You may have noticed that your child has slowly become more eager to spend time with their friends, or up in their room, and less willing to have some family bonding time. This may not necessarily mean there is a problem. They are simply getting that bit closer to becoming a teenager. If the thought of your sweet child turning into a monosyllabic entity fills you with dread, you may want to consider having a few serious discussions with them.
Many teenagers feel like their looks are incredibly important. Not only can this affect how popular they are at school, or with romantic interests, but it may also help or hinder their own confidence. You may want to talk to them about how looks are not the be-all and end-all, and that they also need a great personality to match. If your pre-teen wants to change how they look permanently, you may have your reservations but, ultimately it is down to them to decide. Speak to your child at length about their concerns to try and understand it from their point of view. You may also want to make it clear that, aside from genuine medical reasons, they may not be able to make permanent changes now but, if they still feel the same way when they reach adulthood, you can help them to contact rhinoplasty specialists or similar. This show of unwavering support may also help to keep communication open between you both once they become teenagers
Although your child may not have had a problem with the way they smell before, body odour can be a sign that puberty is well on its way. You may want to discuss the changes to their body with your child, as well as the consequences of not maintaining good personal hygiene. While you may have been in charge of your child’s cleanliness before, you may also want to use the pre-teen period as a time to give them more responsibility. Something as simple as bathing, and looking after their teeth and hair, can be a good way to help your pre-teen feel more autonomous.
At times, people may discuss respect in terms of a pre-teen’s attitude towards authority figures, however, there can be so many more levels. While you may want to make it clear that rudeness will not be tolerated, you might also want to enable them to keep themselves safe. Pre-teens may struggle with peer pressure that can result in risky behaviours. Teaching them about having self-respect could allow them to avoid partaking. Likewise, their relationships with others should also involve respect, in both directions, which can help them to make smarter choices regarding who they liaise with or date.
Talking to your pre-teen can help to educate them more about the upcoming changes in their life, as well as show them that, no matter how old they get, they can still turn to you for advice without judgement.