By Andrea Gross
The tween/father relationship is one of the most important in a female life. At this age in particular, young girls are setting the tone for their future. When a girl grows up with the love and support of her dad, she will undoubtedly emulate this relationship with the men in her future and have higher expectations and standards for all relationships.
Let’s be honest, kids repeat what they know. Coming from a loving environment creates a sense of confidence and self esteem for a tween and that is the basis of ALL of her future relationships. In addition, it will largely determine how she relates to guys later on.
Socially, she will be able to go out into the world with a sense of confidence and therefore meet and attract the same type of boys. A tween who lacks a loving relationship with her dad either looks for attention elsewhere or is at higher risk of becoming promiscuous. Tweens face insecurities from feeling ?nlovedby the most important man in their life.
With the current divorce rate, many tweens are spending time with their dads alone and that can be difficult. Single fathers need to know how important it is to have a good relationship with their daughters before bringing new people into the dynamic. Tweens are very impressionable and divorce is hard enough to deal with without having to deal with new relationships and breakups on top of it. So, whether dads are happily married or single here are some tips to help you bond with your tween. This may take work on your part, but the rewards of being close to your daughter are priceless. You will be so proud one day when you walk her down the aisle.
First, you must understand that a tween is very social and wants to be with her friends 24/7 so instead of asking them to spend the whole day with you, set a few hours aside on Saturday or Sunday for ?ad time This way she won? resent you for taking her time away from her friends and everyone is happy. You can also ask her if she? like to bring a friend so you can get to know who she hangs out with. This way she will feel comfortable talking about her friends with you since you know who they are. When she mentions ?illian or Oliviaweeks later, you will know who she is talking about and that familiarity will help strengthen your bond.
As we know, most tweens love to shop. It? great to take them once in a while but don? make shopping the only activity. Buying things for her over and over creates a false sense of love. They need love and support more than a new pair of jeans. Introduce her to things you like to do so she gets to know you as a person not only as ?ad Play mini golf or teach her how to play poker.
Make sure you know what is age-appropriate. I recently saw a dad at Sephora with his tween who was buying her a ton of make-up! He asked me what eye liner to get and I said, ?onestly, just buy her the bubble gum lip gloss and keep telling her everyday how beautiful she is, it will do more than any eye liner Yes, she will sneak it wherever she goes but PLEASE just keep telling them they are beautiful.
Homework is very stressful at this age. Ask your tween about school and make sure they know that you are there if they need help. Pressuring about grades only causes anxiety there are other ways you can step in and help.
Lastly, tweens are obsessed with their weight so make it a point to have a healthy lifestyle which they will emulate. Show them that exercise is fun and find ways to do it together. Do not take them to Mc?onalds even if you are dying for a Big Mac, there is no place in her young life for that.
Andrea Gross is a lifestyle coach and works with individuals to create a healthier, happier home. www.andreagrossonline.com