Help Your Tween Adjust to Middle School

Trouble With the Tweens

“Tween” is a term used for kids between 10-12 years old. This is a stage where your child is no longer a kid, but still too young to be a teen. This in-between stage of development can require some adjustment for everyone involved, especially as summer ends and we pack up our bags and head back to school.

Talk to Your Tween

We have all watched the public service announcements about talking to your kids, and no matter how warm and fuzzy they portray these conversations as, we know that it isn’t always that easy. So, try breaking down your approach. Instead of asking,” how was school?” try asking something more specific about their teacher, classmates, friends, or activities.

At first, listen without judgment. Let them express their feelings and just listen. Share your own experiences, if needed, and do not scold them for making simple mistakes. Address their fears whether in school, with friends, or even at home. Talking to your child is the best way to find out what they are going through, and if you work on a healthy relationship now, you will be the safe place they turn to if things get rough.

Independence

As adults, we often forget the value of our own independence; but for our tweens, it presents a whole new set of possibilities. Don’t suppress that feeling of freedom in them. As parents, we should support our children and be their guide as they practice exercising their own independence. However, this doesn’t mean you should give up the reins completely – it means that you should gradually give them more and more freedom and responsibility, but they should also understand that abusing or neglecting these things comes with consequences.

It’s also ok to give yourself a little time to adjust, and to understand that you, as a parent, are allowed to make mistakes. This is a challenging time in both your and your child’s lives, so listen, be patient, and have faith that your whole family will get through it together.