3 Strategies To Help Your Kid Be A Master

parenting, , parenting skills, parenting, parent coach, parent coach los angeles, parent coach orange county, parent skills, mercedes samudio lcswWorking with school aged kids and tweens allows me to get a good understanding of this age group and what they need to feel heard and to develop. A major issue that comes up is that kids in this age group need to feel like they are accomplishing things. Kids who are between 7-12 years old are starting to explore their world through interactions with peers and with other adults other than their parents and they’re trying to make since of it all. But, to get a good grasp on their new experiences they need time to process and explore what it means to experience life this way!

The best way to help them learn how to process all the experiences they have is to help them develop their skills – not just their academic skills, but their social and emotional skills as well! Basically, you want to help you child develop a mastery of these skills so that they can really explore what it looks like to exist in their world and interact with their environment in appropriate ways!

Let’s dig a bit deeper before I jump into giving you strategies to help your child be a master! Developmentally, kids in this age group are looking at things with more scrutiny and realizing “that things are not always as they seem and that outward appearances are only one aspect to be considered.” 1 Additionally, kids in this age range begin to be influenced by peers and other’s outside of their and their “self-esteem and confidence tend to be more susceptible to how he believes those outside his family see him.” 2 On top of this social/emotional development, many kids in this age group are beginning and/or in the middle of puberty which means that they are changing physically and hormonally as well. With this knowledge, you can see why it is so important for you to help your child/tween learn to be master of their emotional and social skills development.

One more thing before I give you the tools: What does it mean for your kid to be a master? For the purposes of this post, what it means is that your child is able to fully explore who they are, what they are experiencing, and is given the space to process what this means for their development of self. The

Now that you’ve gotten a good perspective about why guiding your child to be the master of their development is so important, we can get into practical skills about how to help your child be a master!

Be supportive

This one can feel like a no-brainer. But, as you kid gets more influence from peers, and even the media, you can start to feel more protective of your child as opposed to supportive of how they are developing. One way to support them as they master their world is to listen to their ideas and help guide them to formulating a healthy self image. For example, if you’re child talks about a song or movie that they are into try getting to know more about it and sharing what you liked when you were that age. This helps your child feel like their preferences are valid and that they can have opinions. Even if it’s something that you don’t agree with, talk about your concerns and give your child a chance to share why they are interested in it.

Be curious

This one goes with the above strategy, but takes it a bit further. When we are curious as opposed to accusing of our kids interests and behaviors we give them space to develop healthy reactions to their experiences. Like I stated earlier, peers are going to be a huge part of your kid’s life at this stage. When you’re curious about friends and what they do in their social groups you’re more likely to get straight forward answers and get a chance to see how your child makes decisions with peers. For example, if you become aware of your child’s friends experimenting with marijuana or beer, try being curious about your child’s involvement and what they think about their friends decisions. This allows you to be aware of your child’s decision making and allows your child to show you where they are in terms of making decisions.

Be a model

For me, the best way to help your child develop mastery is to literally show them how to do it. At this age, you kid is becoming more discerning about their environment. But, that does not mean that they are able to process what they are observing. Having space in your family’s daily life for you and your child to talk about your day gives you an opportunity to talk about how you handled life experiences. Being completely stoic about your life and pretending that you always have it figured out does not allow your child to master emotional intelligence or social skills development. They learn a lot from how you show your spectrum of emotions and manage social interactions. A good way to do this is to have family time – in the form of family meetings or time set aside at the end of the day – to share about your experiences in a non judgmental way.

These three strategies, when used consistently, really helps your child develop a mastery of who they are and how to be themselves in their world. Remember, at this age there will be a lot of influence pulling your child this way or that way, and it may be hard for them to feel like they can get a grasp on what’s happening to them. When you can be a guide and create a safe space for that exploration you allow them to process these experiences in a healthy way.

Notes:

  1. http://www.positive-parenting-ally.com/stages-of-child-development.html
  2. http://www.positive-parenting-ally.com/stages-of-child-development.html

2 thoughts on “3 Strategies To Help Your Kid Be A Master”

  1. Such a great post, thank you. My son is 13 and I feel incredibly blessed that he is able to share things with me. This has only come through listening and supporting over the years. If we do all the things you suggest when our children are small, they will naturally feel they can turn to us when they are getting older and the things they face can be a little more serious, like you said when friends are involved in things like smoking or drinking…

    1. Welcome back, Wendy! Thanks for the kind words! That’s amazing that you have such a great relationship with your 13 year-old! I think that you are so right about listening and supporting your child when they are young. This creates a safe space where they know that their parent is there for them when it comes to intense issues! Thanks for sharing. Please feel free to share your thoughts on other posts as well!

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