If you've got a toddler and a tween, you may have noticed some similarities.
In the Fall of 2016, our parenting coach, Sarah Rosensweet, remarked that "Tweens are a little like toddlers", and I think my mouth literally fell open. Several instances where my toddler and my Tween had behaved in a similar way came flooding back to me, and to be honest, I felt some relief.
After all, Tween territory is totally new to me, but Toddlerhood I understand well, this being the third toddler stage I'll have parented through. There's some comfort in familiar parenting touchstones. As with the weird little rosy-cheeked fever they get when they're teething, you just don't panic the second or third time you experience it.
Toddlers and Tweens, those young people who are seeking independence, but who still really, REALLY need us are not so different, as it turns out. At both stages, children are in a period of rapid brain development and are seeking to define themselves, to strike out and explore and learn...and still come back to safe arms when things get scary. They need to lash out and express themselves when their big (and very real) feelings take over. And we need to patiently wait for the storm to pass, to hold them close and let them know they are safe with us, safe even when they storm and rage.
I breathe a sigh of relief every time I look at my Tween and remember this: Big kid, but kind of a toddler on the inside. "Can I give you a hug?" I ask. She still hasn't said no. We're good for now, and now is all we can ever be sure of, friends.
Check out this class for parents of toddlers:http://www.evymama.ca/tame-tantrums-and-end-power-struggles.html
And this class for parenting tweens: http://www.evymama.ca/hold-on-and-let-go-parenting-your-tween.html