By Mumtaz Moosa – Saley
Children worldwide face challenges daily, and by age ten, many have had to deal with body-shaming, malicious teasing and some form of bullying. They are often not equipped to handle these situations emotionally and mentally. So, how do we instil in them the tools and lessons to ensure that these life-changing issues are addressed with understanding, compassion and confidence?
Tweens, those young ones aged from ten to thirteen, are at a stage where they are no longer toddlers nor are they, teens. During this period, we parents need to be more alert to their needs and provide reassurance, love, and support to them. It is a crucial period when a child must be made to know that they are loved and appreciated.
As I have mentioned, this is a confusing age for many kids and the perfect time to talk about body changes, emotional changes and how to deal with body-shaming. Yes, boys go through all these as well. There are excellent resources online to teach parents how to start having these critical conversations, as the last thing you want is children learning important lessons from friends on the playground.
Most of all, they start talking about appearance and the importance of personal grooming and how to choose appropriate clothing for themselves as they grow older.
Many parents believe that by talking to your tween about these topics, you will hopefully raise teens who can communicate and feel confident to ask questions when they must deal with certain situations such as peer pressure, online bullying and body changes.