“The Terrible Two’”s do not have anything on “The Tween or Teen years.” I am certain I am quite justified in this statement since I am parenting a tween, a 10-year old (almost a tween) and a 17 month old toddler (which I firmly believe is the beginning of those “terrible twos”) and not to mention that I have gone through the T2’s once before with my now “tween.”
This “tween” stage is rough and tough. It is kicking my tail. Not only is this “tween” pushing every limit possible but he is experiencing life-altering changes at the very same time. There is puberty, new friends, cell phone, new school, we recently moved, g-i-r-l-s, dances, deodorant, cologne, brand name clothes, the list goes on and on. Most of that is normal and part of what is to come. Once he hits high school it will be all of that X’s 10 and I pray I am prepared.
I am going to do all I can to be prepared, which brings me to some advice I was recently given to assist us through this rather challenging age. It is a technique we have began using with our two older boys.
Choice Language – for example, when approaching the child about their not so good behavior you would do it like this… “(child’s name), we do not throw things in this house. It is not safe for you or for anyone else. You can choose to (bad choice) or (good choice) – if you choose to continue with (bad choice) then you are choosing to loose your ______ & ______.
You are supposed to select what means the most to them and allow them to choose to loose it or not. If they choose to loose their privileges then you take it away for one day (obviously this depends on the seriousness of the choice) and tell them that it is ok because they get another chance tomorrow. You never take anything away more than three days at a time. The key is to let them know that they do get another chance and that it is their choice. You should say it all to them very matter-of-factly, almost like you do not care because it is up to them if they loose their stuff or not.
We have been using these techniques for a couple of weeks now and have seen some improvements but were also told it could take a while as the child has to get used to the parent reacting differently than they used to.
I am constantly searching the net and blogs for different types of parenting advice for teens and tweens and other stuff. I know I am not the only parent that is going through these challenges and if it works me it very well could possibly work for you too! So here I am, paying it forward.