Louis, my eldest son is almost nine. In the blink of an eye, he is a pre-teen. Holding his hand and public displays of affection are a no-go. But this also means image, looks and self esteem have become our parenting battles.
What tips do you have for navigating this age?
Of course, I did some googling. So in case you need some tips, our good old NHS advises the below:
- Ask how they’re doing?
- Do an activity they enjoy and chat while doing it.
- Pay attention to their emotions and behaviour.
- Work through difficulties.
- Help them understand what they’re feeling and why.
- Stay Involved
- Show interest in their life and things important to them.
- Value who they are.
- This also makes it easier to spot problems and support them.
- Being active, creative, learning new things and being part of a team help connect us to others and help mental health.
- Encourage them to explore their interests.
- Listen and value what they say.
- No judgement.
- Consider how to help them process and work through their emotions constructively.
- Structure, regular routines, healthy eating, and exercise.
You never know, these tips could probably help anyone, not just children.
I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before:
I’ve read that children feel safe, welcome, seen and loved if there are images of themselves in the family home. I love this idea and think this is something every family needs to know.