There are loads of posts out there about the terrible twos/threenagers/teenagers and how to cope with daily life with them, but I have been struggling with my pre-teen!
Bethany is 9, she’s no longer a baby, she’s a big girl and wants to be treated as such, but she’s not big enough to be fully independent yet. Here are a few ideas how I have negotiated around her temper:
- Allow them a bit of “calm down” time in their room before bed. Just sending them off to bed makes them feel like a baby, but letting them go up and read for half an hour makes them feel like a grown up.
- Use age appropriate products. Bethany loves the new Aquafresh toothpaste/brush (available from boots and most retailers) especially for ages 9-12. She no longer has the “baby stuff” jack uses, but has her own special tube. It is slightly less minty than the grown up supply (which she used to hate) More permanent teeth also start to grow between the ages of 9-12 than at any other time and these are 50% more vulnerable to damage than adult teeth (taking up to 3 years to fully strengthen!). This is where Aquafresh Advance comes to the rescue, to provide expert protection for new permanent teeth whilst also being gentle on vulnerable enamel, as the formula is low abrasion. This toothpaste is great as it protects against sugar!
- Give them space, when Bethany gets upset it’s normally frustration, giving her a bit of space is usually the best answer. Trying to “talk them round” doesn’t seem to work, they see it as being talked down to, so letting them come to the decision themselves is a good learning method.
- Be supportive. Something can seem like nothing to you but is actually the end of the world to them. Be empathic and try to see things from their point of view.
- Show your love! Your pre-teen is very hormonal and it’s easy for them to see the negatives at the moment, give them some one-on-one time and make it clear you still love them!
When one “age phase” ends there is always another to take its place and this is just our most recent challenge to face. “This too shall pass…”