Today on the Dads with Daughters Podcast, we bring you mother, author and therapist, Dr. Amanda Craig. In her twenty-plus years as a family therapist, Amanda Craig, Ph.D., LMFT has worked in a variety of settings including research departments, juvenile correction facilities, high schools, Fortune 500 companies, substance abuse programs, and/or university/college classrooms. Today, we talk about parenting tweens and teens and what you can do to make strong connections during these changing years.
Ah, the tween years. This uncertain time in a child’s development has many parents realizing that they need to double down on academic focus and watch their children more carefully as they gain more trust and are exposed to more of the world through social pursuits and their peers. What is a parent to do though when they are feeling so much pressure to watch their kids, but also want them to gain the confidence they need to move through the world successfully in their teen years and beyond?
Enter Amanda Craig, A family therapist who has seen and experienced much of this in her practice, and has legitimately written the book, Who are you and what have you done with my kid? Her advice is to stop trying to parent and seize the opportunity to connect with your child instead, while they’re still listening and trusting you. When as parents, we worry about our children, we’re creating separation and disconnection with them instead of fostering the connection that’s already been built up to now. There is a neurological explosion that is taking place before us as tweens experience four significant changes that shake them (and us) to the core.
As parents, we’ve already been through it so there’s no visceral reference for what’s happening, only distant memories. For the tweens, this is all brand new and very visceral. Their brains are changing. They feel and experience emotions they do not recognize. They’re hyperaware of themselves. They do not know how to express themselves. Parents still have a “seat at the table” to make positive impressions on their tweens as they prepare them for the teenage years.
If you’ve enjoyed today’s episode of the Dads With Daughters podcast, we invite you to check out the Fatherhood Insider. The Fatherhood Insider is the essential resource for any dad that wants to be the best dad that he can be. We know that no child comes with an instruction manual, and most are figuring it out as they go along. The Fatherhood Insider is full of valuable resources and information that will up your game on fatherhood. Through our extensive course library, interactive forum, step-by-step roadmaps, and more you will engage and learn with experts but more importantly with dads like you. So check it out today!