by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
As kids grow older, especially into the tween and teen years, it's natural for them to become more independent. But don't let that independence take away the closeness in your family. This doesn't mean you should embarrass them by being too attached in front of their friends. In fact, by giving your tweens space, you can remain close to them and even strengthen bonds. It may seem strange to think of space and bonding as related. But as a current parent of tweens, it has been a very effective method.
Giving tweens space shows them you understand. How many times have we all heard kids state their parents don't understand them? By giving them space, you can show them you do indeed understand their needs. Be sure to let them know you understand that need and even talk to them about when you were their age. Sometimes they are going through emotional and physical changes and just want to be alone. Other times, they may want to enjoy their friends, a TV show, or a good book without you in the room. As long as they aren't doing anything wrong, give them some space to enjoy life.
When tweens have space, they may be more willing to come to you for help. Extra freedom and space can help tweens sort out things in their minds. Remember that they have thoughts, issues, and feelings too. Being a kid does not exempt them from life. Now, more than ever, tweens face a wide variety of confusing and conflicting situations every day. Knowing you trust them enough to give them freedom can help build trust so they'll be willing to come to you when they should.
Space can equate to stronger bonding. You may find that having separate time away from your tween causes you both to want some quality time as well. Sometimes being apart from those you care about shows people how much they really need each other. Continue to give your tween space. But you can also take special time together that''s convenient for both of you to keep that parent-child bond going strong. Choose activities you both enjoy to make the most of your time together.
Respecting your tween's privacy shows her you care. Along with space comes privacy. If your tween wants to be alone, let her do that. She may just be doing homework. She may also want to talk to her friends on the phone, read a book, or even just daydream. No matter what she wants to do, as long it isn't harmful to herself or others, give her room to make her own decisions. Don't walk into her room checking up every two minutes and don't spy on her conversations or read her diary. When she confides in you, don't tell others - especially her friends - about the conversations. This respect for privacy shows her you care and keeps that parent-child bond going strong.
As your child grows, the relationship will change but the love stays. Tweens need space in order to learn and grow. Just because he doesn't want to spend every waking moment with you, it doesn't change his love for you. It's healthy for tweens to have independence with many choices and aspects of life. It's part of preparation for life when they finally get out on their own later in life. Forcing your tween to be with you every moment and share every single secret and moment with you can cause tension and rebellion. But giving them the space they need can help keep a strong and healthy relationship.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans network. She is your brand healing, soul healing, marketing & content superhero to the rescue! Running a network of websites, tackling deadlines single-handedly, and coaching fellow writers, brands, & entrepreneurs to be thought leaders is her top priority.
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