tween right pathWhile there is lots of advice out there on how to manage your child's teen years, some of the best advice tells you how to build a relationship with your child before he or she becomes a teen so that once the teenage years arrive, you have a solid foundation.

In "Preventing tween behavior problems," offers some solutions for parents whose children aren't young kids anymore but aren't yet teenagers either.

"Stay connected"

The article explains that staying connected with a tween may require flexibility. If you can eat together as a family, that is good. If not, you need to make plans to spend time with your tween. It is important to listen and remember that your tween may not always want to talk when you do or the way you do. One parent said her 10-year-old son is more willing to share when he doesn't have to make eye contact, so they talk while sitting in the car or on a walk.

"Help them handle stress"

Parents who dismiss tween calamities because they seem to pale next to adult problems forget that at that age these issues are a stressful as what an adult faces. Some children engage in risky behaviors because they cannot handle stress. Model good stress management techniques and help your children find healthy ways to stay calm.

Keep them busy (just not too busy)

The article notes that "getting kids involved in an after-school activity they love" can be a stress buster. It can also alleviate some of your anxiety since you will know that your child is not idle.

At Horizon Education Centers, our Afterschool Program, designed for middle school students, offers a safe place to continue learning outside the classroom. This free program runs Monday through Thursday on school days from 2:30 to 5:30p.m. with convenient transportation after the program ends.

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