Parenting a pre-teen and teen is not easy. During this phase they go through several changes (physical, mental and emotional). At this stage peer pressure is highly critical. Some tips to ensure healthy growth and development of your child are;
- Do not impose your thought and feelings on your child. Talk and reason it out because it is important that you listen to his or her ideas and opinions.
- Plan and do things together. This creates a feeling of bonding and love.
- As children grow older they spent considerably less time with the parents and more time with friends. Friends are a major influence in their lives at this stage. Hence, you should make an effort to know your child’s friends to prevent them from falling into wrong company.
- Attend parent-teacher meetings to know your child’s progress at school.
- Attend your preteen's school activities like athletic events, school annual day. This makes them feel that they are important to you. Let them know that all their achievements are important for you whether small or big.
- Talk and listen to your child. This creates a bonding and trust. And later on he will come to you with problems rather than turning to peers.
- Make a reasonable, consistent schedule for learning activities, school work and homework assignment daily at home. Encourage your child to practice some learning activity daily and also make them aware of the importance of education.
- Establish rules, limits and boundaries. Make realistic, consistent family rules for work, play, studies and other activities. Your child may test these limits so be consistent in your approach.
- Persuade your child to think about the future and his or her goal. Tell them about your expectations but these expectations should be realistic. Let them also be a part of the decision when they need to work hard. This will make your child realize that sometimes you need to sacrifice fun now for benefits later.
Most importantly make your preteen feel safe, comfortable and loved at home. They should know that you love him or her and deal in a tough manner just to correct them. Build a trusting and loving relationship to ensure that he or she feels safe and secure.