MILWAUKEE -- Transitioning from the world of small kids to teens and tweens can be tough. Child development expert Jessica Lahner of Carroll University joined the Real Milwaukee team with some ways parents can learn to adjust to the new normal.
HERE'S WHAT THE RESEARCH SAYS:
• Don`t buy-into the stereotype. Moms who believe the hormonal, rebellious, stereotype fair worse. Stereotype is exaggerated
• Foster independence. The more middle schoolers` environments support them in achieving adult responsibilities, the better they fair. Allow more autonomy, responsibility and decision-making authority. Start with things that have minor consequences; reinforce good decisions with more independence
• Strengthen your own social network. The more our kids individuate, the more isolated (not needed) we feel. Studies say that our once strong network of mom friends wanes during middle school.Be deliberate in efforts to connect with friends. (They are going through the same things you are!)
• Do something meaningful for you. Leverage the cognitive space your tweens` independence provides. Join a book club, take a class, do that thing you`ve always wanted to do but never had the energy for. Too busy shuttling your tween around? Stop. They don`t need to be in so many activities anyway.