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It really is startling how much time flies when you are parenting.  One day your child is a beautiful baby that looks up and adores you, the next day they are screaming angrily about how much they hate you.  Such is life for parents.  As your child develops from a baby to an adult, you are going to see some amazing changes in your child’s life.  One change that you have to expect and prepare yourself for is when your child enters their tweens, the ages between 10 and 12 years old.

Also known as pre-teens, the tweens are an extremely hectic time in your child’s life.  By this point in their life, your child is being influenced by a number of sources that doesn’t include their parents.  Their friends have gained prominence in their lives and by this time, you have to expect your child will think it’s cool to be bad.  In many cases, you can expect that your once peaceful relationship with your child is going to get really stormy.  To help you out with this difficult stage of parenting, we will examine some of the issues you may face as your child enters their tweens.

One of the biggest adjustments you are going to have to make when your child enters their tweens is the way you relate to your child.  Although your child may not think it, there is still a lot of parenting you will have to do.  However, the key is to make subtle impacts.  If you take an authoritarian parenting style and demand your child abide by certain rules, it may be effective for a short period of time but it won’t be for the long term.  Your child is going to test your authority when they are in their tweens, you are just going to have to understand that they are often doing this to impress their friends.  The way to impress your child is to deal with these difficult situations by creating an open dialogue between you and your child.  While you shouldn’t allow your child to run all over you, which you should definitely not do with tweens, you have to allow your child to explain their decisions.  This is going to be extremely important when your child enters their teenage years.

Doesn’t it seem that children are growing up much sooner than they ever had?  As a parent, you may not like it but you have to accept this.  The sooner you rationally discuss such issues as alcohol, drugs, smoking, and sex with your child, the more likely your child will approach these different issues in a rational way. 

When you are dealing with tweens, you can’t expect them to do things just because you said so.  However, you can still be an effective parent by leading by example.  By handling emotional outbursts in an even handed way, allowing open dialogue with your child, but still retaining rules that you fully expect your child to follow, you will not only make life easier for yourself as a parent.  You will also be teaching your child important life values that they will take on for the rest of their lives!