Recently my tween son asked me a question that cut a little deep. Coming from a large family I know how easy it is for a child to feel lost in the shuffle. As an adult, time is such a precious commodity. As a mother, I want to make sure each of my children are given the time and attention they need. And … I thought I had been doing really well at accomplishing that.
Then my son asks, “Why don’t you ever do videos with me for your work?”
It wasn’t just the question, but the look on his face and the undertones of hurt I could hear that let me know that he had been working up the courage to ask this question for quite some time.
He took an interest to YouTube a few years ago and would watch the videos I had uploaded on my YouTube channel. At least 30 of my monthly Google searches come from him because he Googles my name daily to see what comes up and what I am working on.
The signs were there and I completely missed them.
I included him in some things but assumed that being in front of the camera wasn’t his thing because he often retreated into his own space when the camera came out. I didn’t realize it was because he was waiting for a direct invite from me to be included.
So get ready, because you will be seeing more of him and I will be sharing more about raising a tween son. Just five short years ago I was creating an eighth-grade plan of action for his big brother. I’ve learned quite a bit since then, but I also recognize that my youngest son is a completely different and unique student. I cannot wait to share more about how much joy he brings to my life on a regular basis and how we are navigating this new stage of his life.
As a parent we try to get it right as much as possible, but there are some things we’re going to miss. I try to be open and transparent with my children to let them know that I am far from perfect. I love that even though it is not always easy, they feel comfortable with speaking to me.
3 Simple Tips to Communicate with Your Tween
The tween stage is the one that I think I love the most. Between my children, nieces, and nephews there are a few ways that I have learned to communicate effectively with this age group:
Ask to be included and be genuinely interested in the things they are a part of. Ask them to teach you how to do something they love – whether it’s a sport or a video game.
Watch our tone. It’s easy to sound frustrated or short. Tweens are in that sensitive stage where this will lead to them shutting down and even deter them from connecting with us.
Let them know how important they are to you and that you value their voice. Ask for their input and opinions on decisions.