For most parents, their children grow up too fast. They are facing the pressures of everyday life in our competitive world, they are approaching puberty with all the huge hormonal changes that brings, as well as physical and mental challenges and stress of school work and exams. Along with this, you will both be thinking about senior school.
The pre-teens are an unsettled time and your child will often be more self-conscious and sometimes care more about what their friends think than what you think. This is sometimes known as the ‘tween years’. They have a growing confidence in themselves but they still need your support and protection. Provide suitable limits, with some flexibility, for them to explore and experiment with situations safely. It is a time when they can be most vulnerable and also trusting and do not understand many of the potential dangers. As parents it is important to keep a balance, so they stay safe, but are allowed a little more freedom.
Mobile phones help tweens develop closer bonds with their peers and, as a result, they push away from their parents at an earlier age. Friends are very important at this age.
Make time to talk to your child and think about how you communicate. Try to avoid constantly nagging or you run the risk of your child ‘tuning out’ permanently. Your pre-teen is looking for their own identity, try to be an advisor but set clear boundaries if certain behaviour during the transition from 'tween' to teenager is becoming a major concern. The main thing is to pick your battles, and let some go.