Why do tweens rebel?

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If you've ever wondered why preteens undergo several behavioral changes in this experimental age, then read on

Tweens rebel due to hormonal disturbance and peer pressure

Tweens rebel due to hormonal disturbance and peer pressure

Parenting preteens or tweens can be quite a challenge. With a lifestyle that is divided between school, homework and time spent with family, they can become quite a handful. Add to this, increasing peer pressure and hormonal changes, and you would notice tangible behavioural changes among tweens.

Delhi-based psychologist Anuja Kapur explains that such changes can put off parents. “Many parents react to their tweens’ moodiness or rebellion, their focus outside the family, increasing independence and maturing physical body by distancing themselves from their child.”

But tweens need to feel they have a secure nest as they are preparing themselves for an exciting but scary world. “Tweens who feel disconnected from their parents lose their anchor and look for the same in their peer group. There could be several reasons for such a disconnect,” says Kapur.

Experts list the following 15 most prominent factors that cause behavioural changes in tweens:

  • Hormonal disturbance
  • Want to experience everything by themselves
  • Peer pressure
  • Social status
  • Overindulgence in gadgets
  • Sexual gratification
  • Less and incomplete knowledge on sex
  • Inquisitiveness about the opposite sex
  • Disinterested in studies
  • Trying to prove their point of view
  • High levels of stress
  • Prolonged illness or death in the family
  • Experience of trauma or abuse
  • Highly unpredictable environment
  • Absence of positive reinforcement

Kapur says, “At this age, tweens discover themselves and ask intimate and challenging questions of life. They want to experience everything and want to be an adult overnight. This is the age when they want to transform themselves into an adult, physically, mentally and emotionally.” Therefore, she adds, its an age where the parents need to be on their toes.

Aditi Kulkarni, consulting psychologist, HealthEminds, Bangalore, says that there are ways in which parents can guide a rebellious tween. “Encourage them to share their feelings with you. Sometimes, just having a non-judgmental adult hear them out can make them feel better. Try to avoid pointing out mistakes or ridiculing them in public. Make sure you focus on your child’s strengths. Finally, ensure that the child has a nutritious diet since one’s eating habits affect mood as well as overall well-being,” says Kulkarni.

So, if you notice a changing behavioural pattern in your tween, do not ignore it. Lend a supportive ear and get into the root of the problem.

Check out what experts have to say about positive parenting of tweens

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