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 preteens 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 preteens 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.

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5 Steps To Ease Separation Anxiety

Does your child cry when your spouse wants to hold her? Or does your little toddler try to keep a hold of you even when you are not leaving? Does she not want to be held by anyone other than you and throws tantrums or gets scared when you leave? There are a few tricks to ease any separation anxiety.

1. Accept It
This too shall pass. Your child will not be clingy forever. Usually, the worst time for separation anxiety is before the child’s first birthday. It might even break your heart a little bit, when he doesn’t want to cling to you as much any more.

2. Trapped
Don’t feel trapped. Sometimes a crying baby, that will do nothing other than hang onto you all day and all night, can be overwhelming. You may feel as though you have too many other things to take care of, and it would be much easier if the baby would just let go a little bit. Don?t get angry, the baby just loves you that much, and wants to be close to you.

3. Know You’re Here
If they even start to scream when you leave the room, continue to chat if you have to do the laundry. You can even record messages of your voice, singing, talking or reading a book, to help make it easier for you and the baby.

4. Don’t Disappear
For a baby that is terrified of being left. Do not disappear when she is not looking. Many toddlers should be watched at all times. Play peek-a-boo with the baby. This is a great way to let your know that just because you can?t see someone, doesn’t mean they are not there. You can act like a ghost, and pull a sheet over your head. For older children, you can make things like balls and cups disappear and come right back.

5. Reassure Your Partner
Let your partner know he is doing nothing wrong. Many partners, men and women can feel left out, if the baby only wants to be with and cling to one of the adults. Let them know that this is just a stage too. Do activities together, so that the baby feels more comfortable with whichever person it is that’s being left out. Let the person know that toddler does not love you more.

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How to Handle Temper Tantrums

toddler temper tantrum Are you tired of terrorizing temper tantrums? We are referring to your children here, not your spouse, but even the tiniest toddler can create a terrific and turbulent scene. And even if you are a perfect parent, childhood meltdowns are simple facts of your young one’s life. Take a deep breath and relax, and use the following steps to handle your toddler’s temper tantrums without losing your cool.

Remember to remain calm. A frustrated and screaming child can definitely be contagious, but you need to keep calm, cool and collected to properly deal with the situation. Also remember that your child may not be trying to “get his way.” As you have probably noticed in the past, he could simply be tired or lacking attention, have a low blood sugar issue or some minor pain.

Give your child a choice that allows him to pick an outcome. Though little Billy may want a chocolate coated snack, it might be a little too close to dinnertime to allow that. Say, “Billy, I understand why you are getting upset. But the choice is yours, you can either calm down or you will have to go to your room (or in timeout).”

If he decides to calm down, compliment that choice. Remind him that he wanted a treat right before dinner, and that you said no. Verbally thank him for accepting no as the answer. And if he continues to act out, be firm and enforce the choice that he made, sending him to his room or putting him in timeout.

And remember, this process is much easier with a two-year-old than a six-year-old, so begin this learning process early on. Obviously, you need to try to determine the cause of the tantrum, and over time you may see patterns develop at particular times of the day. Remember to never reward the tantrum, or you are placing your toddler in control.

If your child is craving attention and throwing a fit, you can make long-term changes to avoid future outbursts. Remove your child to a crying room, to your car or even to a restroom and discuss the problem calmly. Tell them that you refuse to talk to them until he or she calms down, and discuss the situation with your child face to face once the terrible tantrum has ended.

As mentioned above, temper tantrums are a fact of life for a toddler, and some older children as well. Employing the above tips and strategies early on in your child’s life will develop your relationship hierarchy, and teach your child that you are in control. This will make it easier to deal with inevitable temper tantrums quickly and effectively when they inevitably occur.

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