A tween is a youngster between 10 and 12 years of age, considered too old to be a child and too young to be a teenager. Now this is tricky. The child is neither too young nor too old and hence as a parent you need to watch your words before spurting out on them.
First of all it is completely normal for them to misbehave or have attitude problems at this age. All you need to do is shift your focus on the solutions and stop wasting time talking of the problem.Also look into your child’s eyes when you talk .
Taking a cue from my pervious post on 5 effective ways to discipline your child and from my own experience with my son, today I am sharing with you 10 ways to get your tween to talk to you without yelling, spanking or complaining.
1. Put your oxygen mask first: This is my number one mistake. When I don’t approve of any action I get upset first and then I try to make a conversation around it. WRONG! You and I need to calm down yourselves first by following any of the BBM strategies and then work towards solving the problem at hand. Calm down your brain, breathing pattern and your mind before opening your mouth. There is a saying that when your needs are met, you can meet the needs of others effectively.You are asked put on your oxygen mask before assisting others in a fight right? Time to put it into effective parenting too.
“When we begin to know ourselves in an open and self – supportive way, we take the first step to encourage our children to know themselves.”
2. Connect before you correct: Can you mop your house without sweeping off the dust? NO. The dust shall still remain and you may take extra time to clean. Right? Similarly how can you attempt to punish your child without effectively disciplining them? Hence it is very important to connect with your child effectively before correcting. Say words of kindness , love and trust and build confidence so that the child is not scared of you and opens up to talk to you. A word of caution: correct only in moderation, too much correction loses its importance. Some mistakes are better to be ignored than to be corrected.
3. Parent the child you have, not the child you want: Comparing your child with his/her peers or even his/her sibling is suicidal. When I spoke with my son I realized that I was comparing him with his sister. Accept and acknowledge the fact that each child is unique stop to compare him/her with anybody. Just like every product or service has its USP, helpyour child discover his/her own USP and nurture it for them to raise and shine.
4. Coach instead of control: Do you find yourself tempted to solve your child’s issues? If yes, I urge you to let them make mistakes and take their own decisions. Teach your child how to think and not what to think. Let them fail and learn from their mistakes which will enable to face the future. Do not correct their present, instead correctly foster their future. Respect their decisions and extend them the privacy to act for themselves. At this age their confidence level needs a boosting. Hence build up their confidence and not your ego. Encourage your child to think things through for themselves and make their own choices.
“I want to appreciate you without judging, join you without invading, and Invite you without demanding. Leave you without guilt.”
5. Extend hugs and compliments: Do you miss those cuddly afternoons with your child. Their warm hugs and good night kisses? Look no further, go to your child and compliment them on their achievements and accomplishments. Analyze their recent art work and study their choice of colours. Listen to the music they play and connect with their cords. Praise them with the intent to motivate them to do better, not to satisfy their ego. Praise them to make them feel trusted and confident. Do keep in mind that over praising is harmful and has adverse effects on the child’s development. Hug your child before you begin any conversation. Practice: welcome your child home with a good big hug when they come back from school today and later ask them to wash their hands for snacks and see the difference it makes.
6. Respect their privacy: Do you give attention to your child while talking on phone or watching your favorite TV show? NO. Then how can you expect your child to answer your questions while they are playing or watching a cartoon or while building Lego’s? Respect your child’s time and time your questions correctly. Instead of invading their privacy be a part of their activity and most likely you will get an answer to your question. Raising your voice over the TV volume will not be of any use. Either pause the channel or lower the TV volume yourself to get attention. Let them unwind and talk when they are comfortable. For instance my children do not tell me their day at school until bed time.
7. Give undivided attention and hear: You want yourself to be heard and not merely listened to every time you talk, right? So kindly role model the same when you are talking with your tween. Put off your phone, switch off your TV and keep every other work at bay. Be grateful that your tween is comfortable talking to you and give him/her all the attention he/she deserves.visit my blog headphones for more details in this .
8. Talk with them alone: How about going out for coffee date with your son, or whisk together some cake batter on a relaxed Sunday? You could even get your hands dirty on a DIY project or creating a masterpiece with paints or simply go out for an evening stroll with your tween. Make sure they are relaxed and having fun. They are most likely to open up when they are happy and relaxed. That is the time they will share their secrets with you and tell you their fears. Most importantly talk to them alone in the absence of their siblings or other family members.This would be a perfect time out for you to bond with your budding tween. Sign up for a creative course together for I know a creative mind brings out the best in all. So enroll now and make a difference.
9. Ask open ended questions:Do not rush a conversation, or assume responses. Do not be in a hurry to get your answers, give your tween the time to think and comprehend before they answer. Another thing parents do is assume responses. Statements like “I knew it “, “I was sure you would say this” leaves a negative impact on budding minds. The tween feels breach of trust and prefers to stay in his/her cocoon instead. Even if you know the response wait for them to complete, you could be pleasantly surprised to get a different perspective to your assumptions. It’s always better to ask than to assume. Ask open ended questions which enables curiosity and builds up thinking abilities in children of all ages. Talk with your tween with empathy and sympathy for they are fighting a bigger battle than you each day.
10. Bed time talks:let them sleep with an empty but grateful mind. A disturbed mind at bed time is likely to be disturbed in the morning as well. Tarry a little and think about your mornings when you sleep over an issue the previous night. It is generally stressed and cranky, right? Encourage your child to empty out his/her mind before sleeping. Get them into the practice of gratitude and let them sleep with a grateful heart. This will foster them to think well about their day, family, relations, school, work, play and every other aspect of their daily life. A grateful heart will attract more gratitude in life making it happier.If gratitude is complicated for them to understand let them make a happiness jar for themselves.Train their minds to think happy thoughts which will reduce the so called generation gap between you and your child.
Question: Given a chance would you be able to live a day in your life like your tween today? You think their life is less challenging than yours? Tarry and give it a thought. Do not forget to share your thoughts in the comments below. I am waiting ..
Practice: Ask your child to collect a small smooth rock from the neighborhood today, a size that could fit in their fist. Let them paint and create their own gratitude rock and keep it at their bedside. Encourage them to think of 3 things to be grateful for a day and say them
loud while holding the rock in their hand.
Get them into the practice of being thankful and gratitude will do the rest.
Have a happy weekend, happiness and sunshine,