“Come on Dad; let me make up my own mind please. Thank you for your opinion, but I want to try to figure this out on my own. I need to take my time and I will be ready by the time the bus comes. Please!” Maybe you hear the same plea in the mornings before school as your tween decides what clothes to wear or which way “the hair” will look good today.
But if we could be a crumb sitting on their lunchroom cafeteria table, we might hear them ranting and raving about us; their parents. Maybe we might be more help than we realize if we could listen with a discerning ear. “I wish my parents were more……..”.
- Patient- I’m really able to get my routine done before school but I’m my own person. Even though I need a nudge to get going, please don’t nag me just know I am doing my best to get on that bus- after all I don’t want to be embarrassed by being late.
- Let me choose my friends – wish you would ask me more about my friends before you judge them. If you don’t like them it seems like you don’t trust me to choose the ‘right friends’. Trust me to make mistakes as I pick and choose – stay open minded but if you still think they are bad to me, please, I need your gentle guidance showing me sound choices and also on my side.
- I know my moods and frustrations speak ‘loudly’ sometimes. Thank you for saying calming words reminding me not to disrespect you- I don’t like ever to do that. But please remember I might not be ready to talk straight forward. Maybe just hang out doing things nearby-I might share if I feel comfortable about sharing- don’t interrupt me unless I get that disrespect I often get.
- I know I could be an actor on a stage sometimes when I am in my dramatics- I don’t like it either. Please remind me that you love me with a smile or a term of endearment- it’s not fun for me either all this puberty going on inside me.
- When you get ‘on me’ for not doing what I (know) should be doing like, practicing my basketball, doing my report for school, taking my shower and wearing deodorant, calling my friend when they keep asking me to call them or stop telling my sister how to live her life, I get overwhelmed. I will fight you every bit of the way, and I know you should make me do these things. Remind me to do this stuff each day or when you know I need to do it. But know that I really want to do this stuff, it’s just I tend to be lazy I admit. But let me know when it isn’t all happening with a hug, kiss, or smile and some kind words I’m doing ok. Let me know with a word that you do understand how much I am trying.
- It’s really scary and uncomfortable when I get yelled at and criticized or punished. Please please explain to me the “why’s”. I might be really tall and bigger each day, but I still need hugs and a kiss – scolding makes me scared but a tender word as you let me know what I did wrong would be best.
- If you think I am being too busy with social life or texting or online let me know with a kind reminder. Words like “maybe a little vacation” might do me well. Explain about how it might do me well. I probably would think so too, but don’t just ground me or shout at me about it. Now would be the time to show me with loving direction and proper organization of my social time/online time/ and family school work. I crave for you to help me, but stay chilled out and calm as you talk it though with me. Remember again, I sometimes feel like I’m 4th grade again, I get scared sometimes of growing up.
- I remember a lot when I was a kid and we would do things together after school. Can we do that again? Go on a ‘play date’ with one another?! Especially when I am stressed it really would be cool to get distracted with ‘old times’. We might solve a problem or share about your childhood fun!
- Wish you could ask me to help you with something that I am good at! I love you to ask me or let me know you are proud of me when I share my knowledge or ‘wisdom’ of something with you. I have a few things I am good at and you know them. Just let me help you understand – like a new game I have or a computer issue. Relax and show me through your patience, enthusiasm, and questions, what it is like to be mature adult learning things in life.
- You might have forgotten since I became a Tween, but I actually admire you very much. I love you because you are my mom/dad. I need you to compliment me or think I am funny (I love to be funny!) or tell me I’m awesome at something cause honestly sometimes I don’t think I am good at anything. I need your accolades like the parched earth needs rain sometimes. Your kind and generous compliments and even judgments matter to me I will remember them all my life; the BAD and the Good. I will keep them like treasures deep in my heart. Your praises and your reprimands. Your words make me so much of who I am. Please don’t forget. PS- I love you so much.