Essential tips for navigating the tween years
One of the most important stages in a child’s life is the transition into adulthood. This can be particularly momentous for teenagers entering Year 9 as they experience a time of rapid change – mentally, physically and psychologically. Research suggests that this age bracket opens the doors to greater responsibilities, independence and additional interests, priorities, friendships, and purpose in life.
Here are four handy tips to help support your child throughout their transition from a tween to adulthood.
1. Support their mental and emotional changes
When your child is transitioning into a young adult, it is very common for them to experience the development of their identity. They may be inclined to ask bigger questions such as “Where do I fit into this world?”. During this period, your child will start to establish a larger sense of self and life direction. It is also common for them to experience a greater range of emotions such as heightened sensitivity and mood swings.
Giving your undivided support and guidance will help them navigate through such changes and will provide them with a sense of security and encouragement to grow.
2. Encourage their independence and social interests
The ‘tween’ years are an important social period for your child. It is very common for teenagers to begin spending more time with friends and expanding their social groups. Belonging is important. Whether it is in the classroom, at home or within social and sports groups.
To encourage your child’s independence and social life in a healthy manner, the key is balance. By maintaining a structure in the family household such as chores, responsibilities and homework, will allow them to navigate their independence while returning to a solid base at home.
3. Promote healthy physical development
Transitioning into adulthood brings forth many physical transformations. The body changes quickly. This can cause teenagers to experience an array of emotions like feeling tired, volatile bursts of energy and the desire to sleep more. Due to these rapid physical changes, making sure that nutritional food is available such as healthy snacks and a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables is vital. Ensure your child knows that you are there to support them and answer any questions they may be uncomfortable discussing.
Nutritional food, sleep, exercise and positive body-image talk, all work simultaneously to uplift your child during physical changes.
4. Partner with your child’s teacher
Your child spends a significant portion of their young life at school, so it’s important that the school environment creates a supportive and safe place for them to grow and develop outside the family household. Continue an open dialogue with your child about what they are enjoying at school or perhaps what they are struggling with.
Partner with your child’s teacher to stay apprised about their classroom behaviour and performance to ensure there are no alarming gaps between home-life and school-life.
Living Waters Lutheran College will celebrate Recognition of Students Transitioning into Adulthood (ROSTIA) on Friday 14 February where all new Year 9 students will receive an introduction to the ROSTIA program.
The day will comprise of information sessions, fun group activities, games and independent reflection. The focus of the day is understanding what ROSTIA is and supporting students on their transition into adulthood while bonding as a cohort.
We partner with families to uphold expectations of respect and belonging to support your child’s transition into adulthood. To learn more, please visit our Health and Wellbeing centre.