Easy Ways to Calm a Frustrated Tween

A little kindness can help a frustrated tween calm down.

Growing up can be difficult, especially when you're caught between childhood and adolescence. Tweens find themselves in the new territory just about every day, and with all the challenges they face it's no wonder they often find themselves confused and frustrated. If your child seems to be at the end of his rope you can help. The tips below can help you calm your frustrated tween so that he can gather his thoughts and move on. Hopefully, without a full-blown argument or temper tantrum.

Give Them Space

If your tween comes home from school angry and grumpy, you might try giving him some space before asking him about his day. Allow your child some alone time to find a snack and maybe even an activity before you ask any questions. Give your child time to calm himself down and you might find that his grumpy mood vanishes before you ever say a word.

Listen If Your Child Wants to Talk

If your tween engages you in conversation, listen to him. He may want to blow off steam by telling you what's bothering or upsetting him. Try to listen without offering up any advice or judgment. You can always do that later when your tween has calmed down. Tell him that you're sorry he had such a bad experience, and ask him what he wants you to do to help if anything.

Find a Distraction

Sometimes tweens need to be distracted from their problems. Consider asking your child to help you with a project so that he might take his mind off of his challenges. He might want to go grocery shopping with you, walk the dog around the block, or even watch a younger sibling while you make dinner. Or, consider sending your tween on a simple errand, such as outside to fetch the mail or to return something to a neighbor.

Refrain From Interfering

Your tween may want to confide in a friend about his problems and frustrations, so don't feel the need to interject unless you think you need to. Tweens are learning to rely on their friends more and more and that may mean distancing themselves from their parents a little.

Don't take it personally if your child doesn't include you in the conversation, it's a normal part of development.

Be Kind

Sometimes a little kindness can knock anyone out of a bad mood, and the truth is kindness is contagious. Consider surprising your tween with a favorite treat, or an unexpected trip to the local ice cream parlor. You'll know what will take your tween's mind off of his frustrations — it might be a game of tennis, or you might decide to watch a movie together. Pick what you think will work and enjoy your time together.

Know When Something Serious Is Going On

A little frustration is one thing, but if your child is struggling with a serious matter, you may need to intervene and even to advocate for your child. If your tween withdraws from his friends and activities or suddenly stops communicating with you find out what's going on. Your child may be experiencing bullying at school, or he may be struggling with an issue he just can manage alone. Other signs that a problem may be serious: your tween's grades fall; he becomes secretive; he has new friends that you don't know anything about; money and other objects from home are going missing.

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