How to Stay Close to Your Preteen

If you have a nine- to twelve-year-old child, it has entered the period of preadolescence. This period is characterized by many changes. These changes include cognition, emotions, social interactions and behavior. Your child might become more distant and independent during pre-adolescence.

According to opinions of numerous experts, parents need to take an appropriate attitude in dealing with potential issues your child might be experiencing. Having the right approach now, can help children later to go through adolescence less dramatically. The following tips are advised by experts such as Steiner-Adair and Laura Kirmayer.


  • Don’t feel rejected by their newfound independence                                                                                             surviving-communication-in-the-tween-years


Children in this phase will start withdrawing from parents to a certain extent. They will become closer to their peers instead. When this happens, you should monitor where your child is going and with whom. However, not respecting child’s need to be more independent can make your child alienate from you.


  • Set aside special time with your child


It’s important to plan to spend some time with your child each week. This should be your alone time at least once a week, so that you’d be able to keep that connection to your child and its interests, ideas, plans. During that time, you need to dedicate all your time to your child and listen to what is being said. Be persistent in this, and you’ll have much better communication with the child. Moreover, your child will develop better communication with others.


  • Try the indirect approach                                                                                                                                                    Mother and daughter having an argument


If you directly asked a younger child how it spent the day or how it felt, the child would respond without any issues. However, asking questions directly like that will now become intrusive and lead to backfiring. So, you might need to apply the indirect approach. Become a listener instead of talking and asking a lot of questions. Your child will then feel that it can talk and say if something is bothering him or her. You might then give a piece of advice or express empathy. You shouldn’t try to resolve every issue they have instead of them though.


  • Don’t be overly judgmental


During this period, children start paying attention to their parents’ comments, to figure out how judgmental they are. They will listen what you say about the kids of other parents. Your children then decide how critical you are.


  • Watch what they watch with them


One of the good ways to stay connected to your child is to watch what they enjoy with them. In this way, you’ll be able to talk to them about any topic that arises, including those considered taboos. In these situations, you shouldn’t be too intense when it comes to criticizing. It would be best to take a humorous approach.


  • Don’t be afraid to start conversations about sex and drugs


Children have to be informed about these topics. They will be somewhat difficult to talk about, but you need to communicate about it without making it a big deal. They need to be warned about potential dangers. It’s crucial that parents react if they notice any issues such as developing addictions, dangerous behaviors, eating disorders etc. There is much literature that parents may use to learn how to start talking to their children about these topics.


  • Don’t overreact


As pre-adolescents can sometimes be prone to overreacting, their parents should be the ones that will put things into a perspective. If you child start to cry because it felt left out from peers, you shouldn’t make even bigger drama, but calm your kid and provide advice.


  • Don’t be “clueless” either


Don’t pretend that some things your young children do are normal and acceptable, when they actually can become a potential problem. If they drink alcohol, don’t justify that as insignificant. Children must know that this is not acceptable behavior.


  • Encourage sports for girls                                                                                                                                                    WESTMINSTER, CO - NOVEMBER 12:  XXXXXXX during the Denver Project Launch to support of Up2Us’ Coach Across America program at the Adams 50 USTA National Junior Tennis Learning Chapter inside Sunset Ridge Elementary School on November 12, 2013 in Westminster, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images for Laureus) *** Local Caption ***



When they are nine-years-old, the self-esteem of girls will peak, and then it will start dropping. However, according to researches, girls that are part of sport teams have fewer issues with body image, higher confidence and don’t need validation from boys, compared to girls that don’t play sports.


  • Nurture your boy’s emotional side


The society, the media and entire culture teaches boys that anything related to emotions, love, friendships and vulnerability in any other way – should be suppressed as it is for girls. You should teach your child that it is okay to be emotional and sensitive, but also point out the fact that expressing sensitivity at school can be harmful among peers.

These phases in a child’s life are never easy, so each parent should try to help as much as possible so that their kid grows up to a healthy and happy individual. The most important thing is to maintain communication and make your child feel safe and know it can count on you all the time.

Wondering How Many Kids You Should Have?

How big you want your family to be can cause a friction in most marriages.  Opinions on this topic vary greatly. It should be taken into consideration how old the spouses are, what the financial situation is, how many children they already have, and many more.

Different Backgrounds

“We are a family of four now. We have two girls, ages six and two. I grew up in a family with two brothers and two sisters, whereas my husband has only one younger brother. This is a considerable difference in family background. For me, the idea of a family is the one with many members. I was always thinking about having many kids. On the other hand, my husband just didn’t agree with this. “

When this question arises, usually the spouse that has positive memories about childhood and has a good communication with siblings, he or she will certainly want to have a similar family and thus more children. The childhood that was unpleasant has a deeply negative impact, making the person desire a small family only.

Another important factor is the child’s gender. This is a personal preference of each parent. However, until recently, it used to be very important that there is a son born in a family. Many spouses would keep trying until they have a baby boy.

Moms vs. Dads

As the mother is the one who will bear a child, she is the one who ultimately makes decisions about the number of children. This is the case in most families. Mothers usually base these decisions on emotions, whereas fathers tend to think more practically. They worry about finances more than females, according to researches.

When it comes to men, there is another factor when it comes to planning another child. That is the pregnancy itself which affects women in many different ways but also affects men. The hormonal and other changes the woman goes through while pregnant, influence the life of their husbands as well.

What also may influence the size of a family, are memories of your own mother and father. More specifically who spent most time raising you and your siblings. “I remember that my mother spent most of the time raising us, while my father was often absent from home and working. My mother had to do almost everything by herself and it was hard on her” says a mother of one child. If your mother was the one mostly involved in your everyday life, school, activities etc, then you, being a woman, will most likely desire a smaller family.

Bargaining Up

The expert counselors and psychologists advise that the best decision is the one mutually made both spouses want a certain number of kids and make a family according to the decision they made together. But, this ideal situation doesn’t happen that often. So, occasionally, spouses need to sit down and clearly express their opinions and if needed bargain up.

The “Oops” Approach

Two women were talking about family and children. One of them expressed how she would like to have another child, to which she got a piece of advice to trick her husband by getting pregnant “by accident.”

This approach doesn’t prove to be a good one, as many couples actually divorced due to this. Spouses that weren’t part of the decision-making process, when such a big decision is in question, are often unable to get over it.

So, when making such a big decision that concerns both partners in a relationship or marriage you need to communicate. Talk about your own personal plans, what you want to do before having children and talk about how many kids you really want to have. Take into a consideration the future of children, their education, house space, and many other important things. Talk about who will work and who will stay at home. Consider hiring a nanny.

Most importantly, don’t trick each other into any kind of decision. Deception will sooner or later divide you. Plan your life together honestly, which will surely give you a great and successful marriage and a happy family.