Pre-teen parenting is complex. But we can make it simpler and effortless. How can that be done, you would ask? We are constantly struggling with mood swings, tantrums, peer pressure, physical changes and many more such behavioural complexities. You might say.
My answer: I follow a simple mantra.
Parenting becomes complex if we aren’t honest with our kids. To gain their trust is primary in order to raise kids in the world which is changing at techno speed. I make my communication with my daughter honest, open and continuous. It’s never like, ‘Sit here, we need to talk’. I honestly share what will be accepted and which demands or behaviour is totally unacceptable. I am firm but open to discussion. And I am absolutely honest about it with her.
Nowadays there are many other factors which positively and negatively influence a child/kid/young adult. In order to raise independent, free-thinking and confident adults we need to be honest with kids. It is important that the child knows what is expected in terms of behaviour because during pre-teen and teenage years there are going to be many arguments.
Their behaviour could be influenced by their peers or if they feel pressurized by them. In such a situation, if they know what kind of behaviour is absolutely unacceptable at home, they will honestly be reasonable with their demands. Also, they know the manner in which to put across their demands and opinions. Build an environment at home wherein they are not scared to share their views and opinions. They should know that they will be listened to, but they should also know that it is not necessary that every opinion or demand will be validated. It will make communication easy.
Sharing my own personal preteen stories
Whenever I face a situation wherein my daughter becomes stubborn or adamant, I share my own personal stories. I talk about all the mistakes I made which I was in my pre-teen years. I tell her that these are my mistakes after I grew up, I felt I should have done things differently. I should have listened to my parent’s opinions. Today I regret. But those mistakes have taught me something. I am sharing these with you, you make your own mistakes and learn from them but learn from mine too.
I would like to share a personal parenting challenge that I am facing currently with my daughter. She will be ten years in a couple of months now. She is fearless and determined but she lacks concentration. Constantly, I receive feedback from her school that due to lack of focus her performance in everything that she does becomes average. Same feedback I receive from her swimming coach. I was exactly like her. Today as an adult if I had to go back in time and change that about me, I would do it. I very openly and honestly share this with her. I don’t mind sharing my weaknesses with her. That way she knows she can share everything with me. She knows I will understand because she knows that even I went through the same. Also, it makes the mother-daughter bond stronger.
I always assert that I am your mother so I know what’s best for you. But she also knows that I will easily turn into the friend she needs whenever she wants me to be one.
Do you feel these parenting mantras would be effective for you as well? Do share your thoughts in comments. Also, do let me know your parenting mantra too.
Read my My other Parenting Mantras!
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