Tween – Don’t tell your parents!

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Cognitive Development In Terms of Tweens And Its Effect On Tween/Parent Relationships!

A tween is officially defined as any boy or girl between the age of 10 and 12. At this age they are getting ready to make the transition from elementary school to junior high school, which thrusts them into a new environment. They go through a lot of physical, mental and emotional changes at this point in their life. A lot of cognitive development takes place during these years and this development is crucial to helping define the person they become when they reach adulthood. In the meantime, tweens carry around many secrets their parents don’t realize.

Tweens Care About Their Health

Tweens often don’t get enough credit from their parents because their parents still see them as their little girl or little boy. This means many parents don’t realize that their tweens care about keeping their body healthy once they learn why it is so important for them to do so.

According to an interview ABC reporter Juju Chang conducted with pediatrician Dr. Cara Natterson, when tweens learn what their bodies are going through, especially tween girls, they are more motivated to take care of themselves properly. For tween girls, part of learning to take charge of their health involves helping them differentiate the things they have control over in regards to their health and the things they don’t have control over.

They Aren’t Intentionally Lazy

Many parents have heard their son or daughter reassure them that they will clean their room up or do their other chores. When this doesn’t happen many parents automatically assume their son or daughter is simply being lazy. The truth, though, is that most young people at this age aren’t deliberately manipulative even though society has a habit of portraying them that way. Rather, they promise mom and dad they will do their chores and once that conversation is over they simply put it out of their minds in place of other more desirable thoughts that creep into their mind.

While parents see this as their offspring procrastinating, it is not always about that. What it is about is what they feel comfortable doing at that age. For example, they may be a whiz with a computer or a gaming console, but when their parents ask them to do anything in the kitchen, such as wash the dishes or prepare the fixings for dinner, they feel like they are out of their element and, therefore, are hesitant to do what was asked of them. Incorrectly misinterpreting that as laziness or rebellion on the child’s part is a popular action among parents but one that can prove to be destructive.

They Have Trouble Tackling Certain Tasks

At this age children often have trouble tackling certain tasks because they feel overwhelmed by those tasks. However, they don’t want their parents to know this so they freeze up and can’t figure out what to do next. Their level of intelligence often has no bearing on their ability to tackle what they see as intimidating tasks, such as studying for a test or completing a project for school. When they don’t know how to tackle a project of any kind they tend to ignore it or do a half assed job at it because they feel like that is all they can handle. Often they don’t want their parents to know that they don’t know how to tackle a project because they are embarrassed or ashamed.

It is important for parents to approach issues such as this one in a way that will not alienate their child or make them feel even worse about themselves. Though they won’t admit it kids at this age need guidance from their parents, whether they actually want it or not.

They Are Verbally Advanced But Not Necessarily More Mature

During this stage of their life children are quite often verbally advanced; meaning they are capable of intelligent conversation even if they don’t give off the impression that they are. When they avoid doing a chore they are perfectly able to do, parents decide their children just don’t care about taking responsibility for themselves. What these children don’t want their parents to know is that they are still at a point in their life where they have yet to mature emotionally. The most brilliant minded child may not be as emotionally mature as they are smart, though this is something they may try to hide.

While most adults have self control, children between the ages of 10 and 12 usually don’t yet. However, they may want to give their parents and the other adults around them the impression that they do. Part of having self control is being able to delay gratification, which many young people can’t at this stage in their life. This can lead to them playing video games or watching TV before they complete their homework on chores. Parents assume they are doing this to be defiant but many of them just don’t have the self control to engage in work before play.

They Want To Choose The Chores They Do

In the minds of parents most children in this age group want nothing to do with completing chores around the house. The truth is, when they don’t want to do their chores it is usually because they involve tasks the child feels like they don’t have the ability to accomplish. What they don’t want their parents to realize is that they are more willing to do their chores if they are permitted to choose the chores they are responsible for. This is a direct contrast to the common idea all parents carry with them that children will avoid doing their chores at all costs.

If parents pay attention to the things their children like and excel at, they can do a better job picking the chores expected of their children. When they do this they may find out that their children’t aren’t as opposed to the idea of doing chores as they thought. However, children will not encourage their parents to let them choose their own chores because that indicates they don’t mind doing them, which most children secretly don’t want their parents to know.

They Want A Clean Room (Believe It Or Not)

Though children have a reputation for having messy rooms and not caring most of them, deep down, don’t actually want their room to be a mess. They just keep it a mess because it is their way of trying to exert control over their own life. At this age children like to feel in control, but they feel if their parents know that there will be harsh consequences for it.

The best way for parents to get their children to keep their room neat and organized is to allow them to come up with an organizational system that works for them. A girl that wants to make sure she wears the coolest outfit she can to school everyday will not want her clothes so messy and disorganized that she winds up going to school in an outfit she doesn’t like, just because she couldn’t find the clothes she did want to wear.

A boy in his preteen years that wants to go play baseball with his friends after school will want to come home from school and be able to find his baseball and bat right away. If his room is messy and disorganized and he can’t find his equipment until his friends have gone home for the day he misses out on the fuin.

This is why preteen children secretly want to have an organized room. They just don’t want their parents to know that this is something they desire because if they do then their parents will expect them to clean the room regularly. Secrets such as this are ones that preteens carry around with them and many parents aren’t aware of it.

Parents Need To Be Familiar With Pre-Teen Trends

When parenting a pre-teen it is important that mom and dad know what their children’s expectations are at this age. Tweens want their parents to be aware of what is going on with their peers so that they get the same privileges their peers do. Though they won’t admit it, they want their parents to understand them and what they are going through. They want their parents to be aware of and familiar with issues such as peer pressure. If pre-teens are being bullied by other pre-teens they usually hide it from their parents because they are embarrassed or because they are afraid they will be the ones accused of wrongdoing.

Pre-treens secretly want their parents to step in and protect them if they are experiencing bullying at school or in their neighborhood. They want their parents to help them cope with the bullying and hopefully find a way to stop it. However, many pre-teens would prefer to come across as cool, independent individuals that can handle their own problems even though they don’t have the emotional maturity to do so. This is why parents have to step in and help their pre-teen out even if the pre-teen acts like they do not want the help. No child at that age wants to be known as a “snitch” among their peers, so they are uncomfortable with admitting to their parents if they are being bullied. Parents need to keep on top of their pre-teens life and of their comings and goings with their friends.

They Want Their Parents To Know Their Friends

It is always important that parents know their pre-teen’s friends. While they act like they don’t want their parents to they actually want the peace of mind of knowing their parents know their friends and what they are and are not capable of. This gives pre-teens a sense of safety and makes them feel protected. It also gives them the freedom to be able to spend time with their friends, because parents know that their pre-teen will be safe with them.

They Don’t Want To Engage In High Risk Behavior

Pre-teens sometimes take up high risk behavior such as smoking in a desperate attempt to gain attention from the adults in their life, especially their parents. Even stereotypes state that pre-teens engage in this behavior simply to be rebellious and defiant, but in actuality they do it because they are desperate for help. Secretly no tween wants to smoke cigarettes or engage in other risky behavior, but they don’t want their parents to know that. The same thing goes for lying to their parents and picking fights with them. While it is true that some pre-teens do this to be rebellious, most of them just want help and guidance.

They Do Want Their Parents To Set Boundaries

Though they may outwardly complain about their parents setting rules they must follow, pre-teens secretly want their parents to set boundaries for them. This gives them a sense of stability and lets them know that their parents do care about protecting them and keeping them safe. It is often in a pre-teen’s nature to act like they are smarter and tougher than they are. Secretly, they want their parents to be able to see through this and realize that the pre-teen is simply looking for the guidance that all children want to get from their parents.

Every one of these points are points that tweens would claim they don’t want their parents to know.

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