#This is a collaborative post
Has your once playful and cuddly child, suddenly started to want their own space? Have you noticed mood swings, rebellion and attitude? The transition from child to teenager brings a minefield of new challenges for parents.
To give parents a helping hand Parsons Green Prep School share their top tips for dealing with pre-teens…
Take a step back
It is natural to feel a bit rejected when your child suddenly wants to start doing things alone, but try not to take this behaviour personally. Children naturally seek more independence when they reach their pre-teen years. Try to take a step back and let your son or daughter work things out for themselves. Allow your child to solve problems, make their own choices and take more risks. This will help to grow their confidence and teach them important life skills.
Help to build a growth mind-set
Help your child to develop a ‘growth mind-set’. This method of positive thinking can support children through the many challenges of teenage years. Children with a growth mind-set believe that their abilities will improve over time and they also acknowledge that mistakes can be used as learning opportunities.
Give them more responsibility
As your child begins to seek more independence, try not to take this personally. In fact try to give your child more responsibility. This could mean asking your child to help with some simple jobs around the house, such as cooking dinner, or taking the dog for a walk. This will increase their feelings of competency and can help to improve your relationship.
Let them have a say
Let your child make their own choices (to an extent!). These choices can still be preselected by you, if decision making takes a long time. For example, when you are out shopping for clothes with your son or daughter, select two outfits you are happy to buy them and then let your child pick one. By offering your child choices, you can help them to feel empowered and show them that their opinion is valued.
Set aside family time
While you can’t force your child to talk to you, you can make sure they know that you are always there to listen. One of the best ways to do this is to set aside some dedicated family. Not only will this help to keep you and your child close, but it will also help you to keep up to date with what is going on in their life. Be sure to set a rule for all family members to switch off from technology during this family time.
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