If you find yourself reminiscing about a time when you and your child didn’t end every conversation with a door slam, we’re guessing you’ve got a tween on your hands.
Yes, those pre-teen years can come as a shock – the happy, easy-going child you once knew now has a serious case of multiple personalities. We’ve all been there.
Now, while we completely understand that their mood swings have a lot to do with hormonal changes, there are things you can do to make the transition easier on you, and as a result, them.
1. They need space
Tweens and teens are like magnets when their bad moods strike – get too close and they’ll suck you in, and there is no escaping the argument that is about to ensue.
It’s important to recognise when they’re feeling down, and then give them the space to work through it their way.
Crowding them or forcing them to talk may only result in them channelling their negative energy your way.
2. Happy hour
It may only be an hour, but embrace it.
They're called mood swings for a reason; because, sometimes, they swing in your favour.
Use their positive frame of mind in your favour, and spend that time bonding.
3. Busy schedule
As they head towards their teen years, their schedules can get substantially busier.
Busy schedules can cause added stress – so why not lighten their load a little by taking some activities off their list of things to do each week?
Reassess the difference this makes to their mood - you will probably find them to be much less irritable.
4. Sleeping beauties
We cannot stress how important a good night’s sleep is to children of any age.
It is recommended that tweens get at least nine hours of sleep each night, so it’s off with the computers and televisions.
Implement a 'no gadget' rule in your home, and ask your kids to power off their devices a few hours before bed.
5. Time with friends
While you may feel time together as a family is a way of encouraging your tween to bond with you, it can cause the opposite effect.
Letting them spend time with their friends will improve their mood.
With a happier tween coming home to you, you may have a better chance of some quality family time after they’ve had time with friends.