Top 10 Tips for Parenting a Tween
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
April 7, 2011
Filed Under Parenting
Contributed by Cindi Pearce, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
Keeping your sense of humor is imperative when you are a parent and especially when you are (barely) enduring the tween years, which is a simply a prelude and dress rehearsal for the dastardly teen years that follow and have done more than one parent in.
Here are the top 10 tips for parenting a tween, some of which are snarky, tongue in cheek, and should probably be ignored, but they may make you laugh and wish for the days of yore when parents adopted the spare the rod and spoil the child philosophy.
10. Caution ahead
Realize that it’s only going to get … worse. Next she will become a TEEN. This ‘ain’t’ nothing, sister. Katy, bar the door because the next phase is even more exasperating.
9. Dealing with drama
Make a point of telling your tween that drama queens are not your cup of tea and urge her to keep the drama at a low roar. Of course, they probably won’t pay any attention to you, but you can try. Do not resort to high dungeon drama yourself. Chill. Get yourself a glass of wine and cuddle up and relax. Everything will be better in the morning.
8. Understand hormones
Make way for the hormones. It’s a virtual onslaught and the tween is the victim. They become moody and impossible and sleep too much and complaint too much and get pimples and menstrual periods and can physically develop so quickly that it is scary for parents seeing their child metamorphose into an adult-in-waiting right before their eyes. The tween’s mind sometimes cannot keep up with the tween’s body so cut the tween some slack, knowing that he can’t control what’s happening to him.
Sell them at an auction to the lowest but not necessarily best bidder. See how they like that! Okay, just kidding.
6. DNA testing
Is the child REALLY yours? There are DNA tests that you can do at home. What is the return policy on tweens?
Threatening is always good but you have to follow through. If you threaten to take away her coveted thingamajig for a week if she disobeys you, and she does, you’ve got to carry through on your threat, which may require wrestling the tween to the ground in an effort to retrieve the attached-to-her-hip thingamajig. Just don’t break any bones in the process. If you do, lawyer up.
Listen to them and talk to them (rather than at them) even when you just wish they would go away and quit tormenting you with their antics. Patience, dear, patience. Leave the eye-rolling to them. Do not stoop to that level.
3. Engage online
Realize that kids, especially tweens, know a lot more about a lot more things than you did at that age (or now) thanks to the Internet and the 10 jillion ways that they have of communicating. Heck, they’ve invented new words for things and codes that are hard if not impossible for parents to decipher. Brush up on your twitter and tweeting and texting and, well, you get the gist. Beat them at their own game. Know what’s going on before they even have time to figure it out. I know. I know. It’s exhausting being the parent of a tween. You have my sympathy and condolences.
2. Wait and breathe
Learn to count to ten very slowly before responding. Learn to count in a foreign language so you can’t do it so quickly.
1. Light at the end of the tunnel
Know that this too shall pass; eventually. Really, it will. Pinkie swear.