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No one tells you how hard the tween years can be. Or how you (and them) will survive with as little bloodshed as possible. With hormones on high during these awesomely precious years when it seems as if everything you say to them either causes major embarrassment or defiance; because you know we as parents know nothing. Throw in a situation where there are little ones in the house or maybe you are pregnant (I have been both). You’re sleep deprived and have a low tolerance level for obnoxiousness.
Our personal story has so many twists and turns; our poor kiddo has been through more in his short life than most. He is my stepson but was the first to make me a mom. The most trying time was when we lost our son in 2015. Although we had done our best to explain to him we really didn’t know what to expect, I don’t think anything could have completely prepared any of us for the heartbreak we had. He was devastated when he wasn’t able to meet his littlest brother alive and for a few months, it took everything we had to keep it together as a family. One of the reasons I think we came out on the other side of the darkness is because we really strived to keep him involved and connected.
To assist with some of the hurdles of change we read books (which are listed below), articles, and whatever other resources we could to get a grip on this um… adventure.After all the reading and the research, I decided I have this great outlet to share knowledge with the world.
I joined forces with my own tween to write this post. He is almost a teen but the knowledge we are about to bestow upon you are from a couple of years in the muck and mud of tweendom. Why not have input from the tween himself? We used this as our own form of bonding time and enjoyed every minute of it, and to be frank, I think I learned something too!
This sounds simple enough, right? But kids are smart. If you are on auto pilot and while they are mid-story about someone at school or a cool bottle flip trick, this is important to them. But if your responses are full of nods and “uh huh’s” then they begin to think you don’t care.
This is listening without prodding, these are the conversations that happen at random not while pushing for answers. Although you may not really care about the newest video their favorite Youtuber posted or the random treasure in the road. These conversations are important to them and they want to know you take them seriously too.
I hear from a reliable source (my own kid 😉 ) That if you listen to these semi-mundane conversations they are more likely to talk to you about the tough subjects and they know you still love them regardless.
Teach them something
Ever watched one of those movies themed back in the 50’s or 60’s? One common scene you see in those films are dads teaching boys to work on cars or moms teaching their daughters to bake. Granted life is a little more complicated than it was back then, we have to get a little more creative. Cue Pinterest! 🙂