Just two decades ago, eight to twelve year olds were simply seen as children. Now we recognize that puberty begins earlier than it once did for kids in most countries. Puberty has always been challenging, but changes in our culture mean that young people often face pressures and dilemmas we couldn’t have imagined, as they hit middle school and head toward the teen years.
Even if you have an easy child, parenting a preteen can be a challenge. Discipline, school, homework, time with family, almost everything is renegotiated. Hormones kick in as puberty approaches, and the pressures of the peer group magnify. And kids who have always been more volatile are likely to become more so now, pushing parents away and then acting needy.
Many parents react to their tween’s moodiness, focus outside the family, increasing independence and maturing physical body by distancing somewhat from their child. But tweens need to feel they have a secure nest as they launch themselves into the exciting but challenging world outside the family. Kids who feel disconnected from their parents lose their anchor and look for it in their peer group. We all know that peer groups usually don’t guide our kids better and they are not supposed to. This is our job being parents to teach our kids how this world works and how they can learn to make good decision ahead in life.
Our “Preteen Parenting” program is a good fit for parents of children between 8 to 12 years old. They can learn to facilitate their child going through hormonal challenges safely and positively and be ready to enjoy the teen’s world.