Your relationship with your tween can be a balancing act. Your tween’s behavior can trigger many emotions in you. By managing your own impulses, you can avoid giving your tween all the control. Know when to step in or get out of the way! Fighting over little things can lead to constant bickering and negative feelings. Drugs, school performance, sexually responsible behavior and other morals and values that influence the kind of adult your tween will become are important issues to discuss, negotiate and maybe even “battle” over.
Be an eParent®! Choose your battles but ignore smaller issues. To avoid a battle, search online with your tween for a behavior contract and then agree to it together.
Young adolescents resent advice and attention that they didn’t ask for. They need to feel grown-up and capable of finding their way without parental interruption. Many tweens challenge rules and values in an effort to establish their own identity. As the parent, it is your responsibility to set standards and to demonstrate values. Young adolescents rely on parents to set limits, even if it doesn’t seem like it. Part of your tween’s development includes testing limits. So don’t get frustrated when your child opposes your standards or breaks your rules. Adults are better able to control emotions so anticipate your tween will push back. When your limits show your family values, your tween will eventually recognize that you had his/her best interests in mind.
Read some example behavioral contracts.
Revised November 2018