To say that parenting a tween is hard work is probably an understatement. I would in fact venture to say it is at times seemingly impossible. Let’s be clear that although it is indeed a challenging task, it is one full of joy, excitement and unpredictability. One minute she seems mature beyond her years, in a flash however, she seems so young and naïve. He can seem so convincing and confident one moment, and so vulnerable and lost the next.
There’s a good reason this in between stage only lasts a few years. I am not sure many could handle the uncertainty, confusion and often chaos that accompanies parenting kids at this stage for too long.
The tween years are all about growing up and moving forward. Physically tweens are faced with bodies that are growing and developing quickly. It truly is a mind/body experience. Emotionally tweens are awakened to new thoughts and feelings about themselves and those around them. They are sensitive and egocentric, self-focused and unsure. One moment they can be critical and even cruel while the next they are concerned and caring. They worry about what they say, how they look, what they know and most importantly what others think about them. They negotiate their lives with simple goals such as how to avoid shame and embarrassment.
Tweens are known to be silly and sensitive. The child in them can laugh at the most mundane things while the teen in them scoffs at you with an attitude. No, you are not funny, you are embarrassing!
Yup, it can be tough to be the parent of a tween but it can also be wonderful and even weird. At moments when you least expect it the child in her reaches out for a reassuring hug or a pat on the back. What you say and think about him still matters greatly even at a time when he may seem like he is pulling away from you and moving toward his peers.
Parenting a tween may not always be easy but it is rewarding and fun. Your sweet and sour child is transforming in front of your eyes. Before you know it, he will be begging for the car keys, for now, enjoy the ride.