The psychology of tweens
The tween years present special challenges to parents. Caught between a child and a teen, and on the verge of adolescence/puberty, the tween is pushing for independence. According to Psychology Today, (www.psychologytoday.com) kids are “not hard wired to rebel, but inside they are yearning to become independent.” It’s a time when your child is exploring new, complex ways of thinking, and you are there to help. You are there to “guide and to coach.”
During the tween years, remember the following five points:
- As your tween moves away and out into the world, move with him or her and not away, so that you are not far from him or her.
- Share openly with your child so that you are human and accessible.
- As peer pressure increases, be available and trusting to talk to your child.
- Participate in your child’s interests and activities.
- Include him or her in decision making and conversations about your life.
Group Therapy Associates (www.grouptherapyassociates.org) has an article about the “Psychology of the ‘Tween” and Teenager.” The moodiness attributed to tweens seems to be occurring even sooner in the spectrum of the preteen years. As the tweens test their identities, they may change their appearances and styles and opinions at the drop of a hat. It is a difficult struggle to want to be grown up in a young person’s body. The “emotional readiness and chronological age may conflict.”
There is need to make tweens aware that their parents want them to be safe as well as independent. Support in these difficult times can be with a friend or professional.
In Los Angeles County, there are directories for psychiatrists and psychologists.
Some of the psychiatrists that specialize in treating tweens and teens are as follows and others may be found on www.psychiatrists.psychologytoday.com.
Sophie Duriez, M.D. Beverly Hills 424-254-0592
Anita Red, M.D. Pasadena 626-600-2676
Maria Lymberis, M.D. Santa Monica 310-773-5298
Daniel Grosz, M.D. Encino 818-293-0761
If you are a parent of a tween, get ready for a bumpy road, but one filled with adventure and independence.