Values
Lectures by a parent are not an ideal way to impart values. To help your child open up to you, listen and empathise more, and ask questions.
Talking about your preteen years can be an excellent opportunity to reassure your children that even you went through an insecure phase. A preteen’s curiosity about your early years can also help you to lay out real-life examples that discuss the consequences of dangerous behaviour, such as drunk driving.
Preteens are on the cusp of teenage, and shortly after that, adulthood beckons. All these rapidly occurring changes can threaten to overwhelm them.
Be sure to listen to their woes with an open mind and do your utmost to connect with them on a meaningful level. Open lines of communication do well to serve both your needs and those of your preteen.