Talk to Your Tweens - Survey Shows They Want to Listen

Filed under: In The News, Social & Emotional Growth: Tweens, Research Reveals: Tweens, Expert Advice: Tweens, Social & Emotional Growth: Teens, Research Reveals: Teens, Expert Advice: Teens




It may not come as a big surprise that tweens tend to sweat the small stuff -- and the bigger stuff, too. But here's the good news: The majority of them want to talk to their folks about the things that are stressing them out.

Unilever -- the manufacturer of deoderants including Degree, Dove and Suave (stress generally does equal sweat, after all) -- recently released findings from the Tween Confidence Index, a study conducted by KRC Research, that reached out to more than 1,200 moms and tweens between the ages of 8 and 12. Researchers found 69 percent of tweens called talks with their parents "very helpful" and they noted a measurable relationship between a tween's confidence levels and the value they placed on these parental talks.

The Index shows just how critical parent communication is to help tweens transition into competent, confident teenagers, says Rosalind Wiseman, author of "Queen Bees and Wannabes," the inspiration for the movie "Mean Girls."

"I meet so many parents who think their kids aren't listening to them -- it's almost like they've given up to peer pressure," Wiseman tells ParentDish. "But that's really not the case. Kids are desperate for their parents to give them good information, but at the same time really listen to their experiences."

And most parents, the survey found, seem to get that fact that life isn't always easy for kids. Three in four moms (77 percent) feel there are more challenges for tweens growing up today than when they were that age, such as: being overly exposed to sex and violence (86 percent), facing more pressure to grow up faster (75 percent), not doing well in school (60 percent), being challenged to eat healthy (55 percent) or not safely using the Internet (55 percent).

So what stresses tweens out the most? Hearing rumors about themselves or friends is a biggie (68 percent), followed by getting good grades (61 percent), dealing with hard teachers (68 percent) and their first kiss (51 percent). Some things never change.

For more info on helping boost a tween's confidence, check out DontFretTheSweat.com, an educational site from Unilever and community partners, that offers expert tips, tools, money-saving offers and real-life stories about how parents are communicating with their tweens.

Related: National Tween Convention Focuses on Positive Body Image

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.