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'My son doesn't love me anymore', 'Before he loved being with me and now he shuns me', 'He won't leave the room!' These are some of the cries of concern from parents with children approaching adolescence. As they get older, the relationship with parents changes. Although when they are babies, parents are their main refuge, over the years they learn to be more autonomous. And all of this can lead to a bond between parents and tweens that is complicated, but that is not impossible at all. You just have to work it with the right tools.
Before transforming into a butterfly, the caterpillar takes refuge in a chrysalis where it will stay for a while until the metamorphosis process is complete. During this time, his entire body is transformed until he can spread his wings in solitude. No other insect helps him, he performs this whole process alone. This example seems fascinating to me to talk about preadolescence.
If we stop to think, there are many parallels between this stage of our children's lives and the metamorphosis of the butterfly. Similar events occur in both: the child begins a process of physical and psychological transformation, which needs the support and understanding of their parents.
This stage of development is characterized as 'the creative pause', where there is a search for identity. It is normal, social withdrawal, because you need to affirm your own identity, immerse yourself in your thoughts and emotions. This could be causing difficulties in bonding with parents, because perhaps it is experienced as an emotional coldness from son to father. However, we cannot forget that it is the opposite: our pre-adolescent son is moving away from us because he is finding himself, he is transforming into something new. Like the butterfly!
Although the 'work' of transformation of our children is solitary, parents should not be oblivious to it. We can help our children, guide them, give them advice and be available for whatever they need. Often times, all our children need is to know that we are by their side in the face of all these changes they are experiencing.
Therefore, below I offer you a series of recommendations that could help you work the bond with your adolescent child. Let's see them one by one:
1. Keep calm
Parents often despair when, although we try to have a conversation with our children and take an interest in their life, they do not seem very open to conversation. So when your children answer you in monosyllables or don't want to tell you how their day was, don't pressure them. It is better that you simply let them know that if they need to tell you something you are there to listen.
2. Look for entertainment
Invite your children to practice activities to help them on this journey, such as yoga or meditation. You can even (if they want) you can practice these sports as a family.
3. Your link will change, but it is normal
It is normal that you feel that your child is no longer that affectionate child who ran to hug you. That he is now distant and indifferent does not mean that you are no longer important to him. On the contrary, it needs a lot from you, from your silent company on this journey.
4. Avoid confrontations
Given that during preadolescence (and later in adolescence) there is a greater inclination to emotional lack of control, it may be that their reactions are intense. I recommend you help your child in that emotional management with phrases such as 'I understand that you are angry', 'calm down here I am to help you', 'let's solve this together', etc.
Preadolescence is just a pause, you'll see how your child turns into a cute and colorful butterfly, sooner than you imagine. It's just a moment where needs to be discovered within its own history, so now you will need our silent company so that you know that we are also there to accompany you when you need it.
You can read more articles similar to The difficult (but not impossible) bond between parents and tweens, in the category of Teen Stages on site.