Talking to Tweens without Being Preachy? Raising kids is one of the most important and less envied tasks for any parent. They quickly change and grow in a short period of time and sometimes we, the parents, become exasperated to keep up with these changes. They become tweens in the blink of an eye. Are we ready for these sudden changes?
Talking to Tweens without Being Preachy
Your child might come home from school every day and blurts out everything that happened here but one fine day you saw that after his return he is not his usual self. Not anything scary but didn’t exactly behave the way he used to. You get tense and asked him all that happened in the school and probably even asked him, “Why are you not telling me like before?” and he replied coldly “I dunno.” The changes are sudden and will strike you like lightning. This is the time when you speak to your tween on various issues but never sound preachy otherwise he will lose interest and speak less with you.
It is generally believed that the years ten to twelve see a full-fledged developmental push towards being independent which is very similar to the phase from being infant to toddler. The big problem here is that your tween may not be ready for the big transition. So he/she would be expecting some great tips from your side. As a parent you cannot give up on chatting; you must speak to your tween regularly so that you don’t just judge him on visible markers such as grades and then you will end up misunderstanding him. Try the following tips to speak to your tween without being preachy –
Leverage car rides
There is a strong belief that kids usually respond very well in cars as you are not exactly face-to-face in such situations. You can also speak to your tween when you are washing your car as it is a typical low-pressure situation. You can start with open-ended questions and if you get a blank stare you just need to wait it out. The kids usually start to talk when they get a breathing room.
Create a routine
A parent should talk to his tween regularly and this can be on any topic under the sun. As he realizes that there is an ongoing dialogue, he can pick up anytime. You can have these light conversations any time of the week but try to choose an informal setting so that he/she does not get intimidated.
It is very important that your tween opens up and asks a lot of questions as it will be easier for you to handle his/her concerns and queries. It will also teach her the importance of good communication and the teen will feel easy to speak on new topics with you. While discussing various issues, you can also teach him about the importance and significance of empathy and this will force him, subconsciously, to reach out to you more often in various situations and to dispel any concern.
Play more games
Games are yet another activity that makes the teens comfortable as the focus is not entirely on them. You can think of funny family activities like where each family member describes what good happened on a particular day and also mention any ‘not so good’ thing that may have happened on a particular day. You may also ask your teens to tell everybody what irritates them most and what things they like the most. All these light-hearted and simple conversations help to make the tween comfortable and it also helps you to drive home any point that you may have without being too pushy or preachy.
Know how to advise
Yes, we all need to advise our kids on many things. But we should do that in the least preachy way possible. If you want your words to be more effective then you can explain your viewpoints in short sentences and then end it up with a prompt like “What do you think of this?”
Try to bite your tongue
If you are trying to explain something or telling him about a certain behavior then do not start with sentences like – When I was of your age…..This will immediately dilute the situation and the tween will lose interest in whatever you wanted to say in the first place. You can repeat what you want to say only twice; and not more than that. We should not tell him/her what he/she should do as it will shut him down completely; just advise him to reflect on these actions and take a good decision.
Follow these six simple tips and you will quickly find yourself Talking to Tweens without Being Preachy in no time. You are set up for success with your kiddo and you will be amazed at the results!
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