Tween age is that between 10 and 13 years old, just before children become adolescents. During this period, children grow quite fast, both physically and mentally. They are usually at a crossroads when making decisions about their lives and future, and the family may feel under pressure to try to understand them. This issue is more pronounced among tweens in foster care.
If you are a parent preparing to send your tween to middle school, here are a few things you should keep in mind and ways to support them.
Help them Fit in with Their Peers
Fitting in with peers is an integral part of healthy interaction in and out of class at this stage of development. Unfortunately, foster children may find this process challenging. Check out what the school community offers outside of class, such as games and co-curricular activities, and encourage them to participate in at least one sport, as it will make them fit in fast.
Help them through the Change Process
The first year will be particularly hard for the tweens as they get used to the new school structure. Remember, they have been used to the same teacher all through, and now they will have several teachers and may move from one classroom to another. Most foster children depend highly on the structure and may find adjusting hard. Help them out by encouraging them, showing interest in their actions, and communicating the kind of behavior they are required to portray.
Assist with the Planning and Organizing of their Studies
In middle school, a child is expected to be more independent than in the lower levels. If your foster child has problems getting everything in order, help them complete their assignment, organize their books, room, and studies, and track their progress. You should also accompany them to bookstores to learn about their needs and buy the appropriate supplies.
Finally, tweens are curious in that they like to learn new skills and try out things. Make certain to encourage them to discover, learn, and achieve within safe limits. Join the discovery train and enjoy the change together. Contact TFI Family Services if you have a query or require support to care for your tween foster kids.