Stress has a way of creeping up on us, and taking us down at the worst possible moment. I know that's happened to me. But a lot of the stress we put on ourselves can be minimized with a few simple strategies. For starters, don't take on too much, or allow your child to take on too much -- it happens so easily but can make daily life quite challenging. Occasional parent time outs also help. How about you? Any techniques for reducing parenting stress that has worked for you?
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Living with a tween can be a lot of fun, but with all the transitions your child is going through, there are bound to be moments when you just don't get along. Add to that the stresses of daily life and you may think that your relationship is broken. It's probably not. Still, there are ways to make sure you get through the day together minus hurt feelings and blow ups. Be sure you react appropriately to your child's changing moods and behaviors, and expect a little drama from time to time. Also, make sure that you're allowing your growing child the wiggle room he or she needs to establish a little independence and develop the skills they'll need for those teen years.
We don't pay for good grades in our home, but we do celebrate them. As far as I'm concerned, report cards are a family success story, or a family challenge, depending on the specifics. If the budget allows, our family may go out to a special restaurant to recognize a job well done, or we might just rent a few movies and order a pizza for a relaxed night at home. How about you? Do you celebrate good grades? Do you do anything special for your tween when he/she has worked hard?
Today is the first day in a long time when my family didn't have something going on. To make it even better, it's a rather nice day outside. I was tempted to plan something, but decided against it. This is the perfect opportunity to do nothing. Nothing at all. No chores, commitments or projects. And my kids get the same treatment today. Hopefully, we will all find a quiet moment or two to relax and recharge. We deserve this.
Does your tween have a social media life? Do you allow your tween on Facebook or Instagram? Many parents do, but just as many try to wait until their child hits the teen years. If you allow your tween to engage in social media, how do you monitor your child's activity, and have you ever had to intervene? How did you prepare your tween before allowing him or her to open an account? What is your advice for other parents of tweens?
The tween years can be packed with change and fun, but change can also bring stress and anxiety. If your tween is feeling down, there are a number of common problems that could be causing his or her funky mood. Know the problems that can lead to a funk and how you can help by listening, offering up advice, and if necessary, intervening. Before long, your tween should be his or her optimistic self.
Valentine's Day can be a lot of fun when your children are little and get into the exchange of Valentine's Day cards and presents. But middle schoolers can still celebrate the annual event, even if class celebrations are no longer allowed. You can make the holiday a lot of fun with just a few simple ideas. A special card, some cupcakes and maybe a movie or two can give you and your tween a fun Valentine's Day to remember. Do you have any special plans to celebrate Valentine's Day this year with your tween?
Winter can be a tough time for many families. Snow days, exams, and cold temperatures can take their toll and make folks wish for warm spring days. Are you struggling through the winter months? Are you looking forward to spring sports, longer days and summer vacation planning? How do you keep your family focused during the winter months?
The snow is piling up outside as I write this blog, and I'm not too happy about it. Normally, I enjoy the occasional snow storm, but this year my kids have already missed enough school and I'm so ready for them to get back to the books. Makes me feel like a party pooper, but there it is.
How do you deal with day after day of missed school and snow? Would love to know your secret strategies.
More on Tween Parenting
The winter is taking its toll and the kids are getting a little bored. So why not gather a few of them together for a scavenger hunt at your local mall? It will give them time together, and they'll be busy and out of the chilly temperatures for a few hours. Plus, it's a lot of fun. Take lots of pictures and get super creative with your scavenger hunt list. Don't forget to stop by the food court for a snack on the way out!