What our tweens wear to school tops their MOST IMPORTANT list of “how not be embarrassed”. Have you ever experienced the old “toilet-paper-getting –stuck-to-your- heel just after using the restroom in a board meeting? Or how about the time you gave your power-point presentation with your fly open or your blouse buttons popped off?
It all comes down to what is important at the time or the season or phase of life. Our preteen or tween has immense insecurities about fitting in or being a part of the pack. They would rather die than wear something that NO BODY ever wears to school!
Could the more pertinent issue be: how much do we spend on this tug-of-war with our tween’s or does it even need to be a war? Giving too much attention to what they can and can’t wear may bring less attention from what really matters in middle school- good grades. So the question haunts our brains as we stare at our daughter’s choice of skirts and too much skin showing or our son’s strange way to wear his pants:
At what point does a new law need to be written on their foreheads about their choice of clothes? Continue reading
You just tucked your 11 year old into bed for the 3rd time. Its 10:30 pm. suddenly she is standing on the stairs (once again) – “Mom…Mom! ….please let’s go over that math pre-test again! And I just remembered I’m supposed to have my science project in tomorrow!) You hear frustration in her voice (again) and crying. You go to the staircase and look up to find your daughter sitting and sobbing with her face in her knees.
Help! This is almost a nightly occurrence – how can we get some normalcy around here?! Why did we not recognize these behaviors- they seemed to suddenly become a constant companion to our tween’s personality.
Most of us adults experience stresses that play out in a number of symptoms. Tween’s also experience this stress when loads of schoolwork, after-school activities bring, chores, friends, and homework, all come at them at once.
When our families go through mega life challenges like divorce, extreme illness and loss of a pet or even moving, our tween’s will many times shut down or become depressed. Even summer months that would seem to bring escape from it all can be stressful as our tween looks at their family holidays (leaving pets and friends behind) and meeting new friends at summer camps, from a suddenly new pre-teen mind.
Balancing these real-life add-ons in their lives and sorting them out in priority will bring anxiety down and a sense of control back into their minds.
Symptoms of Tween stress: Continue reading
Long ago we learned that bedtime routines for our young children were the keys against calamity and next-morning chaos. So why would we not stay with a bedtime routine for our ever-changing tweens?
Perhaps for a couple of reasons?: the loads of homework and the sudden after-school activities seem to pile up all afternoon long and suddenly it is evening and much still to do!. Without warning we hear ourselves shouting chaotic statements from upstairs to our tween who is downstairs: “It’s 9:30- get those teeth brushed and your bath- get yourself into bed!” Well- what is chaos but a loss of peaceable routine!
Help! What to do? Well- it is never too late to re-group and begin again with a structured –winding down time. But how? How do we keep their bedtime calm yet allow them to learn responsibility and consequences for the decisions they make?
Have a chat: Pick a time to sit down and discuss with our tween this bedtime plan. How can they keep from getting tired, grouchy and non-productive while at school and afterschool activities? We need to listen to their ideas and remind them that getting enough sleep requires enough hours to do so; winding down and taking time for bedtime routine is important.
What time is the best time for our tween? : Doctors say it takes a good 10 hour nights sleep to be effective at their age. What hour do they wake up with the alarm? They will immediately know that answer! So then they will also know the time they need to go to sleep! They have made the choice for themselves. A 6:30 am alarm means an 8:30 sleep time. (not bedtime) Continue reading