How to Stay Connected with Your Tween

Smiling mother and daughters taking self portrait with smartphone
Hero Images / Getty Images

Your child is growing up and it sometimes it may feel as though you're losing touch with your tween. While the tween years are years of growing independence, there are easy ways to stay connected with your child, and maintain a close relationship. If you want to know more about your child's life and interests, the tips below will help.

Know Their Friends

As your child grow up it may be difficult to keep up with his or her growing circle of friends.

But knowing your child's friends is one of the best ways to know what's going on in their life. Encourage your tween to invite friends over for sleepovers, and volunteer to drive the kids to and from activities when you can. If you can manage to volunteer at school occasionally, you'll catch a glimpse of your child's school day, and how he interacts with his peers. 

Embrace Their Hobbies

Tweens are curious and may jump from one interest to another. Your child may be interested in soccer one month, and photography the next. Whatever interest your child settles on, be sure to embrace the passion and encourage your tween's newfound interest. If your child hasn't found an activity to his liking, try to find something the two of you can enjoy doing together. 

Social Media is Key

If you have a tween or teen it's absolutely essential that you understand social media and stay on top of your child's virtual life.

Be sure you establish rules for social media engagement, such as no bullying, sexting, or other unacceptable behaviors. If you think it's necessary, write a social media contract so that your tween understands exactly what is expected from her. Be specific about consequences also, so that your tween knows what to expect if he breaks your rules.


Communicate with Other Adults

Another way to stay connected to your growing child is to know the other adults that play a role in his or her life. Stay in touch with coaches, teachers, or any other adult who serves as a teacher or mentor. Your tween may share details with them that they won't always offer up to you. If you think your child is struggling with a problem, be sure to check with your child's adult support group for assistance and information. 

Find Common Ground

While your child may be developing interests of his own there are still probably numerous things you still have in common. Use common interests and passions to stay connected with your tween. Find movies you both want to watch, places you want to visit, and other shared interests. Even working out together is a great way to bond and share details of the day. 

Be a Good Listener

If you really want to stay connected with your tween make sure you have good listening skills. By being a good listener, you show your tween that you care and that his problems, concerns, and achievements are important to you.

Sometimes your child may need advice, other times he just might want to vent. Be sure you know when it's best to offer up tips and suggestions, and when it's best to just be there for your child.

Continue Reading