Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Parent to Parent: Tween Girls
The tween years, when your daughter is not yet a teen yet but no longer a little kid, can be rough on parents. 7's Lynn Martinez gets some expert advice on how to handle these tween years in today's "Parent to Parent."
WSVN -- Lynn's daughters are 11 and 9, and they are classic tweens.
Lynn Franzosa, Parent: "Now, there are more technological devices, more distractions."
Experts say parents like Lynn are facing big challenges because of cell phones and social websites like Facebook.
Erin Munroe, Author, "When Big Issues Happen to Little Girls": "Kids are getting cell phones much earlier, they're on the computer much earlier, and although there are a lot of great benefits to that, I think there are a lot of pressures that come with that."
Erin Munroe wrote the book, "When Big issues Happen to Little Girls." She says parents face new challenges. For Lynn, it means holding off on getting her kids cell phones for now.
Lynn Franzosa: "I am trying to be as accessible as possible so that I am involved in their daily lives, and they don't have that need to have a cell phone."
She also monitors what they watch on TV and look at on the Internet.
Lynn Franzosa: "We do normally sit with them or very close by them for them to have access."
Another big issue for tweens is pressure to be perfect.
Erin Munroe: "They should be popular, they should be pretty, they should be athletic, and we're really forgetting we just want them to be happy."
Danielle and Sophia are taking gymnastics, and although they do compete, mom doesn't push them.
Lynn Franzosa: "They don't have to be the best at gymnastics. They just have to enjoy it."
Here's some other advice from Erin: listen to what your daughter is telling you. Ask probing questions that can't be answered with a "yes" or "no" to keep dialogue flowing. Acknowledge their emotions, even if you think it's not that serious, and be willing to admit that you don't have all the answers.
Erin Munroe: "Maybe we should talk to your school counselor or talk to your primary care physician or some other community group."
Lynn Franzosa: "So tell me what you did today."
Lynn says it really helps her to take a moment and look at life from her daughters' perspectives.
Lynn Martinez: "Erin says if your child is on Facebook, it's important to friend them and check their account."