“Hormone” is a word that strikes fear in the hearts of many otherwise confident adults. We have all heard horror stories of how sweet, loving children suddenly turn into screaming, tearful tyrants who may just be capable of seriously harming themselves or others.
While that may be the case in some homes, I think there are things parents can do to lessen the negative effects of hormones on your tween’s behavior and your own sanity. I have used many of these ideas in my home and have seen them work for my friends and their now adult daughters when they were in the tween stage.
These tips for “tween whispering” (or “teen whispering”) are in no particular order, but hopefully you will find a few of them work for you too.
Most people look at me as if I am a little addled when they discover my major in college. In fact, they usually won’t continue the conversation until I have offered an explanation for my choice.
You see, I majored in education with a specialization in 4th through 8th grades. There are tons of people who love the cute little kids and even a lot who prefer the older teens and young adults. Rarely, do you find people who adore children in those tween and early teen years. I am one of those rare individuals.
Why do I love tweens? Because they are the best age to teach. They have already picked up most of the basics in life and are ready to start putting the pieces of the puzzle together. Even with the push to early adolescence in our culture, the tween is usually not finished polishing their veneer. They love to discover new things and you can see the light in their eyes when you show them how all of the pieces of the puzzle fit together in a really fun way. When I see a tween, I see a teaching opportunity that is probably only matched in very young children and college kids.
Has your child ever gone through a stage where they were obsessed with something? I remember my brother loved toy cars. He must have had a bizillion of them and race tracks covered most of our living area. He was probably about three, but I still remember my dad trying to convince him it wasn’t necessary to sleep with all of his cars. My brother insisted though, and there were nights when there was barely room in the bed for him!
I am sure there were times when my parents probably wanted to toss the entire lot of those cars in the trash. My dad encouraged him, though. He would race cars with my brother, help him shop for new models, and even found some kits for my brother and him to make their own model cars.
Have you ever wished you had a better relationship with your spouse or children? Are there unresolved issues with your parents or siblings? Do you feel as if your friendships aren’t the deep meaningful relationships you really want? Do you sometimes feel as if there is no one who really knows you and accepts you and unconditionally loves you for who you are?
I don’t know if I have ever said this about any book (other than the Bible of course!). If you have meaningful relationships in your life that are not what you wish they were, you absolutely must read One Month to Love by Kerry and Chris Shook. This couple has done the best job I have ever seen of breaking down the various aspects of not only how to be the person you need to be in your relationships, but helping you understand what you need from the important people in your life.
Have you been to five different toy stores in search of that present your child “must have” this year? Were you trampled in the mad rush for the latest gadget? Are you wondering what happened to the days when children were thrilled to receive a homemade rag doll and an orange for Christmas?
I have a controversial theory about Christmas consumer madness. Yes, commercials and marketing appeal to our children, but I think it may just be something more. Is it possible our children are asking for “things” to substitute for what they really want from us? Maybe they don’t know how to ask or maybe they just know the answer will be no. They have learned adults are often willing to give them plenty of stuff to compensate for not giving them what they really want. Our future business leaders have learned to work the system in their favor. And who can blame them?