How You Can Protect Your ‘Tween in a Fast Paced World
By Maggie Manion
1. Protect ‘tweens from themselves!
This age of 9, 10, 11, and 12 year olds is crucial because they are gaining independence and as they gain independence, it becomes harder for them to resist temptations or think about consequences because they act impulsively. It is not only your right, but your moral obligation to be in ‘their business’ to protect them.
I say, know where your kids are, with whom, snoop, call and check up on them to hold them accountable, and form alliances with other parents. This is how you start protecting tweens from themselves!
2. Protect ‘tweens by limiting all entertainment.
Set limits on all music, television, video games, and the internet. Form clear boundaries with your children. Some examples are: Keep computer in central location, make your kids aware that you will be tracking and blocking sites, no chat rooms, and they may email their friends on your account. Keep tweens entertained by involvement. Tweens in organizations such as; sports, clubs, and church groups have less down time and less time to get into trouble. Plus, all of those organizations foster their self-esteem and having a high self-esteem is the foundation for raising a healthy, happy child that is able to make good decisions.
3. Protect your ‘tween by being fair and firm.
Parents today are trying to protect their kids from any kind of disappointment, displeasure, and emotional pain. It is natural to want to see your children happy, however, it is not realistic. It is okay if they get mad at you. It is okay that they are disappointed that they will be missing a social function. It is unfair that some kids get IPods and cell phones and some don’t, and that is okay because you are not your ‘tween’s friend! Your children have enough friends! Discipline is love. My mom always said, ‘If you don’t make your kids cry when they’re young, they’ll make you cry when they’re older’.
Like everything, there needs to be a balance. You want your ‘tween to be able to come to you and talk because they want and need you to understand them, but they also want and need boundaries whether they know it or not.
Margie wants you to know that, "I am very passionate about what I do. I know that parenting is the hardest and most important job in the world! I would like to reach as many parents as possible to help them to take extra steps to make their parenting experience a positive one! There is no such thing as the "perfect parent" it is an ongoing process and it is never to late to try something new!"
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