It is sometimes difficult for parents as our pre-teens start moving towards independence. We have become accustomed to our children depending on us for everything and may feel rejected as they begin to spread their wings. We may even feel somewhat fearful; is this the beginning of constant rebellion and conflict? Not necessarily!! While it is true our children are growing and changing, it does not mean that we are headed for endless days of heartache. For the most part, children want to please us. Yes, they are forming new identities and making more of their own choices, but they still need us to guide them to make the most appropriate choices.
We should welcome this new chapter in our children's lives. It is a necessary step towards becoming self-reliant individuals. We don't want our children to stay dependent forever; that is not healthy or natural. However, anytime we see a high level of growth, we can also expect some 'growing pains'. That is why many experts compare this stage of development to that experienced during the 'terrible twos'.
So, what can we do to help our pre-teens navigate these turbulent waters safely? Following is a list of suggestions to aid you in your quest to maintain a solid relationship with your pre-teen and avoid some of the pitfalls associated with this period.
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What Should You Do?