It isn’t unusual for tweens to push the boundaries and ask for more privileges, even if they aren’t quite ready.
Think about the sixth grader who argues they should be able to play hours of video games when they get home from school or the tween who wants unlimited access to their devices.
By taking a moment and remaining curious, you are giving yourself an opportunity to come together with your child to develop a workable strategy to expand their privileges.
Some things you can ask your tween might be:
Why do they want this privilege?
What about it excites them or feels important?
Why do they think they are ready for it?
Your next step could be to align yourself with your tween in support of their goal. In addition to sharing their excitement, you could make it a point to find the positive. By doing this you are highlighting the progress they’ve made so far and establishing that this is going to be a mutually respectful dialogue.
Once you’ve laid the groundwork for open communication, share your thoughts about their readiness. You may find it useful to frame this in relation to what you as a parent need in order to feel comfortable with what they want to do. By doing this you are establishing that the two of you are working together towards this goal.
Next, ask your tween what they think might be some good intermediary steps. See if you can come up with a progressive plan together. Decide when you will check-in on progress, how you will both know whether it is time to increase independence, or whether there is more learning that needs to happen. When you check-in, keep in mind the collaborative tone of this discussion and be sure to ask your tween what they think is working or isn’t and where they would like more support or less of your involvement. Make their growth and development something to celebrate!
Don’t just follow your kids online. Lead them.