I have a soon to be teenager in my house. As she gear up to step in to a new phase, as her parent, I am preparing to embark on a new journey. Trust me, there is a lot to learn!
As your child gets older, they may no longer say they like things just because you, or other people, say the same. While this can sometimes lead to disagreements, it can be important to allow your child to discover their own interests and form their own identity. This can be somewhat daunting for both of you. Your preteen child may need to learn how to think for themselves without being told how to do so by others, while you may need to give them more control over some of the decisions about their life.
When your child was much younger, you may have bought gifts based upon what was popular, or even what you enjoyed playing with as a child. Once your child becomes a preteen, they may have some ideas regarding the things they like or dislike. When looking for gifts for 10 year old girls, you may want to think about basing your choices on things that she has already expressed an interest in, even if you don’t necessarily see the worth in them. This means that your daughter may not appreciate dolls or makeup if she has made it clear that she isn’t interested in these. Ultimately, allowing her to begin the transition to adulthood, and ensuring anything you buy her enables this process, could see these items being well received and appreciated.
Speak less, listen more
As a parent, it can be tempting to tell your child how to act or think, especially if you disagree with some of their choices. While this may be suitable for younger children, it may not work as well on a preteen. Rather than making demands and being unwilling to compromise, you may want to think about how you can actively listen to your child more. This could help them to learn to continue discussing their issues with you, and keep your relationship strong. You may also want to try to avoid imbuing them with your opinion on things unless they ask or the thing they’re discussing poses a serious danger.
Prepare for awkward conversations
There may also be times when you need to instigate discussions with your child. They may reach an age where they want to know more about how the world works. At some point, most parents need to discuss more adult topics with their children. However, this could still leave them confused. You may want to think about discussing identity with your child. Should the discussion lead to sexuality and preferences, you may want to prepare yourself to speak supportively. It can be very daunting for a young person to consider or voice that they may not be heterosexual, even at the preteen age. Therefore, having understanding and unconditional love from their parents could help them to feel comfortable being their authentic selves.
The preteen years can be confusing for children and parents alike. By giving your child the space needed for them to safely explore their identity, you may be able to keep a close bond while encouraging them to grow confidently.