Before your kid becomes a teenager, there’s a transition many parents have lovingly dubbed preteens or “tween years.” It’s the time from ages eight to twelve when your little one is sandwiched between childhood and the teens.
Not entirely a kid and not yet a true young adult, your child may waffle between (strong!) feelings of neediness and independence. The wild discrepancies can be confusing for you both.
The Good News
Don’t worry, as this phase also has many joys. Some of them include underarm hair, the occasional pimple, vocal changes, and body odor in children of this stage. Oh, and mood swings.
All joking aside, there are a few things you can both look forward to as you navigate early adolescence with your mini-me. If you look closely, you’ll notice your kid’s newfound ability to conceptualize, a heightened compassion for others, and you’ll even sense a new connection with your child as she matures.
Having the Talk
Draw upon this new emotional growth. Instead of avoiding the changes, use your child’s new sensitivity as a platform to talk about the physiological developments that are either taking place or just around the corner. Are you concerned about how to do that? It’s simple: start with personal care.
The New Kid
Caring for others has been a skill that’s taken a lifetime for your child to learn. Now, it’s time she learn to care for herself. Start by asking her to list her strengths, things she’s good at, and features about herself that she likes. If she needs inspiration, have her name favorite characteristics of others to help identify her best qualities.
Discuss the positive ways she stands out and how she can care for those positive attributes, both physical and psychosocial. Your child may already know that everyone has a unique finger print, but did she know each person also has an exclusive body chemistry? Your kid’s new scent is one of a kind, according to Live Science.
Ask your child to view her future body as she would a nervous new kid in class. As you already know, she would try to make the new kid feel comfortable.
Finally, here comes the fun part. Take your child to the store, but don’t rush. Plan a whole evening to meander through the teen clothing section, fashion decor, and personal care. Ask which products stand out and why. Affirm her preferences, and talk about what makes a product both visually appealing and healthy.
Get a new toothbrush to care for molars that may appear soon. Find a natural facial cleanser like witch hazel, which is perfect for young-adult facial skin. Finally, narrow down your deodorant choices to inhibit body odor in children. Choose one based on a list of ingredients you can trust. The Tom’s of Maine Wicked Cool™ Kids Deodorant ingredient list can be scrutinized online one-by-one so you know the purpose and source of each element. Your child will not only learn physical personal care, she’ll also learn responsible, conscientious consumption from your shopping date.
Talking to kids about puberty sounds a lot scarier than it actually is, especially if you approach it casually. After your outing, grab an ice cream cone or hit the theater for a lighthearted flick. Snap a selfie with your tween, and if you share it, tag @TomsofMaine on twitter or @Toms_of_Maine on Instagram.
This article was brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom’s of Maine.
Why It’s Good
Change is difficult, but you can be ready if you see what's coming. Approach the preteen years with confidence, knowing you prepared yourself and your kid with the tools to navigate the physiological changes sure to come. With these simple tips, the tween years can actually draw your family closer together.