Raising children is a challenge, and one that many parents feel is a constant uphill battle. As your children grow older and enter their tween years, it’s important for the rules of the household to change in order to accommodate the growing attitudes and independence. Those who don’t recognise this need for change could be making some of the biggest mistakes parents make with tweens.

Talking but not listening

At this stage in their lives, it’s vital that your tweens communicate with you in an open and honest environment that doesn’t involve any form of judgement. As difficult as this may be, the consequence of not achieving this is a big mistake parents make with tweens.

Although tweens have a lot to say, you need to demonstrate patience in allowing them to say it, even if you disagree. This is also parallel to ensuring that you’re available to listen whenever your child needs you.

Worrying about the small stuff

Whether you don’t like your tweens new dress sense or the fact that they haven’t been invited to a party, take a break before you think about getting involved. If your tween’s clothing covers up all the right bits, and isn’t offensive, then there’s really nothing to worry about.

And as for not being invited to a party, allow them to sort it out on their own. Providing guidance and support when it’s wanted will prevent you from becoming an overbearing and involved parent.

Unbalanced discipline

As with a change in house rules, you’re also going to need a change in discipline. One mistake parents make with tweens is that they can’t seem to get the balance right. The punishment is either too much or not enough.

It can tempting to want to control every aspect of your child’s life but you need to know when to let things go, and what an appropriate punishment is for certain behaviours. Define clear rules and consequences, but then also stick to your punishments when it comes to handing them out.

Too much pressure

We all want the best for our children, but putting them under too much pressure can actually cause the reverse. Give them the space to be themselves whilst letting them know how important certain things are, like school work and good behaviour, without putting them under a lot of pressure.

Allowing them to make mistakes will mean that they will learn from them and provided you’re able to offer comfort and support, there won’t be any issues.

Trying to be their friend

Unfortunately another mistake parents make with tweens is trying to be their friend. During this phase in their development, tweens just aren’t ready for that kind of relationship. Instead, they need you to be a figure of authority that provides guidance and boundaries in life to help them become more independent.

Being their friend blurs this boundary and can often leave tweens feeling confused about authority and rules. This type of behaviour will also give mixed messages and encourage bad behaviour from your tween.