7 ways to tame a rude tween
Are you struggling with a rude tween in your home? Read on to know how to handle the situation better.
Can you first finish your homework and then head down to play? “Chill” I will. I hear that almost every day in my home. That’s my (just) 8-year-old talking to me.
A minute later, you can hear her say “Ok fine, I will just do it.” I take a deep breath and tell myself, “The hormones are here.”
As a mother in a moment I go through anger, anguish, doubt my parenting skills (a few times in a day), and probably end it with sadness. I am told I shouldn't be.
The onset of such behavior is not my fault. With teenage years not very far away, the kids are starting to have a mind of their own and doing it their way. We did it too. But it’s probably a bit more with the growing influence of the internet and peers, thereby pushing the parents away from them way earlier than probably when we did it.
But don’t worry it’s not as bad either. I see moments when she just wants to hug and cuddle me and these are times when I see her talents and interests emerge as she comes into her own.
Here are 7 tips from us to make this journey more enjoyable:
#1 Let them know you are still the parent
This may not be the right time to be your child’s friend. You will be surprised, but they are actually looking at you for help to get them through this confusing stage. They also take their cues on how to handle a situation seeing you.
I often see my girl thinking like me. It may be an argument with a friend or standing up for just what is ‘right’. That’s me too. So think before you act. Someone is watching you.
#2 Pick your battles
As a parent this is the time to pick your battles. The rules in my home have changed with the growing independence. I would rather have my kid do ‘right’ instead of ‘wrong’, be honest, get good grades and not sweat over the untidy room or weird taste of clothes.
I try to communicate as clearly and as calmly as I can as soon as any unacceptable behaviour begins.
I know easier said than done, but this is our test. The dinner table in our home often becomes a ‘hotspot’ for arguments. I try (hard) to stay calm, often change the topic and just let it pass.
#3 The punishments need to evolve too
The stickers and stars no longer work. Even the time-out is passé. Strangely I have never till date had to give ‘time out’ to both my girls. So now at this stage to punish them is a struggle for me. For some kids the punishment way works and for some, it may be a good heart-to-heart talk.
You know your kid best.
But make sure the punishments (if that’s what works) are something that matters to them. May be cutting down on their playtime, skipping a meal etc.
#4 Respect works both ways
It’s important for me that the kid recognises that I am a person too and it hurts. This needs to work both ways. As a parent I have always given my kid an ear to listen and expected the same vice versa. You may in an emotional argument interrupt your kid- I always apologise for doing that.
Remember they learn from your acts!
There are days when I look exhausted and a little hug or a ‘query’ from her saying “did you have a tough day”, make the whole day feel worth a million.
Read on to find out more tips!
#5 Take a break
We often have heated arguments (ranging on various issues- friends, play dates, activities) and there are times when it goes out of control. I always try to step back and let things calm down.
We can never forget that we are the grown-up in this relationship- so ensure this doesn’t go out of control.
Let the kid be alone for a while (even if she is yelling). The ‘alone’ time really helps.
#6 Keep some time aside
I enjoy my one-to-one conversations I have with each of my girls (8 years and 3 years). It may be at any time of the day (when they get back from school, meal times, some post meal chats). It’s important to have a focused conversation with your kid. Sometimes cut the routine and go ahead for that impromptu walk or breakfast and let the tween do the talking.
I find moments when I may be working on my computer, and she may just want to tell me about an argument she had with her best buddy.
I always make sure I stop working and listen to her. Experts say that your tween will keep coming to you if he knows that you are ready to listen and not always in a rush to judge the situation.
#7 Family Time
As much as you may think that your tween wants to be alone and independent, they will keep looking for that safety net. I have seen simple moments we spend as a family have gone a long way in keeping us bonded.
A random morning cycling, an afternoon at the beach, a trail or even the time spent baking, cooking together, playing indoor games or also on the Xbox.
No phones, no iPads (and that rule applies to the parents as well). This has done wonders to the relationship.
Does all this sound familiar? Drop us a comment in the box below and tell us about your experience.