Tweens are children between the ages of 7- to 12-years of age. They’re no longer small children and not yet teenagers. This age group still wants to please their parents, but at the same time may pose difficult and challenging behaviors. For instance, tweens may be subject to mood swings and resisting parental authority. A once sweet and compliant child may suddenly become willful and defiant.
The onset of adolescence appears to be taking place at a younger age than in previous generations. By the end of elementary school, girls will have started breast development and some will even have started menstruation. Their bodies and brains are changing due to increased hormone production. Peers play an ever increasing role in their social development. Here is a list of six common challenging tween behaviors…
Children in this age group appear to become more self-absorbed. With the advent of electronics such as iPods or cell phones, it’s extremely easy for a tween to tune out their parents. It’s not uncommon for a parent to have to call several times when dinner is ready, only to be ignored multiple times before their child actually comes to the dinner table.
It may be frustrating, but parents should keep calm, speak quietly and may need to make eye contact to show they mean business. Parents should avoid nagging or getting angry as this may only encourage a tween to tune you out even more.