The other day I was in a huge hurry so I thought I’d save time in one of those 15 or less check outs at the grocery store. But my impatience suddenly calmed down when I heard two moms in front of me sharing. One mom said her 12 year old wanted to know what she (her mom) would do if she got pregnant! The friend wasn’t shocked; she just came back with her own experience last week. She laughed and then got real serious- looking, then told her friend that her 11 year old daughter was sick and tired of us (her mom and dad) making her do her homework before she was allowed to talk to her friends on her cell phone.
Not sure about you, but cell phones in an 11 year olds hands – might be a recipe for a “disconnect” between daughter and mom (?) These days tweens are not what they were in “those days”- the mom’s days. If we can just remember “those days” when we were tween’s and what came out of our wild and crazy minds and mouths! But these days, tween’s know all about sex, drugs, pornography, alcohol, and all the rest because of the media of TV and all the techie stuff parents allow their kids to own which connects them to the internet! These two moms are about to lose control of parenting their sons and daughters unless they stay savvy and connected with them on a daily basis.
So how best can a parent handle those type questions and obvious disrespect coming from their tween’s minds? The one thing I think a bunch of us parents want is for the line of communication to remain open between our tween and ourselves.
Someone once said a great way to respond to a question that is disagreeable to you is with another question. A question designed with a thought provoking purpose. The tween wanted to know what mom would do if she got pregnant. Mom might have asked her daughter something like, “Why Suzie, do you ask? Do you know anyone at school that is promiscuous? What do the kids say about her/him?” What a great way to begin a truly non-threatening discussion with a teachable solution at the end. How about the 11 year olds mega disrespectful attitude? What she is really saying to her mom is: “I’m sick and tired of you parenting me.” Her mom, who really wanted to slap her mouth, might keep it together and ask her daughter: “What might your plan be Suzy, so that you can keep your grades up and stay on the school soccer team? Let’s go grab a coke and sit at the table because I am open to hearing your realistic plans!”
We parent’s don’t have to lose it with our tween’s! At least make them think they don’t have us in a frazzled mess! We just have to recognize what the battle is and be ready for it before it begins! What are your comments?
For more help with your tween: