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In this world full of all-the-time technology… in this world of being plugged in way too often… in this world where kids grow up way too fast, I'm always looking for ways to show my kids that I love them! It's easy to say it, but as parents we also have to show them how! Leave your ideas in the comments, as I'd love more!
25 Ways to Show Your Tween You Love Them
1. Go on a “date”. Nell absolutely loves when she gets 1-on-1 time with me (or with Rachel). Even if you can't leave the house, do a project together (like duct tape crafts).
2. Surprise her with an iTunes gift card. Tweens are obsessed with music.
3. Ask about the latest book they read, or video game they played, and actually listen to their answer.
4. If they're watching TV, sit down next to them. Don't interrupt, don't chat, just chill.
5. Recognize when they do something good – even if it doesn't involve good grades or sports achievements.
6. Bake cookies together, or surprise her and bake a batch for her.
7. Read the same book – together or separate. Nell loves when she can talk to me about the book she's reading, and I “get” it because I read it, too!
8. Work out together! Whether it's yoga or running, bonding over exercise means you're having fun together without the pressure of them realizing they're hanging out with Mom. My kids and I really enjoy doing 5Ks together. Try one!
9. Play dress up! Not like you did when they were preschoolers, but full on hair, makeup, fancy dresses, etc. Shop at thrift store for ridiculous jewelry to accessorize!
10. Support them, even in their struggles. Stand back and let them make their own mistakes – they will respect you for it.
11. Bring cookies, brownies, or other treats to their class for the day.
12. Teach them how to be angry. It sounds odd, when it comes to showing them that you love them, but tweens need to learn how to react to anger properly. When hormones are raging and their life “sucks”, they might not have the slightest clue on how to deal with it. Show them by setting a good example.
13. Meal plan together. Nell loves to help with dinner, and that starts with planning meals! Tweens love giving their input.
14. On that same note, let them help cook! Play (a grown-up version) of “restaurant”.
15. Take selfies together! I'm so serious, Nell and I have the best time making funny faces, taking photos, and putting them together in a collage. Create memories together, even if they're silly.
16. Always keep your promises.
17. Movie night! Let her pick the movie(s) and snacks!
18. Put a love note in their lunch box. This might not be well-received by the boys, but Nell loves seeing notes in her lunch box (as long as her friends don't see it ;)).
19. Go to every basketball game, if possible. If it's not, make sure you go to some of them and tell your child how amazing they are!
20. Stop comparing your tween to others.
21. Tell them you love them. Every. Single. Day.
22. Drag out the photo albums and baby books and tell your children stories about when they were younger.
23. Create a Bucket List together.
24. Be genuinely thankful when they offer suggestions.
25. Take their problems seriously. When they come home telling you that Joey was spreading rumors, and their BFF isn't their BFF today (even though you know they will be again tomorrow), be sympathetic. Let them vent, and if you're brave, you can offer advice… but you will probably get a response like, “Ohmygod mom! You'll never understand!” — because you were never their age before, ya know?