I have a pre-teen or tween as some call it. She is 11 years old and very independent ( well so she thinks).
Most importantly I LOVE her and her personality. I love that she has come into her own.
BUT, what I’m not so enthused about are her moods. Sheesh!
The Kool Kid as I often call her can be a handful at times because I did not expect an 11 year old to throw a mini tantrum as toddlers do. She’s at the age where she is moody, over dramatizing, self-centered, closed-mouthed (when I need her to talk), focused only on friends, and let me not forget back-talking (insert side-eye).
I will say she is often mature in her decision making and she has become more affectionate. More hugs for mom and dad. YAY!
Often times I would sit back and think, what is happening to my little baby girl? Instantly realizing she is flooded by hormones, her thought process is changing, and she is being a typical pre-teen.
Sometimes I think she’s secretly planning to prove to me and her dad that she does not need us anymore because she’s GROWN. HA
Instead of fighting with her I’ve adjusted my parenting. Now don’t get it twisted when she does something that is over the top. I correct her, PERIOD. My husband and I believe in the philosophy, we are the parent and YOU are the child.
What I mean by adjusting our parenting is we realize that we need to recognize what changes she is going through and adjust accordingly.
For example, we (as parents) must be willing to change some things. If she is becoming moody, instead of rolling my eyes and telling her to chill out. This is a cue for me to listen a little more. Even though she may not be upfront and tell me why she’s so moody, but she appreciates me listening more versus dismissing her feelings.
We have also started focusing on our relationship. In the past, I may have been super busy to sit down and actually focus on what she wanted to do. I was distracted with work, my phone, or just being a wife and mom. Now I dedicate time just for us. I’ll randomly hug her, goof around with her, and actually ask her what she would like to do.
Besides she’s the only girl (she has 3 older brothers) so she deserves HER time without her brothers.
SLEEP is very important for this age. If she did not get a full nights sleep (8-9) hours she is in a WHOLE mood for the ENTIRE DAY. So I make sure she is getting enough rest.
I also support her passions. If she loves to dance, I encourage it. If she wants to be a Scientist this week and a Veterinarian the next… I embrace it. I show her that whatever she wants to be she can be. She is at the age of finding herself.
I also openly talk about boys, girls, relationships, sex….. I think this helps with our communication. At this age, kids have strong feelings about EVERYTHING and I think showing empathy and again listening will help you as a parent. This also will help your child process things better.
I am NOT a perfect parent by any means and we all parent different. I have just finally figured out what works for me. I’ve noticed that once I listened more, viewed what they are feeling from their perspective it helped our relationship grow. I don’t just act. I give her the opportunity to express herself and I think she appreciates this.
I truly feel it’s my job to support her and this process she is going through because every relationship she has will be modeled on the relationship her dad and I are building with her.
Until next time….