As a parent of a pre-teen, you should be congratulated for making it this far. Many achievements have already been attained on your child’s journey through life. Now your pre-teen is about to embark on a new leg of the trip to adulthood. Though the teenage years are often feared for the challenges this time brings, these coming years will supply many milestones and should be embraced. Help ease the transition by preparing with your pre-teen now for the changes that are to come tomorrow.
An unavoidable side effect of becoming a teenager is the surge of hormone production. Your pre-teen’s body already is undergoing physical transformations associated with puberty. Learn more about what to expect and you will be better equipped to help your child understand what he or she will experience.
Associated with physical changes are shifts in attitudes. Chances are your child will develop a defiant streak, will sulk and shout, and will exhibit unpleasant behaviors as part of the coming developmental phase. Try to understand the possible attitudes you will encounter and attempt patience to weather the storm.
Your child likely has already begun expressing a desire for increased independence. Prepare him or her for the responsibilities of independence, slowly granting more privileges as he or she demonstrates the ability to handle them appropriately. Show your pre-teen how trust must be gained in exchange for little freedoms.
In a few years, your child will begin driving, begging to borrow your car for a date. To prepare for when your son or daughter gets a driver’s license in the near future, set a good driving example now and be sure he or she completes driver’s education courses. Also, start saving for another car. Do your research and find an affordable auto insurance policy for your new young driver.
If college might be an option in your child’s future, then encourage him or her to enroll in appropriate preparatory courses and to partake in extracurricular groups and activities. You should increase your deposits into a college fund, and begin searching for scholarship opportunities.
As a teen, your child can enter the workforce. As a pre-teen, prepare your child for entry in the workforce. Assign chores in exchange for pay. Instill the importance of work ethic and the values of commitment and doing a good job.
Anticipate that anxieties will surface, both in your pre-teen as he or she becomes a teen and in you as you watch your child grow up. Your child faces an exciting time period that represents a time of growth but also symbolizes an end to the comforts of childhood. He or she likely worries about the unknown and fears possible failures and pitfalls. You might worry about the coming empty nest, in addition to sympathizing with your child’s anxieties. Awareness of both sides’ anxieties allow you to be better prepared to conquer them.
Enjoy each moment with your child, including the awkward and unpleasant times as well as the remarkable ones. Plan ahead, prepare now, increase your savings, and be aware of possible changes. Perhaps most importantly, embrace your pre-teen as often as you can, as together you welcome the teen years.