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10 Ways To Connect With Your Tween Daughter

Mum, Aunt and Daughter cooking together
Mum, Aunt and Daughter cooking together

As your little girl edges into her tween years—typically between ages 9 and 12—she begins to embrace her independence, develop her identity, and explore her place in the world. For many mums, this period can feel like a roller coaster of emotions and a juggling act of boundaries. Staying connected can become challenging, but it’s also more crucial than ever.

Here are 10 ways to foster a strong bond with your tween daughter.

1. Schedule Regular One-on-One Time

Amidst busy schedules, setting aside dedicated time for just the two of you can create a dependable space to connect with your tween daughter. Whether it's a weekly date for ice cream, a walk in the park, or simply time at home to chat, make these moments a priority.

2. Engage in Her Interests

Take an interest in her hobbies and activities. If she loves art, consider attending a pottery class together. If she’s glued to novels, maybe discuss your favorite books and visit the library together. Engaging in her world shows her that her interests are valuable.

3. Maintain Open Communication Channels

Create an environment where she feels comfortable sharing her thoughts and feelings. Encourage open discussions and be a good listener. Avoid judgment and criticism to keep the lines of communication open.

4. Learn New Skills Together

Learning something new together can be fun, empowering and help you connect with your tween daughter. Whether it's cooking, coding, or camping, sharing the learning experience can enhance your bond and give her skills and memories to cherish.

5. Encourage Her Autonomy

As she seeks more independence, find safe ways for her to express her growing need for autonomy. Allowing her to make decisions about her activities or her room’s decoration can help her feel respected and confident.

6. Use Technology to Stay Connected

For the modern tween, digital communication is a big part of their social life. Engage with her by sending texts or sharing interesting videos and memes that she might enjoy. However, ensure you also discuss and monitor safe online practices.

7. Be Present

In your interactions, try to be fully present. This means putting away your phone and giving her your undivided attention, showing her that she’s valued and important.

8. Read Together

If she enjoys reading, consider reading the same book separately and having a mini book club discussion. This shared activity can be a fun and insightful way to see into each other’s thoughts and feelings through the lens of literature.

9. Get Active Together

Physical activity can boost endorphins, which increase happiness and decrease stress both for you and your tween. Whether it’s yoga, cycling, or dancing, find an activity you can both enjoy to stay connected.

10. Show Appreciation and Affection

Express love and appreciation regularly. Tweens may act like they’re too grown up for hugs or heartfelt words, but consistent, gentle reminders of your love are important as they navigate these formative years.

Remember, tweenhood is a phase of immense growth and change, but it’s also a wonderful opportunity to guide and grow with your daughter. By investing time, showing respect for her emerging independence, and maintaining open lines of communication, you can encourage a strong, loving relationship that will support her through adolescence and beyond. Cherish these moments, and enjoy every step of this journey together.

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