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The Rollercoaster of Parenting a Tween

Parenting is a rollercoaster ride, with its sharp corners, deep dives, and corkscrew maneuvers. Like a rollercoaster, parenting a tween has reminded me of these tricks and surprises, at any given moment. It’s like getting hit over the head with a cast iron frying pan, every time you turnaround. One minute you’re seeing red, the next you are overflowing with empathy, and the next you’re in absolute awe. Here’s what I learned from just one month of parenting my tween.

  • You did your job, now they must do their job.

Whether through discipline, demonstration, observation or experience, your child has spent every day of their lives soaking up lessons from you, like a sponge. It’s time to start giving them more slack or even cutting some strings all together. They want freedom, responsibility, and autonomy.

  • Do the crime, pay the time.

There will be mistakes along the way. Nobody is perfect. Remember this is how they learn about consequences. After you flip out and remember that you did this too when you were a kid, ask them if they know what they did wrong and why it was wrong. Then tell them that mistakes are okay, but it best to try and learn from them once.

  • Parents usually make it more complicated – butt out.

Don’t interfere in any of their relationships. They got this. Just remember to be visible if you notice swings in behavior, to remind them that you are free for advice or help if needed.

  • They will make you look like a fool.

If they ask you to get involved, just say no (unless there is bullying involved). They will kiss and make-up soon enough.

  • New dynamics of love-hate relationships.

Remember they can love-hate too. Don’t be so hard on yourself. When they hate you, it’s only temporary.

Buckle up and hold on because you’re not done parenting. In fact, it is about to get fun, scary and infuriating, changing as fast as the turns on a rollercoaster.


Janet Smith is a proud single-mom of one daughter and a marketing professional who is grateful for her rural roots in the London area. She is a big believer in connecting with people through laughter and honesty.


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