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How do I Parent my tween? PARENTING

How do I parent my tween girl / boy and what age group is a tween

How you parent your tween girl or boy is very important for their growth. More so because, the tween girl or boy is experiencing very many physical and emotional changes in their body.

How you parent your tween girl or boy has its different challenges every now and then as the tween girl/boy have their brains rewiring and their bodies flooded with hormones of growth.

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This is also the stage where the tween boy and girl discover themselves and their place in the world.

As you parent your tween girl/boy, please do remember that this is the stage where the child is just about to get to the teenage stage.

Therefore, a tween is the description of a child who is between the age group of 9 to 12 years. This stage is also referred to as the preteen stage.

parenting a tween girl

5 – Parenting tips on how you should parent your tween girl/boy

  • As you parent your tween child, focus on developing a relationship with your tween child and not discipline

This is the opportunity to connect as much as you can with your tween.

Your tween more than ever, needs you more but can’t get herself to say it.

The most ideal time to build this connection would be just before she goes to bed.

This is the time your tween is less distracted by external things (like their pet, social media or homework) and you will be surprised at how much they will open her heart to you. 

A mother parenting her tween girl
A mother parenting her tween girl
  • Give some monitored independence for your tween as you parent them

If you can find good ways to grant your tween independence, then your tween will not have to rebel against you.

However, if you insist on controlling all their choices, you will most likely be inviting rebellion.

It is at this stage that our tweens start turning away from us parents and depend much on their friends.

As a parent of a tween, do not take this as withdrawal or rejection or even personalize the distancing as this will even be the stage they will start keep secrets away from us.

Tween girl
A tween girl
  • Create quality time with your tween

Set aside quality time to spend with your tween. Create time to go together for shopping, walks, doing fun activities she likes (cooking/baking), cycling, walking the dog or manicures.

While at this activities, be keen to listen to what your tween has to say and guide them accordingly without making them feel that they cannot figure things out on themselves. Provide undivided attention when doing these activities.

Use the quality time you have with your tween to help them learn how to make good decisions at school with their friends, you may give your own examples to bring the conversation into reality.

This shall go along way as they build in on their self-esteem and shall know how to handle tough decisions when they arise.

Tween girl
A tween girl
. Create quality time with your tween

At this stage in the tween development milestones, the whole growth spurt could be so much pain when experiencing so many changes in their body.

At times tweens may not get to express themselves on what would be bothering them but probably all they need is to be far from all the dramas they seem to portray.

A study done has found that girls don’t really look forward to adolescence for fear of menstruation and the pressure to look beautiful and attractive and to fit in with their peers.

These new anxieties cannot be put into words but help them to come around this stage.

A Mother parenting her tween girls
A mother parenting her tween girls

. Ensure Quality sleep for your tween

A tween requires at least nine hours of sleep. 

Most tweens find it hard to fall asleep at night and when this happens, they are edgy and moody the next day which contributes to a lot of weight gain due to stress eating, anxiety and at times depression.

Research has shown that moodiness in tweens is mostly attributed to going late to bed. Introduce a bed routine time to create some form of discipline on them.

As you parent your tween, minimize or restrict the use of phones, T.V. Screen time and iPad before bedtime. The use of this blue light before bedtime keeps them from getting sleep fast at night.

What are the developmental milestones/ Child development stages of a tween

1. The onset of Puberty

At 12 years, your tween girl’s body will undergo hormonal changes and experience a growth spurt. 

They will begin to develop their breasts, widen their hips, grow taller and also start to grow hair in their pubic areas.

The emotions of your tween will also be all over the place.

One moment they are happy, sad, they feel rejected, they want to cuddle and other times don’t feel like associating with you. Be supportive of them and remain positive.

The tween boy on the other hand will also go through undeniable physical changes.

The tween boys start to develop distinct odor coming from them, they also deepen their voices and start growing body hair.

At this stage, for both the tween boy and girl you may wish to introduce the use of deodorants to harbor the body odours.

This is a common occurrence for the tween boy and girl and should cause no alarm especially when they are in this puberty stage.

2. Getting more social

Social awareness starts to kick in and at 12 years they start to develop their identity and also want to fit in.

Guide them on how to make good decisions and also what to look out for when choosing their friends.

At this point in time it would be good to meet and get to know their friends.

Tell them of the importance of having friends interested in positive activities, are well disciplined and discourage those friendships who pressure them to make bad choices.

3. Exposure to social media

As you parent your tween, remember that there is an increased social exposure into social media at this stage. Which means they now want to explore this avenue.

Remind them that social presentation is very key to their future as it will affect their college application as well as their future employment.

As a parent, and as you parent your girl/boy, get to know the social media platforms they access and always guide them on what content to share.

As a parent, always remind them of your parenting boundaries and consequences and gauge their thoughts and feelings about the issue of drugs and alcohol.

4. Peer influence

It is at this stage where your child shall have mounted stress over the need to fit into peer groups at home and at school.

It is at this stage where your tween has an increased awareness on drugs and sex and they tend to ask lots of questions around them.

The tweens at this stage also have an increased need and passion for sleep especially over the weekends and during school breaks.

5. There are increased fears of feeling embarrassed in front of other people

6. It is at this stage that the tween attempts to try multiple sports or activities to fit in.

7. There is an increased attention to body weight and appearance on your tween.

4 –Parenting tween advice

Parenting your tween is an interesting journey that can be both fun and challenging. Please seize the moment!

  1. Be a good role model to your tween

As you parent your tween, model good behaviours to your tween as they will always look up to you as their role model.

More likely than not they will mirror your behaviors such as your eating healthy habits, exercise patterns and how to express their emotions.

Always endeavor to set a good example to your tweens as this shall guide them through their development stages.

2. Have deliberate conversations on drugs and sex.

It is critical to engage your tween in an early age on matters drugs and sex before they get this information from their peers and might be difficult to unlearn what they already have picked from them.

3. Always monitor the technology use of your child.

As you parent your tween girl/boy, be keen to know the sites they visit on the phone, the people they interact with over the phone as well as what television programs they are keen to watch.

4. Check your tweens school work

Despite the busy schedule of parents, ensure that all homework gets checked and does not get affected by the evening screen time.

Let the child know how to manage their time well giving more time to what is important. School work should be taken in first before any other activities

As much as they may appear independent, guide them on decision making, advising them on the advantages and disadvantages of each decision made.

A mother parenting her tween doing homework
A mother parenting her tween doing homework

How to deal with your tween behavior problems

  • As you parent your tween girl/boy be consistent with how you manage discipline with your tween.
  • Look for underlying issues that would be leading to repeated mistakes and change in behaviour.
  • Always figure out which battle are worth picking with your tween child.
  • Prioritize Family time to create memories and catching up with your tween.
  • Build a support network with parents of your children’s age group
  • As you parent your tween girl/boy, complement good behavior of your tween.
  • When there is a misunderstanding between the two of you, as a parent be clear about your expectations be it in improving your tweens school grade or keeping good company of friends both at home and at school.
  • Parent by being as honest and as clear as possible when talking sensitive issues such as sex and drugs. Address the disadvantages of using drugs and alcohol and address any curiosity they might have about sex.
  • It would be good to know your teen’s friends both in school and at home as children learn a lot by association and peer influence.
  • As you parent your tween girl/boy, be keen on your preteen’s school life, go through homework together and seek to know much about school from your preteen.
  • Assist your child make healthy choices in matters concerning food and on their own decisions
  • Parenting also calls for parents to respect their teen’s opinions and listen to them.
Tween girl
Tween girl

    Categories
    How to have a safe and healthy holiday gathering PARENTING

    How to have a safe and healthy holiday gathering

    Living through this year hasn’t been a small feat.  The holiday season is just around the corner and as much as we would like things to be normal this holiday season, things have taken a safety turn this year.

    This year a lot more effort has to be put in place to keep us and our guests safe if you will have any around the holidays.

    HOW TO HAVE A HEALTHY AND SAFE HOLIDAY

    1. GUEST LIST

    Limit the number of guests on your invitation list. If you will require to extend beyond your close family, keep it lean. 

    Create a guest list with few family members and trusted friends, guests whom you know will strictly abide by your house rules.

    The fewer the guests you have, the less the risk you pose to your guests. 

    2. PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCE

    In your seating arrangement, keep your guest one and half meters apart.

    This can be achieved easily by spacing the seating arrangement in your sitting room, dining, or in your hosting area.

    3. DON’T ALLOW HANDSHAKES AND HUGS

    As we all know that holiday seasons are all about families. It is an opportunity for all to gather together, make merry, hug, and shake hands which is the norm. 

    With the pandemic amongst us, it would be good to withdraw these gestures for our own safety.  Instead, go for the elbows and leg bump shakes.

    4. INSISTS FOR AN ALL ROUND FACEMASK

    It is noted that within a  family gathering, it can be extremely hard for people to keep a physical distance for safety.

    In such a case, the host may insist on having a house rule where the guests put on their face masks at all times except when eating.

    5. EMPHASISE ON HAND WASHING

    This is basically mandatory for every one of your guests to wash their hands with soap and running water as often as possible for about 20 seconds. 

    In the absence of soap,  guests may use sanitizer that contains 70 percent alcohol volume.

    6. DO AWAY WITH THE HAND TOWEL

    In most family gatherings the host prefers hanging a towel near a handwashing basin or the bathroom entrance for all to use. This is dangerous during this period of Covid19.

    Instead, make good use of disposable paper towels for good hygiene. The disposable tissues are better than the jet dryers at removing any pathogens missed by ineffective washing.

    disposable tissue on a rack

    7. BUFFET

    Forget about the buffet totally.  It would be safer to designate a few people to serve food for the gathering, as opposed to exposing the guests to serve from one buffet serving area.

    This might also help to ensure that the food and utensils are not handled by multiple people and the crowding at the buffet tables.  Excluding the buffet, this holiday will also limit how many surfaces guests have to touch.

    8. THE USE OF SINGLE-USE ITEMS

    Disposable cutlery items shall provide the guests with the reassurance that they will not be handling things that have been touched by several people.  Once these single-use items are used, they should be disposed of. 

    9. GATHERING FREE OF ALCOHOL AND DRUG

    The use of either alcohol or any drug does lower inhibitions.  This may result in an increase in the laxity of the house rules around the pandemic.

    assorted fresh juices

    If possible make your holiday gathering an alcohol-free zone for the safety of all guests. 

    Categories
    How Christmas will be different this year PARENTING

    How Christmas celebration will be different this year – 2020

    Christmas is here with us again, the malls and streets are lit up, our Christmas trees are decorated and the excitement can be felt all around us.

    This year’s Christmas will be celebrated a little bit different from the rest of the years as it is amidst a pandemic.

    So may families may opt out not to travel due to the pandemic but for those that will, there are plenty of activities available for fun.

    Christmas décor balls

    For those of us who will be hosting, it can be an overwhelming season when you have to think around the logistics such as accommodation, entertainment and catering for the visiting family members and friends.

    Here are six tips to help parents manage and enjoy the Christmas holiday season:-

    1. Share your safety plan as a host

    As you send out the Christmas invitations to your friends and family, ensure that you share the safety plans and ground rules as a family to your guests.

    Ensure that everyone’s safety is taken care off ahead of time, take into consideration that  our risk tolerance and health levels are different.

    As much as there has been limited movements to and from our homes due to the introduction of lockdowns and homeschools, it would be good to allow children to mingle with the family members that have visited over the holidays.

    2. Give your children/guests freedom

    This is normally the season of bonding with relatives we haven’t seen physically in a long time.

    child playing with water bubbles

    The bonding with family is also an opportune time to open up a child’s locked potential as a child’s reasoning and confidence in expressing themselves is developed.

    As the children mingle and bond with the visitors, it is also a relaxing moment for the parents as the children are engaged with other fun activities.

    3. Don’t try to please everyone

    When hosting family and families around Christmas, remember it is the little things that count.

    The time well spent and the memories that you will create around each other is what matters.

    couple with Christmas socks

    4. Stick to your family routine

    As much as possible, family rules should be adhered to even during the holidays.

    It is normally very hard to keep up with children deprived of sleep and especially if they are allowed to stay up late past their bedtime.

    5. Time for giving

    Christmas season is associated with the time for giving, more so to the less fortunate in our society

    Remember that our children will always model what parents to, hence be as inclusive as possible.

    As you prepare the gifts for the less fortunate around us and as you light up and decorate the Christmas tree, include your children. “A less stress child, results into a less stressed parent”.

    Many churches, schools have activities around the Christmas holidays where children are invited to make crafts and gifts for the less fortunate.

    Be as inclusive as possible when preparing gifts for the less fortunate.

    This would be a good time to teach our kids around us to think about the less fortunate , as well as pass this tradition from one generation to the next.

    6. Continue the family tradition

    This would be a good time to continue family traditions over Christmas.

    You may opt to have the elderly children take the video recording and photography.

    lady taking photos

    Remember to encourage your children to make and share their New Year resolutions.

    Be flexible with your culinary skills. Alter some traditional dishes that you have always made over Christmas by plan ahead to even make it more exciting.

    Categories
    Quick Facts About Parenting

    What are the quick facts about Parenting

    As we go about our day to day chores as parents, it is important for every parent to strive hard enough to know the experiences and feelings that come with parenting.

    To amass wealth so as to have a nice roof over their head, provide healthcare, education, a car, and healthy foods are some of the guidelines to good parenting.

    On the contrary, we as parents neglect to put the same effort in upbringing our children in the hope that everything will turn out well without proper preparation.Mother and her children bonding

    Parenting should not be left to chance as this can be a great gamble with direct consequences.

    It is common for most parents to acquire parenting skills through trial and error. As a result, most parents are more effective with their latter children than their first borns.

    A child being lifted up by a parent

    The problem with acquiring these skills at a late stage is that the earlier children will have become mature adults making it almost impossible to put learning into effect.

    Parenting is a challenging job that requires constant attention. The joys, rewards of becoming parent’s oozes from every pore of our body, the late night diaper changes, feeding are always a constant reminder that we are laying the groundwork for a lifelong relationship that shall bless us when our hairs disappear or turn gray.

    Definition of parenting:

    Parenting is the process of supporting and promoting the physical, emotional, social and intellectual development of a child. This ensures their healthy development from infancy to adulthood.

    Parenting is done by the biological parents of a child. Moreover, this may change, for instance when raising abandoned children as well as orphaned children.

    These category of children would receive parental care from non- parent blood relations, the government or the societyfamily photo on  a green background.

    What is good parenting:

    Good parenting equally focuses on developing independence in children. As a result it helps build consistency and routine which eventually gives children a sense of control. Smart parenting takes into consideration the child’s age and the stage of their development to develop a growth mindset.

    Great parenting focuses on encouraging children to be responsible for household chores without any form of compensation. Consequently, they learn to be caregivers. family photo outdoors