Parenting a tween can feel like you are dealing with a secret agent who’s been sworn to secrecy about their day, friends, or pretty much anything going on in their lives.
At this stage, tweens often find themselves grappling with emotional, physical, and social changes, making them more reserved and less willing to open up about their feelings or experiences. Seeking independence, they may be reluctant to share their thoughts, fearing judgment or misunderstanding from their parents.
You know, it seems like it was just yesterday when they would tell you EVERYTHING. Sometimes it breaks my heart a little bit, knowing that they no longer want to just run into my arms and tell me every single thing that is going wrong (and a kiss that will magically make everything bad disappear).
But there are certainly ways to get your tween singing to you like a canary – and no, it doesn’t involve any sneaky spy tactics or high-tech gadgets!
TIP #1 Embrace your inner foodies with a DIY sushi night
Say “sayonara” to communication barriers and “konnichiwa” to a DIY sushi night! Grab some seaweed, rice, and your favourite fillings, then roll up your sleeves for some sushi-making fun.
As you both channel your inner sushi chef (or sushi disasters), watch the conversation flow like a plate of soy sauce. You’ll be sharing laughs, stories, and probably a few sushi-rolling mishaps, too.
Bonding over a scrumptious, hands-on activity like this helps your tween chill out and get chatty, making way for some genuine heart-to-hearts.
Yum, sushi and conversation – now that’s a winning combo!
TIP #2 Nail the conversation with a GO GLAM U-nique Nail Salon sesh
Who doesn’t like to feel like a million bucks? Why not indulge in some mutual pampering with the GO GLAM U-nique Nail Salon?
Transform your kitchen table into a flashy, at-home nail spa and give each other manicures that would make even the most seasoned salon-goer green with envy. As you compare who can create the most outrageous nail designs, you’ll find that the conversation flows more naturally than a river of glittery nail polish.
Before you know it, your tween will be dishing the dirt on their day while you both rock some seriously Insta-worthy nails.
TIP #3 Crafty conversations with a DIY tie-dye party
Get ready to make a colourful mess with a DIY tie-dye party!
Grab some white shirts, tie-dye kits, and let your creative juices flow. As you both marvel at the psychedelic patterns taking shape, sneak in some questions to ask your tween, and wait for them to share what’s on their mind.
Plus, you’ll both have a funky keepsake to remember the day!
TIP #4 Plant the seeds of conversation with a gardening day
Get ready to dig in and bond over a gardening day with your tween!
Roll up your sleeves, grab your gardening gloves, and dive into a world of flowers, veggies, or herbs. As you both potter about, planting seeds and getting your hands dirty, you’ll find that your relationship with your tween blooms beautifully, just like your new garden.
This will create a laid-back, nurturing atmosphere, which your tween will feel more comfortable opening up, and you’ll be swapping stories while you swap gardening tips. So, why not give it a go?
You’ll be creating memories as vibrant as the flowers you plant, and who knows, you might even end up with some delicious homegrown veggies to share at your next family barbie!
TIP #5 Create a custom board game night
Get set for a fun custom board game night that’ll have you and your tween cackling like a couple of kookaburras.
Put your creative hats on and cook up your own quirky board game, or give the rules of a classic game a cheeky twist. Invite your tween to chip in with their wild ideas, sparking collaboration and a sense of pride in the final product.
When tweens get to contribute their ideas, it helps them gain a sense of collaboration and ownership.
As you all dive into playing the game, you are creating a perfect setting for some open and honest chit-chat. So gather around, get your game faces on, and let the laughter (and the conversations) flow like never before!
TIP #6 Dance your way to open communication with a family flash mob
Crank up the tunes and let your inner dance machines loose with a family flash mob!
Choreograph a goofy dance routine or have a dance-off in the living room. Nothing breaks down walls like shaking your groove thing together. Go wild and be free to laugh at your wild dance moves, your tweens will feel more comfortable and connected with you. Plus, it’s a great way to sneak in some exercise (and maybe even embarrass your tween, just a little).
At the end of the day, despite the turmoil of emotions and changes that our tweens go through, they still need our love and still truly cherish those fun times spent together.
Whether you’re glamming it up with the GO GLAM U-nique Nail Salon or trying out any of the other creative ideas, putting in that extra effort can help your tweens feel comfortable enough to open up and share their world with you. It is really that simple!
Let’s give it a fair shake of the soy sauce bottle, and put our hearts into fostering those precious connections.
Remember, a little laughter, love, and even some sparkle (courtesy of GO GLAM, of course) go a long way in bridging the gap between you and your tween.
Happy bonding, cobbers!
This is a paid partnership between Kiindred and Cool Maker.