Oh the dreaded pre-teen years. I’m being dramatic. These are wonderful years when your children are figuring out who they want to be, what they want to do, and how they are going to do it.
These years are ones of great growth, maturity, and a little bit of resistance. These years are great but do present some very unique challenges for parents.
Here are a few tips for parents with pre-teen to survive these years.
Technology is good. Technology can be bad. Take these two statements and apply it to the technology-saturated world your pre-teens are living in. It’s a scary thought. There is not way to keep your pre-teen completely away from technology (and you don’t want to) but you can limit their exposure and monitor them when they do use it.
Computers and smart phones are parent’s greatest enemies while we are trying to protect our children’s innocence and purity. If your pre-teen has access to a computer or has a smart phone consider installing parental control blockers. This way you can block anything that you don’t want your child to be on or see. Your pre-teens will probably fight you on this issue but later on down the road they will see that it was only out of love.
Show me your friends and ill show you your future. During your child’s pre-teen years their friends can either influence them to do good or to do bad. Children are being exposed to drugs and sex at a younger and younger age because of technology and media. With that saying it’s almost guaranteed that your child or their friends are educated in these subjects. You need to know who your pre-teens friends are.
This might mean going and eating lunch with them at school, hosting parties or sleepovers at your house, or simply just being around your kids and their friends. Be the parent that offers to take the group to the movies or to the arcade. This way you can really get to know your pre-teens friends and what kind of influences they are.
Another way to find these kinds of things out is by simply talking to your child. If you have a very open and honest relationship with them they will tell you if a friend is pressuring them to do something they don’t feel comfortable with.
3. Security System
During the pre-teen years kids start to become very independent. They start wanting to go places on their own and do things by themselves. This is the time when you might start trusting them to be at home alone. At this age kids are sneaky and they will try to do things that they know are wrong when you are not home so they wont get caught.
When they are home along they might have a friend over (which you said was not allowed) or watch a certain movie, or play a certain game they are not allowed to. To help keep an eye on your pre-teen while you are away you should look into purchasing a home security system. Install cameras in your home that can be viewed live at anytime on your smart phone. This way you can check in on your pre-teen and see what they are doing while you are gone.