Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Difficult Tween Years

Right now my older son is in his tween years. He is all of twelve and both of us are trying to come to terms with all the problems, dilemma's and mood swings that is taking place. My son N is a sweet kid. Anger was his only negative emotion right from the beginning, but one which I will attribute to our family genes!! Apart from that he is friendly, active,very playful and kind.

Off late though I find that he gets irritated very easily. His mood swings like the pendulum, he suddenly talks back to us, just bangs the door when angry, and so on and so forth, the list is never ending . Luckily one thing about him right from the beginning is that, just as a tornado his emotions sweeps over for a few minutes and then suddenly his anger or mood just disappears and he is back to his normal self within no time.

This then I know is tween years. He is neither a teenager nor a child anymore. His body is undergoing a lot of changes. His hormones are on overdrive and most of all he is confused. To top it all peer pressure and all the things that they are exposed to leads to this general state of emotional outbursts now and then.

I know what he is going through and I try and remember what mood changes I also used to undergo during those times, it still seems to take a lot out of me to handle the situation with my son. I feel I am more confused than him!

I am sure all mothers of tweens are going through the same situation and trying to grapple with these difficult years. There are a few things that I am trying to cope up. First of all empathising with him. Telling him that I have also gone through similar phase and how difficult it was for me too.
Second I want to curb my anger as far as possible. This if you remember was my resolution from a long time if you have read my previous blog. I am still consciously working towards this end. I find the more angry I get the worse it gets and in the bargain there are lots of angry retorts going to and fro. Hence I thought it will be better to let him just come out with all the pent up emotions . Once he cools down then I try to reason out with him. But believe me this is easier said than done. Many a time he knows what he is saying is not right but just that he needs to assert himself and has to have the last word.

Third I appreciate his efforts and try not to criticise his work after all I find he is quite a responsible child and knows what needs to be done,only thing being he prefers to do it taking his own sweet time which sometimes is the bone of contention between us. Again "Patience" is the keyword. Everytime, I think I come back to this point and find that is what makes a better mom - having patience in abundance.

I have given a lot of importance right from the beginning to physical demonstration of love. I really enjoy cuddling them, hugging them, kissing them . That special touch makes a lot of difference. Showing the child how very special he or she is and giving them the assurance that no matter what, we are there for them makes them feel special and protected.

Keeping the communication channels open always helps. As soon as they come from school I enjoy listening to all that has happened on that day. In the bargain I will also get to know what is happening in their life.

I have listed a few steps that I am following. Maybe you folks can tell me more on how you deal with your tweens?

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