The Toughest Stage of Being a Mom might not be what you think. According to a recent study, the middle school years cause the most stress for mothers. Researchers at Arizona State University found that mothers of middle schoolers experience more stress and decline in confidence than parents of younger or older children.
If your a mom like me of middle school kids, you’re probably feeling the stress, worry, and frustration of raising kids who are growing into their independence. Realization hits. They are beginning to need less of you and push for more freedom in order to navigate this new stage of their life. If you find yourself dealing with your teens growing independence here are a few tips to make parenting a little easier.
Listen & Engage. There is a lot to talk to our teens about. Let’s face it, we need to talk about puberty, bullying, peer pressure and other issues. Be available to listen to their concerns and answer their questions with age-appropriate information. Try watching movies & TV together. This is a great opportunity to have open discussions and connect.
Set limits. Tweens are bound to be moody, but you can help them deal with anger constructively. Be a positive role model. Let kids know that it’s okay to take time to cool off, but violent outbursts are out of bounds.
Provide reasons. Be open to discussing house rules.Tweens are likely to be more cooperative if they understand your concerns and know that you value their input.
Teach organizing skills. Your tween is probably facing more intense academic and social demands. Give them some pointers on managing their time and remembering homework assignments. Trust me, their teachers will appreciate it.
Show your appreciation. Focus on the positive. Praise kids for studying hard and pitching in with household chores.
Encourage extracurricular activities. Sixth to eighth grade is a great time for kids to explore new interests and build their confidence. Share their enthusiasm for the things that interest them even if it involves video games.
Your tween’s physical and emotional growth can be a cause for celebration as well as concern. Help your kids flourish during their middle school years. As much as they push away remember they’re still just kids who want to feel loved and appreciated. Take the time to give your kid a hug and tell them how much you love them.