The tweenage years are tricky, to say the least. Our little people feel no longer a small child, yet not quite a fully-fledged teen, either. They begin to feel emotions, rushes, that are new to them. Bodies begin to change. What’s more, they enter into the super strange, yet absolutely normal, phase of the push-and-pull parent-child relationship.
While all this is going on in the background of their busy, bustling lives, young people can sometimes become overburdened. It’s all a little strange, to say the least. And, as parents, we want to do all we can to nurture and empower our children. So just how can we?
- Tackling emotional literacy
We don’t all know the technical ins-and-outs of emotional literacy. However, there is an almighty rising awareness of the importance of expressing ourselves. Let it out. Empower your youngsters by teaching them that it’s OK, normal, to talk about how you feel. Ask them about their day. Something bad happen? Talk through uncomfortable feelings, acknowledge their difficulties. When days are filled with good vibes, spend time enjoying those emotions with them. Let them know that they are invaluable, along with their experiences and their feelings.
- Be a friend
As your child grows into their own person, it can be difficult for us parents to let go and embrace the individual they are becoming. Especially so if they begin to voice opinions and beliefs that are the polar opposite of our own views. Be a friend. Be open to explore their ways of thinking. Get involved in what they’re into and nurture this newfound relationship.
- Encourage creative pursuits
Today, our children are all caught up in tests, exams, and the somewhat unnecessary pressures of childhood, to an extent that we never really experienced. With such stress, it is almost natural for us to push our tweens hard down the academic route. We’ve got to remember that while results are important, there’s gotta be some time for the soul too. Whether they paint kindness rocks in your local community together with you, enjoy playing a musical instrument, get lost in a sketch book, or spend days splitting the spine of a paperback. Let them be, art can be easily forgotten, but it’s oh-so important.
- Teach the perks and pitfalls of social media
It’s likely that your tween will be tempted by social media as they make their way through secondary school. Do your best to give a clear, fair picture of what the digital platforms have to offer. Too many children can become a slave to social media. Let them know that they’re seeing the best, most-filtered version of everyone’s life, that is not comparable to a day home in a hoodie, watching Netflix with a cup of hot chocolate. But, everyone does that too. Life isn’t all instaperfect.
- Musical film and theatre
After the success of La La Land in the winters of last Oscar season, who’d have thought that another show-stopper of a musical movie would grab the allusive attention and hearts of tweens (and adults, might I add). Yes, The Greatest Showman DVD was recieved, to wild acclaim with tweenagers all across the globe. And it’s no surprise that perhaps the most significant of songs from the hit film, ‘This Is Me’ was written by Oscar and Tony winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, of the aforementioned La La Land. Firstly, featuring in the trailer for the film, ‘This Is Me’ has become more than a favourite hit on a movie soundtrack. It’s most certainly a slogan, an anthem for the marginalised, the outcasted, the misfits. And, let’s be honest, it’s pretty great that our tweens can be are empowered by the art of musical film and theatre. Inspiring.
How do you actively empower your children? We’d love to know. Leave your words of wisdom below.