Aug 28, 2011

Bucket lists, rude tweens and more

On raising a tween who has taken a turn for the rude: As difficult as you find those moments to be, you and your child are both practicing for higher-stakes separations in the future. One of the key elements that will make those conversations easier is skill — especially your child’s. Rather than responding to his affect in the moment, take an emotional step sideways. Don’t engage; observe. In a level voice, say, “I have no idea what you want right now, and you’re not going to get it by being rude to me. What do you want? Why? How much? When you figure those things out, let’s talk, but bring your best skills if you expect me to listen. You’re 10 now.”

What he really wants in that moment, by the way, is power, and he’s getting it by making his parent go off like a rocket whenever he wants. Please eliminate that reward and help him become more adept at finding his own power.