In all honesty, the communication between your child and you should have been a long term, built over time relationship but let’s get real, some parents really do not see that need to build that communication from day one because the issues do not arise until those lovely children get closer to the
you don’t get me tween ages. With that being said, if you are at a loss as to how to connect with your tween, here are some tips on how to open up communication without appearing too nosy or intruding.
Tip One – No Topic is Off Limits or Considered Unimportant
Whether your child is rambling on and on about stubbing their toe on the chair in the hallway or about the kid who is mean to them at school, no topic is to be considered unimportant. From time to time your child has or will start to vent about various small situations, these are times when you wonder what in the world is such the big deal. Do not ever take that “this is not a big deal” tone with your child or dismiss the importance they are placing behind what they are talking about. Make every one of their problems important in your eyes and give them the ear to listen, shoulder to cry on or person to laugh with and lend the advice they need if asked for.
Tip Two - Be Compassionate, Considerate, Caring & Able to Relate
No matter what topic or problem has arisen in your child’s life, there must be one small way you can compare it to a situation you have been in or had to deal with yourself. Children enjoy seeing that Mom or Dad have gone through troubled times just like them and turned out just fine in the long haul. While the child only sees the now in most of their troubled situations, having a parent who they feel understands them and can relate to them opens the doors for much larger conversations in the future. Having that compassionate, caring and relatable parent really pays off when your child is dealing with peer pressures along the journey to teenhood and adulthood, they will trust that they can come to you about anything.
Tip Three – Hold Occasional Family Meetings
Having your child(ren) play a key roll in small decision making in the household really helps your child to learn that they are a part of a team, a group, a family. Every so often it’s important to have a family meeting, get the snacks ready and sit back to enjoy conversations. Examples of topics that could be discussed during these family meetings could be anything from each family member saying a challenge they have within the family unit or their outside life. Each can discuss positives within the family and work together to setup a game plan to resolve any challenges or issues any of the family members may express during this meeting.
In all reality, parenting is a learning experience each and every day. While these few tips are not going to solve everything, they are a wonderful start to the journey of opening communication with your tween.