Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Rule #190: Pre teen parenting

 I've done it 3 times so I think I have some credibility here. And I don't mean IT. I mean I've raised 3 children in and out of the dreaded pre-teen phase. I've been told that I've done it with some success as well. Not that I deserve all the credit. There were some pretty good mothers involved as well.

 Looking back at how things went, the successes and failures, trial and errors, in my own experience as well as friends and acquaintances, there are a million things you can do right / wrong. What I have learned is it's what you do during these pre-teen years that dictate what kind of teen years you're in for. Set the rules now before it's too late. Let them know early on that there's no need
to start a debate. That's big. I find it's alright to explain things to kids so they understand your decision, but only once. A debate isn't necessary. For example, a conversation between a parent and a 12 year old daughter should go something like this: "Mom (or dad) can I hitch hike to the party at Axl Roses house?" "No sweetie, you don't have anything to wear and you have homework to do and Axl Rose is and asshole." "But all the other kids are hitch hiking to the party at Axl Roses house!" "You asked a question, you got an answer, that means the conversation is over. Get me a beer."

Your kids will learn early on that there is no need to whine, plead and argue. They will respect your authority. Or, you could offer to go to Axl Roses' party with them. See how that goes.

In the new world, this rule will be included in a free parenting handbook that will be given to all the “would be” new parents.


1 comment:

  1. Great post. I don't want to say I'm terrified of the preteen/tween/middle school years as a parent, but I know what we're up against. We're trying to equip ourselves to survive and help our son succeed. I hope we have as much success as you! You've already been through it, but I do have recommendation for parents of preteens, or parents that will eventually have preteens - never to early to prepare for this fun phase. We've been reading a great new book that we are really excited about, so I just have to share. It's called "MiddleSchool: The Inside Story- What Kids Tell Us, But Don't Tell You," by Cynthia Tobias and Sue Acuna. It has interviews and feedback from middle schoolers, parents and teachers (and a little humor) to help us deal with faith, purity, puberty, communication, independence, discipline and accountability, tackling social media, technology, Internet, gaming, and deepening and strengthening positive, loving relationship. It's so rich in valuable help as we face these transitional years with our kids. I think everyone with a middle schooler or who will have a middle schooler will benefit from it. I highly recommend it!


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