Guest columnist Erika Katz has 10 tips on how bond with your tween and become an essential part of your child's formative years.
The tween years are the perfect time to build a special bond with your children. They still want to spend time with you and only occasionally roll their eyes at everything you say. But our busy lives do not always allow us to spend the time we need with our kids during some of the most formative years of their lives. Our cell phones, emails, texts, and social media make it all the more difficult to create real bonds rather than just virtual ones
So here are 10 tips to enjoy your tweens and build a connection with them that will last a lifetime:
Tip #1: Try Something New Together
Three years ago, I went to a surf shop with my daughter and son to buy some sunblock. The kids picked up a brochure for surf lessons, and we decided to try it out together. Surfing is a challenge, but also so thrilling that we now do it every summer. My kids feel like I’m such a cool mom for surfing, and I get to spend time with them on the water – no cell phones, no interruptions. We cheer for each other when we catch waves and help each other when we wipe out. We follow up our surfing with a great lunch and talk about all the great waves we caught. It’s something special and different, and it’s ours. If surfing is too adventuresome for your taste, try a yoga class, mixed martial arts, or mountain biking. If you prefer something more sedentary, take a painting, photography, or cooking class together. The key is to find an activity you all enjoy doing as a family. Those make the greatest memories.
Tip #2: Pamper Yourselves
This one is mainly for girls. I love to do at home beauty treatments together with my daughter. For example, since hair can become dry and brittle from blow drying, flat ironing, and curling, we apply a deep conditioning treatment to our hair. We then wrap our heads in wet warm towels and relax by watching a special movie. It is a fun, easy way to create a spa-like experience at home. We also do mani-pedis,at-home facials, and take pictures throughout the day.
Tip #3: Refresh Your Home
Tweens love to give their room a cool,sophisticated look. So get rid of your daughter’s princess posters and your son’s teddy bear blankets, and replace them with some new items! You can buy sports posters and get them framed together, pick out new,grown-up sheet sets, and even have your kids help you repaint the room a more mature color. Tweens love it when they feel you see them as older and more sophisticated.
Tip #4: Make a Photo Album Together
Enlist your kids to upload all those photos sitting in your camera to Shutterflyor another photo sharing site and make photo books with captions. This is a wonderful activity to do together, since itgives you an opportunity to talk about the photos, the memories you have made together, and how they felt at the time.