It can feel frustrating when you just feel out of touch with your tweenager.
Do you ever wish you could turn back the clock to a time when your children shared everything and couldn’t get enough hugs?
Your tweenager might still let you hug them on occasion, but it’s always on their terms. Try it any other time and they turn into a human surfboard.
If you’d like to reconnect with your tweenager, there are several things you can try:
Avoid Forcing the Closeness Issue
Experts advise letting your tweenager go when they pull away. They always come back and it’s important to be there for them when that happens.
It’s a delicate balancing act.
Chasing after them makes things worse. Not doing anything can send the message that you don’t care.
Try telling them that you understand they need space.
Discover New Ways to be Affectionate
A squeeze on the arm or a quick back scratch might be more acceptable to your tweenager than a hug or a kiss on the forehead.
I talked about this in 14 Ways to Make Your Teenager Feel Special here.
Physical Touch helps you bond and is thought to enhance a child’s brain development.
When our children are young we give them hugs and kisses on the regular!… when they are tweenagers we need to be more strategic with our physical affection.
Each tweenager is different so be sensitive to their needs, but remember that touch is very important even as tweenagers.
A passing touch on the shoulder, a random quick squeeze in a light-hearted way, or a big celebration hug on a special occasion are ways to stay in touch and keep feeding them the love they need.
Spend Time on their Terms
Adults like to sit down with a cup of coffee and chat.
Tweenagers like to watch YouTube videos or play video games.
You get to sit on the couch and embrace the adventure of learning a video game that you may struggle to comprehend so you can spend time with your tweenager 🙂
It’s All About being Supportive
Help uplift them in their time of need.
Be part of your tweenager’s day-to-day activities.
Go to their sports games and events at school.
They might not want to hear from you, but they like to know that you’re there!
Help uplift them in their time of need.
Understand their Need to Look Good to their Friends
At some point, most adults attain a view of the world that permits them to comfortably get the mail in nothing but a bathrobe but tweenagers are very concerned with the opinions of their peers.
It’s important to respect and nurture that.
If you want alienate your child, make them look bad in front of their friends.
If you want to foster a deep connection, then talk to your tweenager and find out what they need to feel better about themselves and help them with that.
Focus on Listening
By the time our kids reach the tweenage years, we’ve lived quite a bit and have plenty of advice to dish out but many times others would prefer we listen and keep quiet.
This is true with tweenagers, too.
It’s challenging, but try to just listen and wait to be asked for advice.
I like to think of a square shaped container like an imaginary bucket between me and them, my strategy is to wait to see if they want me to put something in the imaginary bucket or if they just need me to listen.
All of our relationships are enhanced by effective listening skills. This technique will serve you well in all of them.
Allow Your Tweenager to Make Mistakes
While we’d all like to protect them from everything, everyone needs to make mistakes and learn from them.
Children that are over-protected frequently struggle when it’s time to face the world on their own.
It’s so healthy to give your child a safe space to fail. And isn’t it better that they fail with you around so you can nurture them and encourage them to go again?
Remember what it was Like
When you were a tweenager, you were probably preoccupied with your peers and the opposite sex, worried about the future, and wanting more privacy.
You tweenager is no different.
It’s natural for a personal identity space to develop between tweenagers and their parents.
A child can’t suddenly transform from being your little baby to fending for themselves overnight.
There’s a transitional period that everyone passes through.
It’s challenging for both the tweenager and the parents.
It’s important to be available for your child but not smother them.
Be patient and love them.
What is the hardest thing for you with your tweenager at the moment?
…if you have any questions, hit me up in the comments below…
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