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Balancing Act

Balancing Act Archives
August, 2006: Family Snack Smarts
July, 2006: Cooperative Co-parenting
June, 2006: Street Proofing Teens 101
May, 2006: Harmony is in season: Harmony is in season: Warm Weather Activities To Bring The Family Together
April, 2006: Caregiving: Sensible Steps To Success
March, 2006: Healthy Eating In A Fast Food World
February, 2006: Stress Busters to Stay Lighthearted
January, 2006: Brain Gain in Life's Later Years
December, 2005: Holiday Budget Planning
November, 2005: Combating Childhood Obesity
October, 2005: Eating Away at Colds and Flu
September, 2005: Avoiding the Aches of Osteoarthritis
August, 2005: Growing Older, Eating Wiser
July, 2005: Nutrition Tips for the Healthiest Summer Ever
June, 2005: Long-Term Care Facilities/Nursing Homes - How Do I Choose the Right One?
May, 2005: Nutrition and Your Baby: Introducing solid food to the menu
April, 2005: When Baby Comes Home For The First Time
March, 2005: Stepping into the Role of Stepparent
February, 2005: Pumping Fitness into Your Day
* January, 2005: Remedies for Financial Holiday Hangovers
* December, 2004: Time Out: Making the most of the holidays
* November, 2004: An Ounce of Prevention: Type 2 Diabetes
* October, 2004: Dealing with Peer Pressure
* September, 2004: Long Distance Caregiving
* August, 2004: The ‘Be-tween’ Transition, 2004
* July, 2004: Easing into summer vacation
* June, 2004: A family-friendly balance for working fathers
* May, 2004: Communication Tips to Help Young Minds Grow
* April, 2004: Tips for Making the Tax Season Less Taxing
* March, 2004: The Dieting Merry-Go-Round
* February, 2004: Keeping Your Financial Future in Check
* January, 2004: Here Comes the Flu
* December, 2003: Communicating with your Teen
* November, 2003: Eating for Energy
* October, 2003: Work-life Balance: Making it Work for You
* September, 2003: The Homework Zone
* August, 2003: Health Hints to Ease Your Family in to the Fall Season
* July, 2003: Stay Alert and Stay Safe - Streetproofing your kids
* June, 2003: Summer Activities for Stay-at-Home Kids
* May, 2003: Helping Older Relatives Stay Active
* April, 2003: Spring-cleaning: For the home, the family, and you
* March, 2003: Choosing a Summer Camp
* February, 2003: Baby couch potatoes: Tearing your kids away from the TV
* January, 2003: Resolution Solutions
* December, 2002: Holiday Stress Blasters
* November, 2002: Beating the Winter Blues
* October, 2002: Making the most of family mealtimes
* September, 2002: Generation Relations
* August 2002: Vacation Relaxation
* July 2002: Swimming Safety
* May 2002: Stuck in the Middle. The Sandwich Generation
* April, 2002: Supporting Your Child's Social Success
* March, 2002: After the Spring Break ... Take a Break For Yourself
* February, 2002: Keep those loving connections alive
* January, 2002: Ringing in a Balanced New Year
* December, 2001: Holiday Safety Tips
* November, 2001: It's Flu Season
* October, 2001: Halloween Safety Tips
* September, 2001: Back to school

The Balancing Act. Work/Life balance tips Printer Friendly Version
The ‘Be-tween’ Transition
Adjusting to change during the preteen years

Are you confused by your nine-year-old daughter’s sudden interest in shopping, nail polish and Britney Spears fashion? Are you feeling a bit ‘put out’ by your ten-year-old son’s messy room with the "do not enter" sign on the door?

Chances are that if you have a child between the ages of 9 and 12, you may have noticed a few changes recently—in their interests, personal space, and how they communicate.

Although these kinds of behavioural changes may be a source of frustration for some parents, the reality is that these changes are fairly universal among preteens—sometimes referred to as ‘tweens’—as they begin to develop their own sense of identity in the world around them.

Below are a few tips for parents that may help smooth the ‘tweenie’ transition.

Offer space and privacy: Understand that what may seem like withdrawal, is a preteen's way of saying: "I am in the process of finding out about myself.” The best thing a parent can do is respect a preteen’s need for space and privacy. Try allowing your preteen a place where he or she can feel a sense of independence. For most preteens, this is usually the bedroom; it’s the one room in the house where they feel they can develop a sense of identity.

Tweens and clutter go hand-in-hand: As preteens begin to develop a sense of who they are, they begin to acquire belongings that reflect their own individual personality. While mementos scattered throughout their room, such as photos, posters, cards, notes, etc., may appear as clutter to you, remember that to your preteen, they are reflections of his or her young life.

Pick your battles: Ask yourself if your preteen’s choice in music, or his or her messy room, is really as big an issue as skipping school, taking dares that are risky, or dangerous bike riding. If you overreact to smaller issues, your preteen is much less likely to come to you when he or she confronts a real dilemma or problem. Try holding firm on the more important standards but be more flexible with matters that aren’t as important in the big scheme of things.

Listen, really listen: Be an active listener and offer your complete attention for matters big or small. Resist the urge to belittle seemingly ‘silly’ problems and try to keep an open mind. Focus in on what your preteen is really telling you—and whether he or she is feeling insecure, stressed, excited, etc.—and respond with empathy and understanding.

Send the right message: During these years, parents can be vocal about behavioural changes in their children that they don’t agree with, so it‘s important to offer praise and admiration for your preteen’s abilities and achievements as often as possible.

Need more information on parenting? Your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can help with a child to elder care resource and referral service that is geared toward enhancing the quality of family life. Call your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to see if you are eligible for the child to elder care resource and referral service at 1 866.468.9461 or 1.800.387.4765.

This newsletter is meant for informational purposes only and may not necessarily represent the views of individual organizations.

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© 2005 WarrenShepell