Early adolescence is a tough time for most people. Their bodies are changing, and their emotions are all over the place. Sometimes, the changes children go through are no picnic for the parents either. You may feel at a loss to know what to do to help your tweens get through this stage of life. Here are five ways to communicate that you see and love them.
Small Notes and Gifts
Young teenagers often feel like they are all alone in the world. Taking the time to leave them small, meaningful gifts or encouraging notes can remind them that you are on their side. This tiny effort can have a massive impact on their mood and the rest of their day.
Everyone deserves to be celebrated. When it comes to birthdays and important rites of passage, don’t skimp on the festivities. Hire a professional bar mitzvah planner to make the party a memorable one. Set up a table where every guest can write down a favorite memory that your teenagers can keep and refer to later when they’re feeling down.
When your kids talk, really listen to what they’re saying. This is particularly important in conversations that you start by asking questions. Teenagers are very good at noticing when you are just going through the motions of a conversation. Actively listen not only for what they are saying but the feelings behind it.
Notice what your teenagers like to do and make an effort to learn more about their interests. You don’t have to insert yourself in every aspect of their lives, but you should be able to hold a conversation about the things that fascinate or excite them. By taking an interest in their hobbies, you communicate that you support and encourage their individuality.
Displays of Affection
For many people, affectionate touch is an easy way to show that you care. Young teenagers may feel awkward about physical affection, though, so it’s important to take your cues from them. For example, respect their boundaries by asking if they want a hug before you go for one. By modeling this behavior, you not only teach them that they have the right to bodily autonomy but also that you care how they feel.
It can be challenging to see your children grow into a new phase of life in which your old ways of communicating with them don’t work as well as they used to. With a little flexibility and willingness to try something new, though, you can still confirm your love for them.