It’s normal for pre-teens to have mood swings and act out. They’re going through a lot of changes and trying to figure out who they are. Here are some tips for dealing with their attitude:

  1. Don’t take it personally. Their bad mood has nothing to do with you, so don’t take it to heart.
  2. Try to be understanding and patient. They’re going through a tough time, so cut them some slack.
  3. Be firm but fair when setting rules and boundaries. Let them know that you love them, but that their behavior is not acceptable.

It’s incredibly tough, isn’t it? My suggestion to you and to all parents out there is not to be harsh on your pre-teen.

Sit down with your child and listen carefully to what he has to say.

Remember, he’s a child. Whatever he says or does may not be right, but use empathetic listening skills to help your child see the big picture. If he’s having a bad day, it might be because he’s under a lot of pressure at school. He might be feeling social inadequacy or even physical symptoms of anxiety.

Focus on behavior not attitude.  Behavior can be changed, attitude cannot. To change behavior, focus on the behavior, not on the attitude of the child. Focus on the target behavior that you want, and work on it at home and at school. 

Set specific, positive and clear expectations and consequences, and implement them consistently and positively at home and at school. The child will build a positive self-image, and positive behavior will follow.

Here are some ways to deal with your pre-teen attitude problem.

  • You have to see your attitude as a chronic disease, it is curable but difficult.
  • You have to learn to confront the situation and deal with it.
  • You have to be aware of your bad attitude and the way it can affect others.

As parents, we are instructed to ‘eliminate’ all the toddler behavior by this stage and properly prepare the pre-teen for adulthood.  

What does a parent do when the little ‘pre-teen-er’ just won’t do as he/she is told? How can we possibly get into the mind of a pre-teen to determine what makes them tick?  It’s a difficult and confusing time for both a parent and the child.

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