The “between years,” i.e. the years from 8 to 12 are known as the tween years. While it is an exciting phase, it is also a difficult time for parents and kids alike, because kids are cranky, demanding, rude and they also tend to get detached from parents. Read on for some helpful tips to deal with rude tween behavior.
Be the parent you need to be
Be it in early childhood, or the tween years, children learn the most from their parents. After all, a child’s home is their first school. The tween years are not the time for you to act like your child’s best friend. You need to offer directions to your child, as most tweens at this stage are confused about the changes that are taking place in their minds and bodies.You need to be strict, rather than ignoring your child’s rude behaviour.
Treating your tween with respect is the best way to fix his/her rude behavior. Always remember that respect is a two-way street, and your child will learn to respect others by observing you. Hence apologise if you are wrong and ensure that your tween knows that they too deserve respect.
Recommended Read: How To Teach Your Child Gratitude
Set rules for your tween
Before the tween years hit, you could probably get your child to do anything you wished to by rolling your eyes or showering him or her with praise. By the time they turn 8 however, these tactics do not seem to work anymore. And that is because the tween years are different, and perhaps the most difficult time for a child and her parents too. A child tries to exercise her independence during this phase, and so, this is the time when you need to change the ground rules in the house to suit the changing situation at home. The new rules could include focusing on the need to get good grades at school, and not being allowed to swear under their breath. Your rules should also address the issue of inappropriate behavior. For instance, your tween child cannot make faces and just walk away while you are talking. They must know that certain lines cannot be crossed, this being one of them.
Setting new rules at home brings us to the next point – punishment. It is important to know that a tween cannot be handled like a toddler and so, you cannot punish them the same way you did when they were a toddler. The first punishment that no longer works on a tween is time-outs. So, as a parent, you must identify the kind of behavior that irks you and find new ways to ensure that your tween stops them. You’ve got to be strict and follow up on what you say because failure to do so will demonstrate your leniency – making it difficult for you to get your tween to do anything in future.
Give your tween some time to cool down
A fight between a parent and a child at this stage always ends in a noisy tussle and your tween in tears. And as a parent, you must stay calm because it is not possible to solve the issue at that point, with your tween shouting or in tears. In such cases, it is best to let them be, allow some cool off time and discuss the matter later when they are sober and can think sensibly as well.
Recommended Read: Why You Should Not Fight in Front of Your Children
Having a proper chat with your tween always helps. So as a parent, take some time out to take your tween out for lunch, movies or an ice-cream treat. This generally helps in bonding and allows your child to open up to you. Allow your tween to enjoy the time and do the talking while you listen carefully. The conversation may reveal a lot of things about your tween that you did not know about, and it may help you understand their behavior better.
This is a very important point that definitely needs to be practised. Spending some quality time with family is a reminder to your kid that despite growing independent, he or she is still a part of the family. Thus, organise some family activities once a week, where no outsiders are allowed, and all gadgets are turned off. Cooking dinner together or a fun game night are some activities that can be done together. This allows your tween to be themselves, and express themselves better – ultimately facilitating a better bond between you and them.
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