No Longer a Kid, Not Yet a Teen

How does a parent deal with the in-between stages of a preteen? This is a complex issue, and one which parents of all pre-teens are facing today. While a parent may refer to their kid as “my baby,” it is necessary to come to the realization your baby is no longer a kid, not yet a teen - for both your sakes.

The period of transition between children and teens is a difficult one. As their personality changes, they may no longer come to you because their individuality is beginning to emerge. With individuality comes the feeling they can figure things out on their own. As part of the change, you may find them becoming more restless, accompanied by moodiness and unsure of what they are doing at any given time.

They may exhibit signs of peer pressure which only aggravates their existing feelings of inadequacy or conflict within. They may suddenly dress differently in order to conform to the dictates of the group they most associate with. Their rooms, which were once clean and neat, may become strewn with clothing, scattered everywhere. This is typical of the problems pre-teens face as they try to find where they belong in the scheme of things.

The best thing you as a parent can do is talk to your kids. Keep the lines of communication open. Don’t berate them or try to control them; they will resist. Find a middle ground wherein you can talk openly with them, and assure them that you went through a similar stage when you were their age. Don’t preach; but listen to what they are saying and how they are saying it.

Oftentimes, they may not be able to articulate what they are feeling. Give them time and they will eventually come to you for advice or help. Love them in spite of their actions, and remember they are going through an ordeal which they can neither explain nor comprehend.

When your child is no longer a kid, not yet a teen, there will be trials and tribulations along the way. As long as you are there for them as their safety net, and allow them to find their way knowing you are there to catch them if they fall, the process will be easier to bear for them as well as you.