As regular readers will know my eldest, BP, is eleven years old, and that puts him firmly in the Tween camp.
I used to joke about him being a tween because although he was meant to be at that stage because of his age he hadn't really reached it.
Well the joke is on me now!
My boy is well and truly a tween, in fact he's on his way to being a teen.
My communication with him ranges from fantastic talks where he chats about his friends and how great his new school is, to, well...
That's the best way to describe it, he grunts at me.
I ask him to clean his room - "urgh"
I ask him to take a plate into the kitchen (his breakfast plate) - "urgh"
I ask him to pause his TV for a second so I can speak to him - "urgh"
The majority of our communications are via grunts.
I'm even starting to be able to distinguish between grunts.
- Some mean that he doesn't want to do the thing I've asked him.
- Some mean that he's annoyed with me.
- And some even mean that he hates me! (I can see it in his eyes!)
As far as I can gather as long as I let him lounge around, staring at the TV then I'm safe from the grunts.
However, being his mum I can't do that.
When you ask them to do something, begin with the reward.
"would you like (insert reward here), then could you do this please?"
Is a good starter.
Sometimes you'll still get the grunts - it's hit and miss, but it works some of the time.
It is a fact that Tweens cannot communicate first thing in the morning.
Raging hormones, their need to sleep, and the fact that they don't want to go to school, all results in one grumpy individual.
Now is not the time to be asking them to do anything. They need at least 30 minutes (but often longer) to adjust to it being daytime again.
Take advantage of those times when they're open
There will be glimpses of the child before hormones.
Snap at them while you have the chance!
Talk as much as possible before the hormones take control and he/she returns to the tween they really are.
I had a lovely chat with BP about his friends and his trips to school on the bus while we were writing out Christmas cards together. It was brilliant talking to him and I felt like I had my boy back. The chat was only brief but it made me feel much better, and I'm sure it felt good for him too.
Your sweet child does still exist and you'll get to see them occasionally. The best advice I can give is to spend time with them when they want to. Take advantage of the absence of hormones for whatever time you can.
It will make it easier to deal with the times when they only grunt.