Time goes quickly and before you know it, your child is transitioning into their teenage years with a newfound sense of independence.
After a decade of having them rely on you, it can be difficult as a parent to let go of these responsibilities. What makes it more challenging, is the fear of the relationship becoming distant and leading to kept secrets and immoral behavior.
With these tips, you can maintain the tight-knit bond with your pre-teen, whilst allowing them the freedom to explore new experiences alone.
1. Communicate without Judgement
It can be easy as a parent to feel like it is necessary to lecture and interrogate based on past experiences. However, an approach that indicates a lack of trust will only strain the relationship further.
Instead, share advice and guidance through life stories that pre-teens find engaging, without dictating how they address a comparable situation.
This will build a trusting, open and honest relationship where parental counsel is naturally sought.
2. Create a Teen-Friendly Environment
The pre-teens are where many children explore new friendships. These types of relationships come and go over the years, but it is necessary to allow them to experience the process to learn from it.
Creating a teen-friendly environment at home and allowing friends to stay for dinner or sleepovers without intruding on activities is crucial in making pre-teens feel comfortable growing up at home.
Restricting these interactions will lead to repressed emotions that build up to outbursts.
The experts at Little Otter Health emphasize the importance of building a positive environment for your children, allowing them to navigate new emotions and experiences with your guidance and support.
3. Maintain and Modernize Traditions
Family rituals are part of what holds close relationships together. With pre-teens hesitant to participate, it can be tempting to ditch annual traditions.
Even so, it is worth insisting that the family get together to celebrate. To pique the interest of a pre-teen, incorporate their new interests into the day to keep it relevant. For instance,
- Invite their friend
- Play music, games, or a film that they like
- Make a fun photobooth
4. Encourage and Support New Interests
The pre-teens mark the point of beginning the journey of self-discovery – including trying out every hobby under the sun. Instead of disregarding them, show encouragement and support.
These interests will provide enjoyment and life lessons, as well as potential opportunities to do things together and activities to bond over.
Overlooking the constant events to attend, movies to see, or sports to watch will take away an ideal moment to stay connected.
5. Enjoy the Time You Have
It can be disheartening to feel pushed away as a parent, but this is only temporary.
By trusting what the child knows and encouraging their new endeavors, the relationship will be strengthened. Once the teenage years pass, people, become more aware and appreciative of their parents.
This is because the greater importance placed on the outside world is no longer new and fascinating, and family becomes returns to being the focus.
Cherish the time spent watching them step into new areas of the world.
As a parent, it can be emotionally testing to feel a disconnect with your pre-teen.
To maintain a connection, it is important to recognize the stage of life they are entering and hold back the urge to continue feeling overprotective.
Communicate without judgment, create a teen-friendly environment, maintain, and modernize traditions, encourage and support new interests, and enjoy the time you have with your pre-teen.
In the years to come, when the sense of independence is no longer unfamiliar, your child will return to you for guidance. In the meantime, the best thing to do is show them that you trust and love them unconditionally.