As you embark on the adventurous journey of parenting a tween, here are some helpful tips and bits of information to help you prepare.
The 11-year-old brain is becoming more adept and is now capable of abstract thought. Abstract theories such as love and justice are now comprehensible. They are also capable of understanding hypothetical situations rather than having to experience things first hand.
As your tween nears the age of adolescence, your 11-year-old will become a lot more mindful of how they’re perceived by others. This is due to egocentrism.
Dr Michelle Antony describes it as, “Adolescent egocentrism is the belief that others are highly invested in and attentive to their appearance and actions (imaginary audience) and that their experiences and emotions are unique and known only to and by them (personal fable). Egocentrism at this age is the root of self-consciousness, and it also fuels the teen’s sense of themselves as uniquely powerful and invincible. “
This idea of egocentrism is compounded by the physical changes their bodies go through, further contributing to being self-aware.
Due to the importance of social connectivity, efforts will be made by your tween to be accepted by their peers.
This can be an age of rapid physical and hormonal change. Whilst this transitioning period can be exciting for your tween, it can also be confusing or difficult to deal with. You can help your child by reassuring them through this period.
Girls are known to experience growth spurts on average about 2 years before boys. This will be the age your girl starts to deposit more body fat in her hips and breasts. A change in hormone levels will see the production of underarm hair, sweat glands and oil production in the skin, which could lead to acne.
She may also begin her period. During this time, provide her with as much support as she needs. Talk to her and educate her about her body. Take this opportunity teach how extraordinary the female body is and make her proud to be a woman.
- stay connected with your tween and be approachable so they can talk to you about they feel.
- Ask lots of questions to check in with them about their feelings and thoughts
- Encourage your child to play sports, keep physically fit and eat healthy where they can
- Help your child set goals
- Try and understand your child’s point of view and be empathetic
- Give your tween more responsibility and allow them to make more decisions
- As your child develops their sexual identity, talk to them openly about sex and maintain an ongoing dialogue.