Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Effective Parenting in the Pre-adolescent Years

We often hear mothers of young children, who choose to stay at home with their babies, say that they’ll go back to work when the kids get older.  When children begin to reach adolescence,  they are at the age where they want parents less, but actually need parents more.

Research is showing that as children start to become more independent,  they need love and attention just as much as when they were younger.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, “Parents often become less involved in the lives of their children as they enter the middle grades”. However, research shows that effective parents continue to build their relationship with their preadolescent, even as she or he grows and changes.

During this time, effective parents show love by spending time with their young teen, talking, and listening, and showing a genuine interest in them. These parents try to understand their child’s point of view and feelings. Effective parents also set clear limits that are right for the child's age, so their children stay safe, yet have some independence and freedom. Also, they help their growing children learn responsibility by completing household chores, finishing their homework on time, and helping others.

Not all young adolescents are difficult and rebellious. They vary “as much as do children in any other age group.” During early adolescence, as children are growing and changing, they’re also looking to their parents for a strong and caring relationship and guidance.

Source: Family Album Radio, Suzanna Smith, associate professor, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.

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