Today, the word “tween” refers to kids who are not “little” kids anymore, and are not quite teenagers. These are kids between the ages of 9-12. It is often hard to connect with this age because they are showing their independence more and more each day. It is, however, vital that parents make the effort to bond with their tween and that especially applies to dads. Dads, if you have a tween, here are some great tips for bonding with your tween child.
Four Ways to Bond with Your Tween
Talk to them: The first thing you should do when you want to bond with your tween is to take the time to talk to them—and listen to what they have to say. They may not open up to you about every aspect of their life; however, they are at the age where their ideas about life are changing. If you do not take the time to talk and listen, you will never really know your child. In addition, when you talk to your child, make sure that this is a good time for both you and your child. Do not lecture or pick on your child. They need you and they need you to really listen to what they have to say. Keep those lines of communication open.
Find a common interest: The next thing you should do in your effort to really bond with your tween is to make an effort to find a common interest and then work on building that interest. Think about the things you enjoyed at that age. You may think your son may not like building models or working with you in the garage, but you never know until you make that effort. When you find a common thread, you will build a lasting relationship. Your child will look back on that time that you spent together and have fond memories.
Have one-on-one time: Having one on one time with your tween is very important. It may be hard to juggle your work with her school and activities, but even getting together just once a month to do something fun will mean a lot to your child. How about taking your daughter to the movies and dinner? Take your son camping every once in awhile. You can even have one Saturday a month where you take your tween for breakfast. Anything you can do with your tween will help you bond.
Respect their privacy: This is a very critical age for kids and they are moving away from you and towards their own life. They need their privacy, too. Don’t pry for information and don’t tease your child about the opposite sex. This will push your child away.
Bonding with your tween can happen in many ways. Stay involved with your child and build a lasting relationship. They will thank you for it when they are adults themselves, and they will treat their kids the same way.
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